A How To Guide On Replacing Weatherstripping On An Aluminum Storefront DoorAluminum storefront doors are all around us. In fact, they are the front entrance door type to almost every retail store or commercial building in America. As a front entrance door, the storefront door needs the proper weatherstripping in order to insulate the building from the outside weather. In this article, we explain how to replace the pile weatherstripping on any commercial storefront door.
Step 1: Identify The WeatherstrippingPile weatherstripping is a type of door seal used on most storefront doors. It is constructed from plastic polypyrene type base with thin brush hair. The plastic base of the weatherstripping is designed to slide into a small channel on the lock stile and hinge stile of the door. The weatherstripping is often staked into the door, meaning the installer uses a screw driver and a hammer to indent the top and bottom portion of the channel to prevent the weatherstripping from sliding out of the door. Sometimes, installers do not stake the weatherstripping properly. You may have seen this before. When this happens the weatherstripping will be sliding out from the bottom of the door, or from the top of the door.
Step 2: Carefully Measure The Existing Pile WeatherstrippingWe need to measure the pile weatherstripping used in your storefront door. To do this, you will need to slide out part of the pile weatherstripping from your storefront door. Depending on where the installer staked the weatherstripping channel, you will have to run your finger down the aluminum channel of the storefront door and feel for where it has been dented in. Once identified, you can use a flat head screw driver to bend the channel back to it's original form, freeing the pile weatherstripping. Then carefully slide out some of the pile weatherstripping.
Measure Backing WidthUsing a ruler or tape measure carefully measure the backing width of the weatherstripping. This is the width of the plastic base portion of the weatherstripping. This is the most important measurement. You want to match the same backing width for the new pile weatherstripping so that it will slide into the channel. Most storefront door manufacturers use a fairly wide channel. The existing weatherstripping often slides into the channel with room to spare. Keep this in mind when ordering the new pile weatherstripping. Also, remember all storefront door manufacturers use different sized pile weatherstripping. They also change the weatherstripping used over time. As an example a pile weatherstripping used on a Kawneer storefront door from 1985 could be different than the pile weatherstripping used on a Kawneer storefront door manufactured in 2018.
Measure The Pile HeightTo measure the pile height, measure from the base of the pile weatherstripping to the top of the brush pile. Keep in mind, most storefront doors use 1/4" tall brush pile.
Step 3: Order Proper Pile WeatherstrippingNext you will need to order the proper pile weatherstripping. We recommend Tahoma storefront door weatherstripping since it is designed for use on commercial storefront doors. Simply choose the pile weatherstripping with the backing width and pile height you previously measured. If you do not find your exact size, don't worry. As mentioned before storefront door manufacturers are constantly changing the door weatherstripping used.
I Can't Find My Backing Width NeededIf you cannot find the exact backing width in the Tahoma product, go to your storefront door and measure the channel that the existing pile weatherstripping slides into. Simply order the closest Tahoma pile weatherstripping with a base width that will be able to slide into the weatherstripping channel. If your channel width is very large, you may need to purchase adhesive pile weatherstripping. Adhesive pile weatherstripping typically has a wider base. The difference is the bottom of the base material is adhesive. It comes with a filament that covers the adhesive, and must be removed if you wish for it to stick to a surface. You can simply purchase the proper base width adhesive pile weatherstripping and do not remove the filament of the adhesive. Instead simply slide in the new pile weatherstripping directly into the weatherstripping channel.
Another alternative, is if the adhesive type pile weatherstripping cannot slide into the aluminum door channel, you can remove the filament so on the backing width so that the adhesive is exposed. Then you can stick the adhesive pile weatherstripping directly to the surface of the door stile, rather than the channel. If you choose to do this, be sure to clean the surface of the door where you plan to stick the adhesive pile weatherstripping to.
I Can't Find My Pile Height NeededTahoma manufactures standard height pile weatherstripping. Your door may have a custom height pile weatherstripping. If this is the case, then sourcing your custom height pile weatherstripping will be extremely difficult. Building owners who are unable to source the pile weatherstripping will often turn to the Tahoma door frame brush weatherstripping kit instead. With the Tahoma door frame weatherstripping kit, long brush weatherstripping is surface mounted to the inside portion of the perimeter of the door frame providing the best seal between the door and frame. The Tahoma door frame weatherstripping kit is a much better door seal product than pile weatherstripping because it can seal very large gaps and provides a much firmer door seal.
Step 4: Install Pile WeatherstrippingCarefully remove all existing pile weatherstripping. Be sure you have looked for all parts of the channel that were staked and you have returned them back to normal form, so the pile weatherstripping backing will be able to slide in or out of the channel easily. Once all existing pile weatherstripping has been removed, slide in the new pile weatherstripping. Using a pair of scissors, carefully cut the pile weatherstripping to the proper length so that if fits the entire height of the door. Then use a screw driver and hammer to punch or stake the weatherstripping at the bottom and top of the door stile. Check that the pile weatherstripping cannot slide out.
Weatherstripping ConsiderationsUnfortunately, pile weatherstripping does not offer the best door seal. The brush pile is made of very thin brush hair and compresses very easy. If your door is very old, you can find portions of the pile weatherstripping that is matted down flat, or may have brush hair completely missing. Pile weatherstripping comes standard on storefront doors because it is very inexpensive. However, the seal it actually provides is really not very good. If you are just replacing pile weatherstripping to improve the look of your storefront door, then great! However, if you are replacing the pile weatherstripping to improve your door seal, then you really should consider the Tahoma storefront door frame weatherstripping kit, as it is a much better weatherseal product then pile weatherstripping.
ConclusionStorefront door pile weatherstripping can easily be replaced with Tahoma brand pile weatherstripping. Shop today and receive FAST, FREE shipping!
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