Door sealing / insulation

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JHZR2

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Hi, We have an older home with original wood doors with wood frames. We removed the doors to do some repairs and suring up of them... In doing that, we removed the insulation, which worked marginally. So I'm curious of what the best insulation scheme is to seal the gaps in the doors. I had used different adhesive backed foams, but maybe something else is better. I've seen brass and plastic strips that fold over when thecdoor is closed, are these better in some situations? Gaps on some doors are irregular. Most are between 1/16 and 1/4, but the top of our entry door varies more like 1/8 to 1/2 over 36"! Any suggestions? I've snapped a few phone pics which likely don't help much but at least give some idea... Thanks!
 
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The problem with foam weatherstripping is the force you have to use to get the door closed. The brass strips are thin and don't add resistance to shutting the door.
 
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Old doors usually have lots of differences in gap size, may be warped, or don't hang square, etc.. Take a close look at how your door fits. Check that the hinges are screwed in tight, which can improve it's alignment. Check and adjust your strike plate if there is poor fit there. Google "door weather stripping".... not insulation. Those thin brass strips can be troublesome if the gap between the door and jamb is tight. Kids like to bend them also. I like these types shown below. They are durable and can be adjusted to imperfect door fit. The middle and right ones are similar to whats on new pre-hung doors and take up lots of errors. The "foam" part is replaceable by itself. Stay away from the stick on foam junk. They are available with aluminum or wood frames, as shown at this site: http://www.mdteam.com/products.php?category=212
 
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Doitmyself's examples look like the most permanent solutions. There are some rubber stick-on strips in various profiles that would work better than the plain foam-rubber strips. Most are open inside, like the weatherstrip on a car door, so they compress easily. I put some on an attic trapdoor, but haven't used them on entry doors.
 
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Before we remodeled, our first home had door issues similar to what you have. The house was in a historic neighborhood and I wanted to keep the original look, but upgrade them so they were actually efficient. After speaking with with a preservation contractor we elected to replace all the exterior doors with new ones that had the look and feel of the original doors. There simply wasn't any way that the old doors would seal and insulate as well as a modern door. He assured us that if we used the correct replacement doors and hardware it wouldn't detract from, but rather would enhance the value of the home. Ours looked similar to yours, and according to the contractor, while they were average for the age, they weren't anything special and weren't worth trying to restore. When we sold the home a few years later the doors/windows were a big selling point. While they all looked "original" they were modern upgrades that perform far better than the originals ever could. Replacing them rather than tacking on after market weatherstripping kits was a far better solution.
 
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It all depends on the gap. A nice even one with only a little clearance will seal well with brass or stick on plastic 'V' types.. But gee whiz - there are all sorts of options. You may end up with different types of seals on different sides of the door!
 

JHZR2

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Absolutely I know I will... But I've learned that I'll need something to nail on, not just a stick on rubber part...
 
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