Cheap, Temporary Ways to Fix the Draft Around an Exterior Door

When you rent an old house, drafty doors and windows come with the territory. While sealing a drafty door should be a landlord expense, this is one fix-it project you can manage on your own at very little cost. Sealing a drafty door will make your home much cozier to sit in during the cold winter months ahead.

There are a number of ways that a drafty door can be sealed without doing permanent damage to the frame or the door itself. Here are few techniques that I have used in the past:

Draft stoppers
One simple way of blocking door drafts is by placing a draft stopper at the base of the door. A draft stopper is a fabric tube packed full of foam batting. Draft stoppers are easy to make or can be purchased for as cheaply as $10 at a discount department store. One advantage with a draft stopper is that you can take it along when you move.

Rag seals
Another low cost solution is to pack the gaps around the door with rags. While this may sound a little hokey, this is how I seal the back door in my mudroom to prevent the loss of warm interior air. To make a seal out of rags, tear an old towel into 2″ strips. Wedge the strips into the cracks around the doors using a flat tip screwdriver. This method will work on any door; however it’s best when used on doors that don’t see a lot of use during the winter such as a side or back door.

Foam weather stripping
A final non-permanent solution for repairing a drafty door is by using foam weather stripping with a self-adhesive back. The weather stripping is placed directly on the door stop so that when the door closes it presses up against the foam stripping to create a seal. Self adhesive weather stripping is cheap ($4 for 17 feet), takes seconds to apply, and is easy to remove.

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