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Community and Q&A

Under Door Seal Replacement

Bruce_Davis | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

See attached photos. My house is 2-3 years old. Seven of the exterior doors are premium Masonite wood. They are 8 ft tall and very heavy. The rubber under door seal on one door started coming apart 1-2 years ago. Didn’t last very long. Maybe defective or bad install.

Finally remembered to replace it and it appears the seal must be permanently attached to the door by staples or something else. My previous experience with exterior doors meant sliding the seal out of a track, bringing it to the hardware store for replacement and sliding the new one in. Quick and easy. Has progress reversed this easy project to now make it difficult? Do I have to take the door off? I can’t do that myself, too heavy. Thanks.

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  1. Expert Member


    I had a similar experience with a new door I ordered from a regular supplier who had inexplicably decided to start using these staple on seals. It's a terrible detail, and traps water against the bottom of the door. When you manage to pry it off, I'd suggest treating the bottom of the door before replacing it with a better, removable seal.

    1. Expert Member
      NICK KEENAN | | #2

      Malcolm -- Are there removable seals that don't require a kerf? I've only been able to find the staple-on kind for kerfless doors.


      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #4


        For years exterior doors here came with a u-shaped sill seal that slid on and then was secured by screws on the inside. That's what I've got on my in-swing doors.

  2. mmoogie | | #3

    Try a retractable door sweep?

  3. gusfhb | | #5

    In my not so humble opinion, every single drag seal is junk

    15 minutes on a table saw and make a seal carrier for the same seal that is in every exterior door sides and top.

    If the door is subject to significant water, screw a small piece of right angle above it to deflect the water.

    Could also be an angled piece of wood

    Once a year you ought to sweep the sand out.

    Every hardware store has them on the shelf with the weatherstrip

    I should look at my front door, it is 11 years old and might need replacing


    1. Expert Member
      NICK KEENAN | | #12

      Can you elaborate more about the seal carrier? Does it go on the door face or the bottom? Or on the threshold? Inside or outside? What's the shape?

      1. gusfhb | | #13

        Standard question mark door seal in every US door the last 30 years, available at the hardware store or The Borg.
        Carrier is a ~3/4 by whatever strip of wood with a kerf on one edge.
        Drill several holes down through it not intruding into the kerf
        Align it with the door shut so it seals. If you are fussy oversize or slot the holes so you can adjust.
        When you screw it down to the sill, the little chevron part of the seal will seal the gap between the carrier and the door sill. It aligns just exactly like the existing door seals

        If the door is subject to driving rain such that rain runs down the door, it 'will' funnel rain into the house, so angle the top surface away from the house and screw and glue a 1/2x1/2 'L' just above it on the door to deflect water out and away from the seal.

        My front door, installed early 2010, ignored since

  4. Expert Member
    Akos | | #6

    I've also seen seals that pop into two grooves in the bottom of the door that don't extend all the way to the edge of the door. The edges are than stapled. These are pretty easy to remove just watch the spacing as not all are the same.

    As others have said, the best long term solution is a dropper type door seal. These are a bit more work to install but work great.

    Well adjusted, old style spring bronze door seals also work great and last forever.

  5. walta100 | | #7

    I think you will find the door sweep has barbs that fit into saw kerfs in the bottom of the door with a dab of glue on each end.

    Mine seems to seal well enough with the adjustable threshold. My only complaint is when it is below freezing the plastic/rubber gets stiff making the door hard to operate.


    1. Bruce_Davis | | #8

      Walter, do your saw kerfs come to the end of the wood in the door? If you look at my pics, there is no kerf opening at the end. Or, do yours somehow insert into a kerf hidden a couple inches from the end? Thanks.

  6. walta100 | | #9

    The saw kerf stops short of the sides of the door so you can’t see them.
    If you look at my photo you will see the barbs are trimmed back from the end about 2 inches.


    1. Bruce_Davis | | #10

      Are you able to change without taking door off? Thanks.

  7. walta100 | | #11

    I do not recall if I removed the door but I doubt I did. Seems like used a putty knife to pop it off.

    Looking at your photo it is clear you will need to lower the adjusting screws as far as possible and raise the screws a little at a time. Put a dollar bill on the threshold and close the door keep raising the screws until you can feel the seal grabbing the bill when you pull it out.

    Note the only way to get a new seal is to order one from Masonite. The reason I had a new seal to photograph is because the first seal I ordered was only 38 inches and I needed 42 inches to fit my door.


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