Many homeowners install double front doors to increase the visual appeal of their home. Double front doors are two doors hung side by side in the entryway of a home. Many of these door-frames have a gap that run the length of the doors in the center. When air flows into or out of the home through the gap much warm or cool air is lost, which in turn increases energy costs. Secondly, if there is enough space for air to flow in or out of the home, there is enough space for insects to come inside the home. Many homeowners and home improvement contractors install weather stripping along the bottom of the door-frame that are known as door sweeps. Door sweeps block the flow of air under the door-frames and also stop rain water, dirt and bugs from coming into the house. Some homeowners and installers place jamb weather stripping along the hinged edge of the door as well as the top section.

 Unfortunately, many home improvement contractors and homeowners forget about the gap between the two. This gap is one of the most forgotten about and unprotected areas that allows for warm or cool air loss in a house. A typical set of double door-frames has one door that does not open – it is there mostly for show. Some double  do have two active ones but that is not the norm. The door-frame that does not open has an astragal – a strip of molding, usually more of a barrier to stop the swinging door from moving past the stationary door-frame. The astragal does not close the gap or stop the flow of air. Stopping the air flow requires a special seal. This seal is not overly difficult to install and can be handled by a handy do it yourself type homeowner.

Preparing the Double for Draft Protection

Dip the corner of a clean rag into an all purpose cleaner such as Fantastic. You can also dip a rag into white vinegar, which will be as effective as the all purpose cleaner.

Wipe the edges of both doors along with the molding known as the astragal.

If the dirt and debris is stuck on, dip a nylon scrubbing pad into either the white vinegar or all purpose cleaner and scrub the door-frame edges and astragal.

Wipe the door edges and astragal with a clean rag to dry the surfaces and allow them to air dry for at least 45 to 60 minutes.

Measuring for Weather Sealing Double door-frames

Use a tape measure to measure the height of the double floors from the top to the bottom.

Write down the measurement.

Standard double door measurements are usually 84 inches or 96 inches. There are some variations dues to the size of the door-frame.

 What to Buy

Buy compression seal weather stripping which is also known as compression weather is sealing.

Compression weather stripping usually comes in rolls of various lengths. Choose the length that is closest to your measurement without going under the distance of your measurement. Always buy more than you need.

Installing the Compression Weather Stripping

 Have a helper grip the end of the compression weather seal and align it with the top of the stationary door.

Unroll the weather stripping down the length.

Mark the weather stripping with a piece of chalk at the point at which the weather stripping meets the bottom.

Unroll the compression seal and cut it with a utility knife to the same length as the height of the doorframe.

Use a sharp utility knife to cut the compression weather stripping on the chalk mark.

Have your helper align the end of the compression seal with the top of the door a second time. Make sure the weather stripping is behind the astragal.

While the helper is holding the weather seal in place, measure ½ inch down the edge of the door frame with a tape measure and mark the spot in the middle of the weather stripping with chalk. If you will block the locking mechanism on the door by placing the screw in the middle of the weather stripping, it’s ok to move it off center.

 Put a 7/8 inch flat head screw on the chalk mark.

Use a cordless power screw driver to sink the screw through the weather stripping into the edge of the door. The screw should be holding the compression seal snugly.

Pull the compression stripping taut. Do not pull it so it stretches just pull it so it is straight.

Mark the ½ inch mark from the bottom of the door up in the middle of the weather stripping with chalk.

Sink a 7/8 inch flat head screw through the mark and into the edge of the door.

Go back to the top and measure 10 to 14 inches down from the first screw, mark it with chalk. Continue to measure 10 to 14 inches down the length of the door edge and marking the measurements with chalk.

Sink 7/8 flat head screws through each mark and into the door edge until all of the chalk mark areas have been screwed in.

Continued Protection from Drafts

Check the compression seal on the double doors seasonally to see if there are any gaps between the seal and the door edge or if there is any damage to the weather stripping. If there is any damage or you find any gaps, replace the compression seal.

Compression seals typically last for a few years, but if you live in an area with harsh weather or constantly changing weather conditions, the seals may break down more quickly than those that are in an area with very little change in weather temperatures and conditions.

While you are examining the compression seal, check the condition of the door sweep and the weather-stripping located along the door jamb. If it is showing signs of age or wear, replace them also.  

Make sure you do not block off the door’s lock when installing a compression seal between your double doors.


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