Whether you are living in a colder area or quite a warmer one, drafty windows and doors always increase your heating bill. You may not realize it, but it may affect around 20 percent of your total consumption cost. If you have already installed the insulated doors, then also there’s another type of door that can contribute to heat loss, which is your pet door. Most flappers that are used as dog doors are made from heavy plastic. They scored around the edges.
The top edge of these flaps is attached to the entrance’s bottom so that the pet can pass the door effortlessly. The bottom of the flap is gripped by a strip of metal that is able to attract the flap’s other side so that the door kept closed. Sometimes, such flaps get cracks or a thin line where the frame meets the plastic. There can also be some bending or warping of the metal strip at the bottom, which eventually leads to dog door windbreak. Let’s discuss how to block the wind coming from the dog door.
How to Winterize Dog Door
Step 1: Check the Flap and Contact Points
It may become difficult to see the small tears because of the dust or caked mud. So firstly, clean your dog door thoroughly to find the cracks or other breakages. Clean it with the warm, soapy water and wipe it using a microfibre cloth or soft paper towels. You can also use newspapers to remove any soap residue. After the cleaning, let it dry for some time before starting the actual process of winterizing.
Step 2: Identify Your Needs and Decide
Once you clean the flap, it will become easy to observe the material. Your dog door should not have abnormal scratches or damaged areas. If your flap is located in a specific windy direction where it is so common to have debris blowing against the flap, then that may cause tiny tears. You have to observe and understand your needs. Sometimes, repairing very old doors make no sense. You have to replace them. There are many dog door designs available, which are high-tech and also look good.
Step 3: Find the Leaks and Know About the Problem
To detect the leaks, start running your fingers on flaps, edges of the dog door, as well as your sliding door. Try to feel the coming wind on your fingers, and when you feel a draft or change in air temperature on some point, mark that spot. Another way of doing the air test is to light a candle and move it along the frame. Those spots where the flame flickers or changes the direction are the ones where the damages are!
Step 4: Remove the Flap and Fill the Gaps
When you know the problematic spots, remove the flap and place it on a flat surface. Keep it on a table or floor and remove the metal strips from the flap. To remove the metal strips, you can either ease up both the sides or slide the metal off. If the metal strip is bent or warped, it is necessary to flatten the strip first. Fit them again, putting the right pressure. Use industrial tape so that the strips can be appropriately placed.
Step 5: Fill the Gaps Using Caulk
Caulking is a cost-effective and most convenient way to winterize a door, especially when there are some small gaps. So, use caulk to seal cracks between the frame and the glass. You can also use it to feel gaps in your sliding door attached to the dog door and its frame. A putty knife or any other thin blades can help you to push the caulk into the gaps. Once you are done with this process, you need to leave them intact for 24 to 36 hours. Make sure your dog doesn’t use this door as well.
Step 6: Replacement of Weather Stripping
It is necessary to keep an eye on weather stripping and replace it from time to time. Durability varies for each product, but it is a fact that the weather-stripping will not last forever. You have to keep replacing them if you find them frayed. If the striping has become too thin, then also you should change it as soon as possible. You can ask the sliding door experts which brands you can use, but I believe that any generic weather-stripping will be sufficient to insulate the dog door.
Step 7: Final Alignment and Testing
This final step is unavoidable. Even if you have done everything right and have repaired a windbreak dog door, you may lose the hot air from your house if you haven’t aligned the objects correctly. Verify that the edges and corners of all dog doors and make sure that they are straight and uniform. Don’t underestimate the alignments and take measurements before fixing the doors back. Also, do the candle test again to be sure that you have done everything right and covered all the loopholes.
If your dog door flap won’t stay closed and you keep facing the issues related to insulation of your house, read on how to make a doggie door flap at home. There are many homemade dog door ideas available online. This way, you can save many bucks and also create something on your own for your doggo! I hope this article has helped you to find ideas about wind block for the dog doors. Keep experimenting stuff and be self-sufficient to make your life easier.