How To Fix Gap Between Storm Door And Frame

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Have you noticed that there is a large gap between your storm door and its frame but you don't know what to do about it? We've got you covered. We've consulted door experts and here's their advice.

To fix the gap between the storm door and frame, you need to:

  1. Check and do the necessary adjustments on your door hinges.
  2. Change the weatherstripping along the top and sides of the storm door.
  3. Change the door sweep at the bottom of the door.

Hang on so we can share more tips with you on how you can fix the gap issue. We'll also teach you how to install a door threshold and how to fill the gap under the threshold. You will also find out the recommended space between your door and its frame.

A white framed storm door of a small stucco exterior walled house, How To Fix Gap Between Storm Door And Frame

Fixing the Gap Between the Storm Door and Frame

When you notice gaps around your storm door, you need to fix them immediately. These are spaces where cold or hot air from the outside can pass through, reducing your home's energy efficiency.

These small gaps can also let rain, snow, water, and other unwanted particles enter your home and you wouldn't like that, right?

A blue wooden painted front door with a glass storm door of a brick house

Good thing, fixing these gaps is quite easy. Here are some ways for you to resolve them.

The first thing you have to do is assess the opening of your storm door to locate the spaces or incorrect clearances. Gaps are often caused by hinge issues or damaged weatherstripping and door sweep.

Hinge Issues

  • Inspect if there are any loose or missing screws. Make sure the screws are tight and check if the gap problem is resolved.
  • Check if the hinges used in your storm door are the same size. Replace the hinge that does not match with the others.

If the above steps won't work, you might need to place metal shims on your hinges. Determine which side needs adjustment so that you will know where to add the shims.

  • If the door is too tight at the top lock side and there are gaps at the bottom, place the shims at the middle and bottom hinges.
  • If it's tight at the bottom lock side and there are gaps at the top, the shims should be inserted at the top and middle hinges.
  • If the door has shifted towards the hinge side, you need to put shims on all the hinges to address the gap on the lock side of the door.
  • If the door has moved towards the lock side, there's no need for shims. You need to reset the hinges further into the door or frame to move it to the hinge side.

Damaged Weatherstripping

Visually inspect your weatherstripping for any damages as they could be the cause for the leaks and gaps. If they need to be replaced, buy new weatherstripping so you can install new ones along the top and sides of your door.

  1. Close your storm door. Get the measurement of the top frame and its sides.
  2. Open the door and go over to the room side. Measure the bottom of the frame from this point.
  3. Mark those measurements on your weatherstripping so you can cut them accordingly. Take note that the top weatherstrip and the top portion of your side weatherstrips should be angled so that they will all fit like a puzzle once you install them.
  4. Install the weatherstripping along the sides and top of the door. You can use nails and hammer for this.
  5. Open and close your storm door to determine if the weatherstrips will stay in place.

Door Sweep

The large gap between the threshold and the bottom of your door can be addressed by the door sweep.

  1. Door sweeps usually have holes for the screws. Align them at the bottom side of your door so you can mark the holes.
  2. Use a drill bit to make holes for the screws.
  3. Position the door sweep at the bottom of the door and screw them in place.
  4. Open and close your storm door to check if the door sweep will stay in place.

Now you know what to do to fix the gaps between your storm door and your frame.

What should the gap be between door and frame?

A brick walled house with huge glass windows with a white framed storm door

We've been talking about the importance of sealing gaps but there should also be minimal space in between your door panel and door frame. This space is necessary so that you can move your door properly as you open and close it.

There should be a gap of 1/8-inch at the top and sides of your door. This is applicable for both exterior and interior doors.

You might be wondering why we haven't mentioned the gap at the bottom of the door. This is because exterior doors shouldn't have gaps in this portion. This will ensure that no air and water can pass underneath.

Meanwhile, interior doors can have a bottom gap. The space can be between 1/2-inch and 3/4-inches. This is needed to give way to the interior's flooring. That's why the space would depend on the height of your flooring.

These gaps are collectively referred to as stile clearances. The head clearance refers to the gap at the top of your door. It is also called the reveal. The gap at the bottom is called the bottom clearance.

How do you install a threshold on a storm door?

When you've decided on what type of threshold to use and bought one, it's time to install it on your storm door. Here's a guide to help you through it.

  1. Remove the old threshold from its place. You might need a saw and pry bar for this task.
  2. Inspect the condition of the bottom of the threshold. Should you find any decaying or rotten wood, you should have it replaced also. If everything's in good condition, you can apply a borate solution on the structure to prevent rotting and fight off termites.
  3. Take the measurement of your storm door's threshold. Get its length, width, and thickness. If the old threshold is still intact, you can use that as your template so that you can buy the right size of threshold for your storm door.
  4. Check the contents of your new threshold. It usually contains screws for the installation. It might also come with weatherstripping that you need to install after the threshold itself.
  5. Trim the threshold to make it fit the bottom frame of your storm door. Take note of the shape of the notch on your door frame as well and cut your new threshold accordingly.
  6. Before installing your threshold, put a layer of flashing over the subsill as a protection against water infiltration. You can paint this portion so that it'll blend with the rest of the door.
  7. Mount the new threshold in its place.
  8. Screw it securely using your power drill.
  9. Trim the weatherstripping according to the length of the threshold.
  10. Install the weatherstripping.
  11. Check if there are no gaps at the bottom of your storm door.

That's how you install a new door threshold. It's relatively easy when you have the right tools to help you fit the threshold on your storm door.

How do you fill a gap under a threshold?

There shouldn't be any gap under your threshold. Aside from being unsightly, it can let water in and this will lead to decay over time. It can also be a tripping hazard and cause injury to you and other members of your family.

Good thing there are lots of cost-effective ways for you to fill in that gap. You can choose the material you want to work with. There's wood, expanding foam, rubber, cork, or grout.

Here's what you need to do.

  1. Measure the gap under the threshold of your door.
  2. Choose a suitable material that'll help you fill the gap.
  3. Prepare the material so that it will fit in the gap. You can cut wood, rubber, and cork according to the size of the gap.
  4. If you chose grout, follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the proper mixture of water and mortar until it becomes pliable or like that of the consistency of toothpaste. Meanwhile, expanding foam is ready to use.
  5. Install your filler in place.
  6. Remove any excess and clean the surrounding area with a sponge.

You may also apply paint to make your filler blend with the exterior of your storm door. Make sure you fill all the gaps. Don't leave any space where water or insects can pass through.

Final Thoughts

A white framed storm door of a small stucco exterior walled house

Check the hinges, weather strips, and door sweep so that you'll know how to fix the gap between your storm door and its frame. Act on it right away to prevent drafts and pests from getting inside your home.

To read more about storm doors, you can visit the following links:

How Long Does It Take To Install A Storm Door

How To Reinforce A Storm Door

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