How to Protect Exterior Door from Rain

The exterior doors are easily one of the most important parts of a house. While we like them to look nice and welcoming, weather conditions like rain tend to cause just the opposite of that. If you are tired of having to replace your exterior door after the winter months, below are some tips to waterproof your door:

How to Waterproof your Exterior Door

Use a Door Sweep

Placing a door sweep beneath your door also makes leaves no room for moisture to get in. The gap at the bottom of the door is what usually lets in water on rainy days. What a rubber sweep does is wipe the ground as the door closes. It serves as blockage making it difficult for water to enter.  Below are the steps to fix a door sweep;

  1. Take a measurement of the door’s width and trim the excess to the size needed.
  2. Use a chalk to mark the screw spots.
  3. Make screw holes at the marked spots. Ensure the holes are small enough for the screws to fit properly.
  4. Fix the door sweep and make sure it is fitted properly without hindering the door from opening and closing.
  5. Lastly, ensure that the screws are tightened to the holes.

Apply Paint

This is probably the oldest trick of waterproofing for wooden doors. Painting your door not only keeps it waterproof, it also prevents it from becoming damp. A damp door will rotten in no time, however painting it can keep it looking nice for years. Below are some steps to painting our door;

  1. Firstly, you should detach the parts of the door like the handles and knockers.
  2. Add 240 grit of sandpaper to the former paint, and wipe with spirit to clean off dust.
  3. Apply paint using a paint primer.
  4. Let the primer dry for about 4 hours.
  5. Then, apply your paint.
  6. Let the first paint coat dry for 4 hours before the second paint coat.
  7. Attach the door parts after 4 hours to allow the second paint coat dry.

Fix a weatherstripping

One of the most effective ways to waterproof your exterior door is to block the gaps between the door and the door frame. Weatherstripping is the surest way to fix the gaps around the edges of the exterior door and keep rainwater from getting through. Invest in an adhesive weatherstripping and follow the steps below to install it;

  1. Remove the first 10cm of the stripping
  2. Fix 10cm in the space at the bottom of your door. It should be pressed at the part where the door can be closed against it.
  3. Fix the stripping from the bottom up to the doorframe.
  4. Cut off with a scissors at the top of the frame.
  5. Go through this process again untill the strip is pressed across the top and bottom part of the frame.
  6. Finally, close the door against it and leave it closed for a while to ensure the strip is locked in place.

Use Caulk

Caulking door frames is quite common especially at the time of fixing them to keep them dry. As time goes on, the caulk begins to break due to exposure to the different weather conditions. If you’re planning to fix a new caulk, choose a day with less humidity and moderate temperature. Below are some of the steps to fix caulk to your door.

  1. Remove the old caulk using a knife.
  2. Clean off any dirt.
  3. Repair any damage before caulking.
  4. Insert the caulk in its gun and cut it off at the end.
  5. Start applying the caulk from the door frame bottom to the top.
  6. Smoothen it with a rag to get rid of useless caulk.
  7. Apply this procedure on every side until the frame is totally caulked.
  8. Let the caulk dry for a day.

Caulk the Door Windows

Some exterior doors are fitted with small windows for ventilation. However, the seal surrounding the window may break and lets in water into the home. This will inevitably cause wooden doors to become damp and rot. As such you may have to caulk the door windows as well. Follow the steps below to caulk your door windows:

  1. Choose a day with good weather conditions that is likely to persist for 24 hours. A day with less humidity and a temperature of 8°c/46°F is the perfect condition for the caulk to dry properly.
  2. Remove the old caulk with a knife. Ensure that the old caulk is scraped totally. You may add alcohol to make it easier to peel off.
  3. Get rid of any dirt before installing the new caulk.
  4. Fix the caulk in its gun and cut it off at the end.
  5. Apply the caulk from the window corner until it is fully caulked at the bottom.
  6. Smoothen the caulk with a rag.
  7. Apply this process on the window sides till it is fully caulked.

How to Maintain your Exterior Doors

Regular Cleaning

The exterior door must be cleaned two times in a year with a damp cloth, soap and warm water. Use cleaning solutions that are not abrasive to avoid damaging the door material. This will extend the durability of your door.

Check out the Finish

Take time to inspect your door surface. A door with old finish will look dull. Once you notice this, you should clean the surface, apply sand to the old coat and renew it.

Check out the Caulk joints

Caulks tend to become less effective with time and cause damage to the exterior door. Once you begin to notice any crack in the door caulk, then it’s time to remove the old caulk and replace it with a new caulk.


Exterior Doors are prone to damage due to their exposure to extreme weather conditions. However, proper protection and maintenance can help you to prolong the longevity of your door. For best results, apply all the protective measures mentioned above.

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