Author Topic: DIY Draft Stoppers (Read 7230 times)

Rebecca Stapler

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DIY Draft Stoppers
« on: January 03, 2014, 09:08:06 AM »
I'm ready to make a few of these for our doors and our floors (I swear there is a draft where our floor meets the wall!). But I'm curious what the best insulating material is -- what should I fill them with that's inexpensive and effective?

This is the kind of thing I want to make:
http://smartgirlstyle.blogspot.com/2013/12/diy-gift-idea-door-draft-stopper.html?showComment=1388764951298#c6609149138727455656
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ManyMountains

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 09:55:25 AM »
Thanks for the link! I am in the process of making draft stoppers as well. For the fabric I am using old jeans. For the filler I am using sand. Cheaper than what the blogger used (beans, rice), and it won't make you feel bad for wasting food.

I was planning on adding a plastic liner, like a garbage bag, so that the "insulation" doesn't get wet, but maybe this isn't needed.

GuitarStv

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 10:02:20 AM »
While I love DIY as much as the next person . . . why not spend 10$ and buy a proper door threshold seal from home depot? That, in combination with some caulking (and maybe a little spray foam insulation) is a much simpler and more permanent way to stop drafts.


Cromacster

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 10:21:31 AM »
I'm ready to make a few of these for our doors and our floors (I swear there is a draft where our floor meets the wall!).

Are you in a house or apartment?

If its a house what floor is it on?

There could be several reasons for a draft, many of which I am currently stumbling through trying to solve. Two big causes for draftiness in a house are attics and basements. Air sealing each of these as best you can will reduce draftiness in a house significantly. Blocking and sealing the rim joists in the basement can help fix a cold floor, especially if it feels drafty near the wall. I recently air sealed my attic and insulated, and my wife commented on how the floor feels warmer. I assume this is because there is less air moving upward cooling off the floor (but who knows?).

Other sources are doors and windows (which is what you are attacking). If its from a door inspect the weather stripping. Replace/add as needed. Another check would be to remove the trim and investigate if there is any insulation between the door frame and the studs. If not, an easy to to remedy this is the spray in some door and window expanding foam. Remove trim and apply spray foam to windows as well. This will help with the drafts that are caused due to air gaps.

If you are in an apartment and can't do any of the above. Any material that does not allow air flow will work. Foam board cut to shape, dense pack cotton or wool, or cellulose insulation (you could make a bunch of these blocks with cellulose insualion from HD which is 6$ per bale).
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KimPossible

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 06:00:18 PM »
Our house is 100 years old (this year!), and the front door is original. Unfortunately, there are a few gaps, especially near the bottom. We've added weatherstripping, but there are still gaps.

I used the filling from a destroyed bean bag chair and an old sheet to make a large version of the above craft. It works well, and it was free :)

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 06:24:17 PM »
While I love DIY as much as the next person . . . why not spend 10$ and buy a proper door threshold seal from home depot? That, in combination with some caulking (and maybe a little spray foam insulation) is a much simpler and more permanent way to stop drafts.

Our doors have weatherstripping that the building maintenance person said is in working order (because it drags a little on the floor, it's in good shape -- according to him). Is a threshold seal in addition to weatherstripping?

I would love to spray foam insulation in the ceiling of the garage (our living room is directly above), because our floors are COLD. Same with caulking. I'm wondering what I can get away with, without the LL noticing when we move out -- and I'm not sure spray foam is worth the $$ if we're only here another year.

He said I shouldn't insulate my garage door because the garage would be freezing -- when we open the door, it'll pull cold air in and won't let it out. I call BS on that, but I haven't brought it up with the management company again because I feel like they would still say "no" to nailing insulation to the garage door.
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m8547

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 08:21:58 PM »
You need three things for a draft stopper:
-It needs to fill the space, so air doesn't get around it
-It needs to block air from flowing through it
-Finally, (and least important) is insulation.

Sand would be great to conform to the space where you put it, but if there's air flow it won't do much to stop it. Maybe add a plastic lining inside the fabric, or use a fabric that doesn't allow air through like coated nylon (PU Nylon or Sil Nylon, but they are kind of expensive).

The insulation value doesn't matter as much if the floor/wall/door is poorly insulated. Providing resistance to the draft is probably more important, if there is a draft.

GuitarStv

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 08:52:22 AM »
While I love DIY as much as the next person . . . why not spend 10$ and buy a proper door threshold seal from home depot? That, in combination with some caulking (and maybe a little spray foam insulation) is a much simpler and more permanent way to stop drafts.

Our doors have weatherstripping that the building maintenance person said is in working order (because it drags a little on the floor, it's in good shape -- according to him). Is a threshold seal in addition to weatherstripping?

I would love to spray foam insulation in the ceiling of the garage (our living room is directly above), because our floors are COLD. Same with caulking. I'm wondering what I can get away with, without the LL noticing when we move out -- and I'm not sure spray foam is worth the $$ if we're only here another year.

He said I shouldn't insulate my garage door because the garage would be freezing -- when we open the door, it'll pull cold air in and won't let it out. I call BS on that, but I haven't brought it up with the management company again because I feel like they would still say "no" to nailing insulation to the garage door.

Typically you would use a slightly raised piece at the bottom of the door. The door should close and pressure into this making a tight seal. It sounds like you've got just a sweeper under the door. Those never work well for long.

If the garage ceiling is poorly insulated there's not much you can do to keep the living room warm. Maybe try a thick area run with underpaid beneath it to keep you feet warm. You absolutely should insulate your garage door if possible, but all this depends on the amount of money you're willing to spend and the amount of time you're planning on living there . . .

eyePod

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 09:41:14 AM »
Well this sure hits home. We have a terribly drafty apartment. For the 2nd year in a row, we bought a roll of bubble wrap and duct taped it to the sliding doors. It adds a very good layer of insulation, and the tape helps with the poor sealing on the doors.

The big issue now is that the air intake for our system is on the floor and that connects to a non-insulated small shack where the system is located. We get a freezing cold draft from here, but I don't know how to fix it other than insulating that piece or blocking the I take which we can't do!
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Greg

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 09:59:33 AM »
I wonder if you could install some sort of flap system as a back-draft preventer on your cold air return?

ichangedmyname

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 12:29:46 PM »
I saw something like that for sale at Kmart a year ago. It was for $5. Right now we have rolled up towels but that doesn't really help. The one I saw had weight on both sides so it follows the door open and close. I promised my husband if I saw them again I will buy. He said we didn't need them but we obviously do. Some of the doors in our duplex have at least 3 inches of gap above the floor.
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eyePod

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Re: DIY Draft Stoppers
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 01:47:49 PM »
I wonder if you could install some sort of flap system as a back-draft preventer on your cold air return?

That's interesting. I found a thread on one of those answer sites and it seems like it could either be an actual draft or cold air falling frlmnthe duct. I really don't think the return duct is insulated so this may be our way to fix it. Thanks for the idea though!

http://justanswer.com/hvac/2y4o6-getting-cold-air-back-draft-return-vent-no-holes.html
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