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I am a lodger in a large old house. My landlady, who is in her 60s, asked me to draft proof the rear door in the kitchen.

There is a large gap between the top of the panel of double glazing in the door and the door frame. Duct tape was used as a fix, but that’s peeling away. (See photo.)

Is there a simple method to fill in this gap that will last a few months?

Ideally, something that is non-destructive so it can be removed for when the door gets fixed properly, but rain and wind proof.

The draft from the kitchen goes though all of the lower floor, making the entire floor cold.

Thanks.

Gap between the pane of double-glazing and door frame. Looks like the pane slipped down from its original position.

Door from inside

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  • Surely, it should be the landlady making repairs? Regardless, a piece of wood of approximately the right dimensions, held in place with duct-tape should be fine for a couple of months.
    – SiHa
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 11:54
  • Thanks. It should be her doing repairs. But she can’t afford repairs as she’s in heavy debt due not working during COVID lockdowns and being ineligible for government financial support. Which is why she’s renting rooms. But it’s so cold, there’s no way someone will take the other room. Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 12:01
  • In your 2nd pic, it appears that there may be a screen door on the outside, am I seeing that correctly? If so, is the screen door in decent shape?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 13:12

2 Answers 2

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Large foam weatherstripping - typically sold for sealing windows with airconditioners in them, or just an appropriate-sized chunk of foam rubber stuffed in the gap, regardless of what it's sold as.

Alternatively, a chunk of wood slightly smaller than the gap and two sections of smaller-sized weatherstripping to seal it to the doorframe and window.

In both cases you're looking for somehting that compresses and friction-fits in place.

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I would suggest a plastic window insulation kit available for around $10 or so at your local big-box home improvement store. Probably also available at your local 800 pound gorilla general store.

It will have double sided tape to adhere to the door around the opening, then the plastic is stuck to the other side of the tape. A hair dryer is used to shrink the plastic until it's taught so you can see through it and that it doesn't flap in the breeze.

The tape probably won't stick very well to that bare, rough wood. At a minimum, you'll also want some sandpaper and some sort of a block to smooth down the wood around the pane so that there's a smooth surface for the tape to stick to. When the door is refurbished, that will need to be sanded anyway, so this is just a head start.

Depending on what's outside, you may consider adding a second layer to the outside of the door, as well. However, the plastic is rather thin and doesn't take well to physical abuse. People, packages, tree limbs, possibly even leaves blowing by, and the wind itself may be enough to tear the plastic or rip it off the wood. But, if you've got plastic left over from doing the inside, it won't hurt to put a layer outside.

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  • Thanks. I did consider the film, but there’s a door handle and a bolt lock where tape would have to be run. Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 13:08
  • @RichardCosgrove run the tape close to the window edge of the wood where the door handle is. Looks to be more than enough room there, the tape in the brands I've used is only about 1/4" (6mm) wide.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 13:10
  • That area is bevelled. At the bottom corner, there’s a some of the bevelled edge is missing and the frame is very uneven, so the tape wouldn’t apply smoothly. I’ve used that kind of film before and found if the surface the tape goes on isn’t flat, it leaves drafts. Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 13:15
  • Pick up a tub of wood filler while you're at the store... If this answer won't work for you, I won't be offended, just trying to throw out ideas.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 13:26

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