Sometimes older homes feel like they’re made of swiss cheese.
One way to stop ants, drafts, and high utility bills is to add weather stripping to outside doors.
I’ve done this to several of our rentals and it’s way easy. Trust me, you don’t have to be Bob Vila.
Lately one of our rentals here in the City of Champions had some unwanted guests in the form of sugar ants.
Even though we’ve had the pest control company apply their ant treatment the little buggers are persistent.
And apparently, they like sneaking into the kitchen through the side entry door.
So this tutorial shows you how I fixed this small insect problem while making the home more energy-efficient.
Here’s the supply list:
- Wood and vinyl clad door weather stripping set ($22)
- 4d finish nails ($4) http://amzn.to/2rGj48z
- Caulk ($6) http://amzn.to/2q6uqSV
- Hammer ($24) http://amzn.to/2q9aqym
- Miter saw & box ($25) http://amzn.to/2rqNxLo or
- Jigsaw ($29) http://amzn.to/2pYXXSP
- Coping saw ($16) http://amzn.to/2rqXHvB
- Combination square ($11) http://amzn.to/2qHXRxQ
- Scissors ($9) http://amzn.to/2q9vCUN
- Drill and Drill Bits (I bet you have this already)
I guarantee you can do this yourself.
Don’t let a little carpentry prevent you from lowering your utility bills and stopping calls to the pest control service.
I’ll be your Yoda if you’ll be Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia, she was a Jedi after all but didn’t know it. Let’s get started!
Weather Stripping to Top of Door Frame
Standard packets of weather stripping for doors have three sections that cover the right, left, and top portion of your door frame.
Ants were entering through our door at the lower right-hand side. Just the tiniest gap was all it took for them to infiltrate the kitchen.
Like me, you’ll need to measure the top of your door frame from left to right and hang the corresponding piece of weather stripping.
In case I forget, here’s a DIY Bonus Tip: before you cut weather stripping pull back the foam seal from the wood frame.
Once the wood portion of the weather stripping is cut to size push the foam seal back into place and cut any excess with scissors. This will ensure a smooth look instead of a jagged appearance that occurs from wood saws.
Tack the top weatherstrip in place with 4d finish nails. Make this process easier by pre-drilling holes every 6 to 8 inches along the strip. Ensure your drilled holes are slightly smaller in diameter than the finish nails.
Dry fit the strip to see if it fits. Then add some caulk to the side that will meet up with the door frame.
Push the weatherstrip against your closed door. The vinyl seal should face the door and smush against it creating a tight fit.
Then proceed with tacking the strip in place with the 4d nails and your hammer. You can have a spouse or friend hold the strip while you hammer away. But don’t be afraid to do it by yourself. Hey, I did and it wasn’t bad at all.
Installing Weather Stripping to Your Door Jambs
Now the tricky part. You’ll need to trace the profile of the top weather strip on the right and left jamb sections.
Rest a scrap piece of weather stripping flush with the jamb sections. Use a pencil to trace the profile as I did in the picture below.
Use a jigsaw or coping saw to cut this profile into the jamb weather stripping.
This will allow the right and left sections of weather stripping to sit perfectly against the top strip.
Watch this video below for the complete step-by-step process and you’ll see for yourself how easy it is. I think even my kids could do this with some supervision.
To install the left and right sections of weather stripping, measure from the bottom of the top weatherstrip to the door threshold.
Remember this distance. Take your measuring tape, attach it to the top of the profiled weatherstrip for the right or left jamb, and pull it to the distance your need.
Cut your jamb weather strips to size and check that they fit.
Then drill holes for your finish nails, caulk the back of the weather strips, and push them flush with your door.
Tack both of these weatherstrips in a place like you did for the top one. Go back and caulk any gaps between the stripping and door frame.
I used Alex Plus Caulk by Dap because it’s paintable and will allow me to make the weather strips look like part of the door frame after they get painted.
Weatherstripping helps deter ants and pests. If you still have problems with spiders try Miss Muffet’s Revenge – it’s a great option.
If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.
Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.