Here’s our guide to the best types of door sweeps and under door seals including their definitions, advantages, and product tips for weatherproofing and keeping out pests.
Gaps are normally found between the bottom part of the door and the door frame. For some people, gaps aren’t a big deal.
But for most people, it’s a major problem that needs to be fixed immediately. Luckily, there are effective ways in solving that problem. Numerous manufacturers are producing door sweeps that will solve those gap issues.
In reality, gaps do need to be fixed and they shouldn’t be neglected. These small openings could either allow cold air to go inside the space during the winter season or prevent air-conditioned rooms from getting cold during summer. Gaps also give way to insects and other pests.
Door sweeps and under-door seals play a very crucial part in fixing these gap issues. In this article, we will discuss the definition of a door sweep and under-door seal. We’ll also talk about the categories under these two things.
What Is A Sweep for Doors?
The main function of a door sweep is to seal the gaps that are found between the threshold and the bottom of your door.
With properly installed door sweeps, heating or cooling your interior space won’t be a fuss. Dust, insects, or rodents will be prevented if door sweeps are installed in those gaps.
What Is An Under Door Seal?
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Under-door seals are also called door bottom seals. These are designed to seal the gaps between the door and the bottom most part of the door.
The usual style of an under-door seal is made up of sweep seals that contain an aluminum-made holder along with a pliable rubber strip or brush strip attached to the bottom part of the door. Check out how to soundproof a door for more ideas.
Door Sweep Vs Under Door Seal
Door sweeps are usually applied to common thresholds that have a 0.13-inch gap between the bottommost part of the door and above the threshold.
Generally, a door sweep is a long metal strip that carries a seal that’s made out of silicone, nylon brush, or neoprene. The surface of the long metal strip is installed to the door’s bottom part.
Under-door seals function the same as door sweeps. Under-door seals can be either mounted directly to the bottom of the door or wrap the whole bottom on one or both sides of the door. However, some under-door seals can seal the gaps more effectively than door sweeps.
A brush door sweep is generally mounted on one side of the exterior door. The brush sweep resembles a broom and it has two functions.
First, it helps in clearing away detritus and dust. Second, it includes sealing the bottom part of the door.
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This type of door sweep is effective in terms of preventing cold air from getting inside your house during the winter season. However, the downside of this sweep is it isn’t durable. The bristles on the door sweep will deteriorate over time and it won’t last very long.
Aluminum door sweeps are superior in terms of stopping moisture, insects, and dust from coming inside your interior space.
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Door sweeps that are made out of aluminum with reinforced or neoprene rubber are efficient in sealing gaps properly and they do not rust over time. They also can be painted and are easy to install.
These door sweeps do not require screws to be mounted as they already have their own adhesive tapes or stickers. Adhesive door sweeps can either be made out of plastic or aluminum.
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These door sweeps are efficient against dust, moisture, insects, and drafts. They can usually stick to all types of doors.
A rubber door sweep can be a single piece of rubber that is attached to the side of the door with a peel and stick adhesive or glue.
They also come as a rubber draft protector that is attached to a piece of aluminum that can slide or snap in to the kerf cut opening at the bottom of a door.
Since rubber can become brittle with exposure to extreme heat and cold elements they will need to be replaced every couple of years. Most rubber sweeps can be cut to fit your size door with a hacksaw.
Just like a brush door sweep, a flat door sweep is also attached to the exterior door. Generally, it could be made out of materials such as nylon, vinyl, or silicone.
It offers an aesthetic appearance that provides more attraction and value to the door. Yes, it is way more appealing than brush door sweeps.
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Flat door sweeps, on the other hand, could be more difficult to install than brush door sweeps.
If you want to opt for a door sweep that will perfectly and securely fit the bottom of your door, a tubular door sweep might be a good choice as it seals both sides of the door.
It can function on both exterior and interior doors. Also, it is very easy to mount and replace. Actually, it is a popular choice as it is efficient in blocking odors, insects, and cold air.
The only drawback of a tubular door sweep is that it is not long-lasting.
This type of door is also known as a wrap-around door sweep. It provides one sweep to each side of the door. Meaning, you’ll have two sweeps sealing the bottom of your door.
That is to provide an additional level of protection to efficiently keep out pests, smoke, odor, and air. It is very much simpler to install than most types of door sweeps.
Most of the u-shaped door sweeps can be painted so that you can match them with the color of your door, walls, and floors.
A less expensive way of sealing the gap between your threshold and door is called weather stripping. It is also known as gasketing. Weather stripping won’t require complicated installation.
It can be mounted along with self-adhesive brands. This is a very fast method of solving gap issues.
However, the downside of weather stripping is that it is not appealing and long-lasting. But if you want to opt for a temporary solution for sealing the gap, this is a good option.
Under this method, there’s also a way of sealing small gaps. It is by using V-strips. This is efficient in terms of keeping out insects and air.
Its longevity is very promising as well. V-strips can either be made out of rubber or metal. They are very easy to mount. On the other hand, they also aren’t appealing and they can’t seal huge gaps.
This method is also under the category of weather stripping although it is particularly used for windows and doors. But compared to actual weather stripping, foam stripping is generally much thicker and more robust.
Closed cell foam weather stripping is very affordable and uncomplicated to mount. It can virtually match other great door bottom seals in terms of keeping out odor, air, and pests.
Double Draft Seals
These double draft seals are mainly used for insulating your door on each side of it. It provides long-lasting protection against water, insects, pollen, dust, moisture, and drafts.
Normally, the first level of the seal is to block drafts and the second level is to keep out water and moisture.
They normally incorporate fabric coverage and foam-based inserts. They are mounted to the bottom of your door along with stretchable straps.
Triple Draft Seals
A triple draft seal is normally a slide-on door seal that is very efficient in terms of blocking drafts under doors. Read more about the most popular types of sliding doors here.
Just like double draft seals, they can also prevent insects and pollen from getting inside your interior space.
However, they have three levels of protection. The first seal helps in retaining the temperature inside the space.
The second seal blocks the drafts while the third layer of seal works in keeping out moisture and water. Triple draft seals are very easy to install as well.
A door shoe can either seal one side of your door or wrap the bottom of it. The undercut of your door must be correctly coordinated with door bottoms so they can fit properly.
An L-shaped door shoe is a good choice for sealing your exterior doors. Although it necessitates careful installation, it’s very efficient in terms of preventing air, pests, odor, and smoke.
L-shaped door shoes are normally made out of sturdy metal-based materials that ascertain longevity.
Automatic Door Bottom
Automatic door bottom seals effectively seal the gaps by just activating its button. Once the door is opened, the button will be released and the sealing material will pull itself and fully seal the bottom part of the door.
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Compared to door sweeps, automatic under-door seals can provide a maximum seal. However, it could be hard to install. And since it is a high-end option that will fully secure your doors, it might be an expensive selection.
Felt Door Bottom
A felt door bottom is quite the same as weather stripping and foam stripping. It is very fast and simple to attach. One major advantage of it is that it is fire-resistant, very long-lasting, and affordable.
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An integrated door sweep is built-in to the door when you purchase and is not noticeable. These types are durable and offer high quality performance.
Since the seal is built-in they can help prevent energy loss from day one and can help prevent dust, cold and sound from entering through the bottom of the door.
The problems arise when it comes time to change them out as they may require a professional installer and a higher replacement cost.
Best Type Of Sweep To Use
Generally speaking, the best option for weatherproofing doors are automatic door bottom seals, as they give the utmost security that will truly weather seal the gaps most efficiently.
For an exterior door, the best types of products would be a door sweep with weather stripping, a combination of aluminum and brush door sweep, a U-shaped door sweep, and a metal door sweep with triple draft seals. These options provide the best protection.
For front doors, the best option could be an adhesive door sweep or automatic door bottom seal. For a metal door, the best type of door sweep could be a combination of aluminum and brush door sweep or a metal-based U-shaped door sweep.
Do you have experience using door weatherstrip products. Share your questions and tips in the comments area below. For more related ideas, visit our gallery showcasing attractive front door colors with their meanings.