Draft Dodging


– Eleanor Abernathy (Crazy Cat Lady)

With the threat of polar vortices hanging over our head, it is extremely important that we take all possible measures to protect ourselves. We decided that one of those measures would be to try to make the front door a bit less draughty.

A couple of years ago, our house was vacuum tested. The results showed that our house was surprisingly tight for its age, but still leakier than a rusty bucket. Since then, we’ve taken steps to improve the thermal efficiency of the house. For instance, we replaced the exterior doors at the front and rear. The front door, which leads onto the porch, was the first to be replaced.

The new front door came with integral insulation between the door and the frame. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of that insulation has been reduced by the cats trying to get back in off the porch. It seems they thought clawing the insulation on the opening side of the door would open it. From the cats’ perspective, this actually worked; the door always swung open. When it did, it was invariably accompanied by one of the food givers issuing a loud animated greeting.

Cat modified door insulation

Cat modified door insulation.

Eventually, we want to replace the chewed-up insulation with a close approximation of the original. But, our priority here was to stop the draughts (US: drafts). The answer, we decided, was nail-on weatherstrip.

This pack contains enough weatherstrip for one door.

This pack contains enough weatherstrip for one door.

This kind of insulation is not the most elegant, but it is cheap and it does do the job well. I was a little reluctant to hammer nails into the door frame at first, but then decided that the frame needs some work anyway. So the nail holes will be filled in due course.

Profile view of weatherstrip

Profile view of weatherstrip.

There’s not too much to say about fitting it. Cut a piece to length, close the door and nail the weatherstrip to the frame. To ensure a good seal, the round part of the insulation should be slightly squashed up against the door. But if the weatherstrip pushes against the door too much, it will make the door difficult to close.

Weatherstrip in position.

Weatherstrip in position.

Probably the most interesting part is where two pieces join in a corner. The instructions on the pack suggested cutting each piece at an angle. But I just cut one piece to butt up against the other, which seems to work well.

End of weatherstrip cut to fit in corner.

End of weatherstrip cut to fit in corner.

Two pieces of weatherstrip coming together in a corner.

Two pieces of weatherstrip coming together in a corner.

So, that’s it. The front door is, once again, draught-free. This little project was surprisingly satisfying, even if it is only a temporary fix.

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