Does your door stick a little whenever you close it? Or is it draughty during the windy or cold season? If so, your rubber seals may be damaged and need replacement. Neglecting this issue could lead to water leakage and other problems that might wind you up. But how should you replace a rubber seal?
In this article, we’re going to discuss how to replace rubber seals. It generally comes as one single piece so it can be a bit tricky but for £5 – £15 it’s very cost-effective. However, you might want to look through this post to see what’s what.
Assessment and Ordering of Replacement Seal
1. Remove a Small Portion of the Seal and Check the Shape
The shape of seals in uPVC doors vary depending on the design, so you need to check it by removing a small piece which is about 1–2 in (2.5–5.1 cm) in size and cut it using a pair of scissors. Then, inspect the shape whether it’s T-shaped, angled, round or has two parallel connecting slots because it must match your uPVC door’s frame. If the rubber seal is glued to your door, peel out a portion using a utility knife. Please do not remove the entire seal since it would result to draught.
2. Measure your Door and the Check the Thickness of the Seal
Rubber seals are only used in exterior doors, and most exterior doors measure 36 by 80 inches(91 by 203 cm). If your uPVC door is custom-made or has an irregular shape, then, you need to measure its height and width using a measuring tape.
3. Find a New Replacement Seal
The easiest way to find a new one is to contact your door’s manufacturer and ask for a rubber seal or gasket and detail out the dimension of your door and the shape of the seal.
If you have no contact with your door’s manufacturer, you may search for a rubber seal gasket for uPVC door online and see if the images match with your door’s seal.
- After measuring, add the width and the height, then multiply it by 2. For example, if a door measures 90 inches(230 cm) by 40 inches (100cm), you need a seal with a length of at least 260 inches (660 cm). You can buy a longer seal though since you can cut the excess with scissors.
Don’t forget to measure the thickness of the seal as well to help you determine how big the replacement has to be.
Removing the Old Rubber Seal
1. Keep the door open by placing a door stopper underneath.
You don’t need to remove your uPVC door to replace the rubber seal, but you do have to keep it open while working. Then, place a door stopper underneath to keep it from moving. If a door stopper is not available, you can opt with brick or any bulky items in your home.
2. Remove the Rubber Seal Out of the Frame
Most rubber seals are removable by hands, so pinch a part of the rubber seal between your fingers and draw it out gently out of the frame. If it doesn’t budge easily, keep on finding a weak point where the seal comes out. You can slowly get the seal out of the frame once you’ve peeled a small portion.
- If the seal is glued, loosen it by a knife blade. Slide it between a portion of the seal and the frame. You’d be able to pull it out this way since most adhesive seals are weak to help the seal in sliding around easily.
- If the seal still won’t budge, get a flathead screwdriver or a utility knife and press it into the seal at a 45-degree angle for it to slide into the frame. Pry it out until a portion is removed, then pull it by hand. Repeat the process in other section around the door frame if you can’t pull it out with your hands.
Now that you’ve removed the old seal let’s start installing the new ones.
Installing the New Rubber Seal
1. Slot the New Seal into the Frame of your uPVC Door
Take the end of the rubber seal and using your thumb, press it gently into the corresponding slot in the frame. It would be better if you’d start in the middle of the door where the door closes so that you can be more comfortable and have enough space. Then, after placing the seal, try pulling it out, and if it’s not moving, then, it’s appropriately slotted into the frame.
- If your seal has an adhesive at the back, don’t remove the adhesive backing all at once. Just peel 3-4 inches or 7.6-10.2 cm of the cover.
- Then, use one of your hands in guiding the seal to the slot while your other hand is pushing the seal into the frame of the uPVC door. If you’re struggling to slot it into the sharp angles and corners, use a flathead screwdriver to push the rubber seal.
- And if what you have is an adhesive seal, keep on removing the plastic of the adhesive seal while pressing it into the frame until you’re done fitting it around the door.
2. Cut the Excess Seal
Using a pair of scissors, cut the excess length off and fit the unfinished portion into the slot in the frame. For adhesive seals, cutting would be easier if you won’t remove the cover on the back. Rubber seals are flexible so don’t worry if there’s a piece overlapping at the end even if it should’ve fit perfectly. You might have stretched it out a bit, but it’s not a problem. If you run out of the seal and end up short, it won’t be a huge deal if it’d have a 0.25–1 in (0.64–2.54 cm) gap in the seal, since you can fill it with silicone caulk. However, bigger gaps may cause heavy draughts.
You can use the same process in replacing rubber seals of composite or wood doors which has a rubber seal on the frame.
Why are Rubber Seals Important?
Rubber seal or draught seal is a type of weather stripping and joinery seal that goes around the frame and leaf of your uPVC door. It helps to seal off two different surfaces(such as interior and exterior) and prevent water leakage and damage, corrosion, and weathering. It also provides an and airtight barrier which prevents the loss of air or heat. Thus, it plays a vital role in insulation and keeping it in a good state can contribute to better ventilation and prevent draughts.
However, the sun, weather and natural wear and tear can damage it. Paint can also damage it make it hard and brittle, so it can also damage the rubber seal. Furthermore, these chemicals can also harm your seal:
- Oil, greases, and gasoline
So, it’s critically important to avoid getting your seals in contact with those chemicals. Keeping it clean is also essential for you to enjoy a draught-free home.