The back door that leads out of our kitchen has long served a double role as laundry/dishwasher area and also as the NAUGHTY CORNER! This is where the kids get banished to when they are playing up and being naughty... thankfully, it has been quite some time since it has been used.... although, there was a period in both girl's lives when this little area was pretty regularly used!
It is also one of the coldest corners in the house... as the door doesn't quite seal quite properly which means that there is cold air constantly leaking in from the outside in winter. It's been something that I've been meaning to fix up, as it is a really pretty simple job... but like most simple jobs, it is something that gets put off time after time!
However, after reading some #build-it posts... I've been shamed into getting my arse into gear and doing some projects that I've been meaning to do around the house... especially the little ones that have been piling up. So, this is the first of many little house projects that I'm going to be doing... I have my tools inside and all the gear ready to go!
I managed to squeeze in a quick run to the local Hornbach (hardware store) in between dropping off kids... and I picked up more than enough stuff to complete the next few projects. For this project, I just needed some adhesive gap fillers to stop the cold air coming around the door and the door frame. I also took the excuse to pick up a Stanley knife as well... I don't have a sharp cutter in the house... there is one out in the garage... but that means I have to walk outside!
It's funny, whilst I was getting ready to fix up the Naughty Corner... my oldest (and youngest) was telling me about how scared she was about the corner... it was dark (ish... there was always light from the kitchen... just not directly), it was cold (he he... the air leaking around door...)... and there were always spiders (well, not Australian spiders.... just the occasional Daddy Longlegs... that we leave alone).
So... with this little fix, I'm going to make the Naughty Corner a little less like internment in Siberia and more like a luxury stay in the Caribbean.... I'm starting to wonder if this is a good idea. However, fixing up leakages of heat is one of the best things that you can do for your house in winter... there is no point heating your house if you are just dumping it out the windows.... and although I'm writing about this particular door, I do have a few more doors to do the same to... and also some windows.
So, here is one of the offending leaks.. this is the one at the bottom of the door and frame, and the one that seems to be leaking the most air. Now, this door keeps changing it's fitting from summer to winter... which means that this spacing keeps changing with the seasons. However, it is a door that doesn't get used so much in Winter, so I will try and opt for a bit of a tighter (thicker) fit for the filler to start with. If it doesn't work in summer, then I can always remove it and fix a slightly thinner one for the rest of the year.
I had bought two versions of the average thickness filler bands. There was one that was more fluffy (sort of the like the stuff that you put on doors to stop them slamming) and this one which is a compressible soft plastic with a bubble of air inside. Both were affixed with a strong adhesive.... so, no tools required!
I opted for the bubble version first... as the fluffy version looked like it would still leave some air circulating from the outside to the inside. Perhaps I would save that one for thinner spaces, as it looked like it would compress a bit better.
The first thing you need to do before affixing the band... is to clean the surface area. I wiped it down with a damp cloth... and man, there was quite a lot of dirt and dust on that bottom area. I only did the strip that I needed to fix the band to... I can already hear my wife saying, WHY DIDN'T YOU CLEAN THE WHOLE THING?!?!!?!?!?!
So, here we go... the bottom strip was affixed... and a quick test of the door and turning the lock to make sure that the door could still close properly! Now, I'm not sure how much of it is in my own mind and imagination... but it really felt like it made a huge difference already. Before, you could feel a steady cold wind under the door... and now, there was nothing... just a little bit of leakage from the sides of the door!
Honestly, I was pretty surprised that such a small thing would make such a big difference. So, it was onwards to fix up the rest of the door... Half of the door height on the handle side and the whole height on the hinge side would need to be filled. It wasn't quite as severe as the bottom, but still... may as well do it whilst I'm here!
This is actually a vertical photo of the door frame side... turn your computer on the side! Anyway, the vertical sides were much less successful... It appears that these were the sides that were problematic for the closing of the door. After filling the gaps of both sides (and not testing between each due to overwhelming hubris...) I found that the door would almost close... but not quite, as the lock was dislpaced by a few millimetres and would not seat properly. After tinkering around, I couldn't make it fit... and so I ripped out the vertical fillers.
So, a partially complete job... but one that has still make a big difference to the temperature in the Naughty Corner! I will be coming back for the vertical gaps... I think the other band will be more appropriate as it would compress more fully. Also, the frame side has a much larger gap in the middle of the door, so it would be possible to just fill the most problematic parts of the door.
A proud moment of completing a simple job... onwards to more little things! Sadly, when I showed my wife... she didn't see what was different....
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