How To Insulate A Door Frame

Door frames might be one of the last places you'd expect to find cold air drafts in your home. Stopping this from happening is why insulation was invented. However, insulating a door frame has its own set of challenges to make sure it's done correctly. That's why we have researched how to insulate a door frame so it can be easier for you!

The first thing you have to consider for properly insulating your door frames is which type of insulation is best for your needs. Typically, foam insulation is the top choice for this task. Here are the steps to take to use it on your door frames.

  1. Expose the door frame
  2. Spray the foam
  3. Give the foam time to fill the space
  4. Clean up the excess foam
  5. Check the foam and reinstall the trim

If insulating around your door isn't done properly, then you will still have to deal with the issues that you're trying to fix to some extent. To get the job done right the first time, you may want more details on the process. Make sure that you continue below, so there is no chance of your door frame drafts persisting!

Worker applying a spray foam to the gap between the door frame and concrete, How To Insulate A Door Frame

Properly Insulating Your Door Frame

Do you feel like you've done all of the weatherproofing possible in your home, and there is still air leaking from somewhere? If so, let's make sure that your door frames aren't the problem.

A woman putting a strip insulation on the door frame

How Do You Fill Gaps In A Door Frame?

There are many different forms of insulation that are typically used in a home. It comes in rolls, boards, and loose insulation that can be blown into spaces. But, most of these standard insulations don't work in a door frame due to space constraints.

Door frames are such a tight space that you need something easily placed in there but still get the job done. That's why expanding foam is usually the best insulation to pick for this job. Spraying your chosen kind of foam in the frame will fill up the gap!

Can You Use Expanding Foam Around A Door Frame?

A worker using a hamster to mount a door frame

The easy spray method of foam and its ability to fill spaces is why it's at the top of the list for door frames. It can easily be sprayed into the smallest of gaps. Then, it will expand and block any air from entering or exiting in that space! However, expanding foam isn't sensible for large spaces because of how much you would need.

1. Expose The Door Frame

The first step to installing the insulation is to get to the door frame. To do this, you'll need some sort of crowbar or prying tool. Use the tool to remove the trim around the door. Make sure to do this slowly and carefully so that the trim is not damaged in the process. Set the trim aside somewhere safe.

Click here to shop for pry bars on Amazon!

2. Spray The Foam

Now that the frame is exposed, you can inspect the gap that you're filling. The gap size can depend on many different factors, but it should be less than an inch wide. Depending on just how wide the gap is, you might want an expanding foam that's meant more for big jobs.

When you're set to start using the expanding foam, make sure to read the container's directions. Since this product has many different forms, they may not all be used the same way. Following these directions, spray the foam along the entire gap to make sure that it is all filled.

Look for expanding spray foam on Amazon!

3. Give The Foam Time To Fill The Space

Once the foam is sprayed into the space, it will need a little time to expand. This process is what allows it to seal off the gap completely, so no more air gets through. You should follow the manufactures instructions, but what at least 10 minutes the process to fully work.

4. Clean Up The Excess Foam

When the foam is done expanding, you may find that it spills out of the gap a lot. This excess foam might stop you from reinstalling the door trim properly. To fix this problem, simply take a knife, box cutter, or scraper and run it along the length of the door frame. Cut off as much of the extra foam as you can and dispose of it.

It might also be possible that you do not need to remove the excess foam if there isn't very much of it. It's up to you to decide if you feel it will hinder you from reinstalling the door's trim. If you choose not to cut off the excess and have trouble with the trim you can easily go back and cut the excess at that time!

Start shopping for scrapers here on Amazon!

5. Check The Foam And Reinstall The Trim

Before you replace the trim and clean up the area, you'll want to make sure the gap is filled. You can check for remaining airflow problems by simply feeling for drafts or using smoke from a candle or match. If you missed a spot, just restart the process with that spot.

After all of the gaps are sealed, and the excess foam is removed, you can return the door trim. Reinstall it exactly how it was when you removed it. Lastly, you just have to clean up and move on to the next door! Here's a visual of the process!

Why Is It Important To Stop Drafts?

It is a necessary process whether you're insulating a door frame or a window. When there are spaces in our homes where air can enter and escape, it lowers energy efficiency. Energy Star states that, on average, air sealing saves you 15% on heating and cooling costs!

At the end of that day, that means that it's costing you money and causing your heating and cooling appliances to work harder than otherwise necessary. That means not only are they costing you money by running more frequently, but they may break down faster.

What Are Other Ways To Fix A Drafty Door?

Worker using a soft mallet in mounting a door frame

If the draft comes from the bottom of the door or between the door and the door jam, then there are other ways to solve a draft. You don't want to use insulation for this situation because you most likely still want the door to be functional.

You can use weather stripping to fill gaps that are very small around the door. This just sticks onto the door jam. Many different kinds of products can be placed under the door to fill large gaps. Some products adhere to the door, and others fit onto the bottom of the door and are easily removed when needed!

Check out weather stripping seal on Amazon!

Start shopping for under-the-door draft stoppers on Amazon!

How Do You Winterize A Door Frame?

Using the method outlined above would be the most efficient way to winterize most door frames. However, every situation is different. If this is for an exterior door that you don't use, you could place winterizing plastic over the door. Doing this to the outside and the inside of the door wouldn't fix a draft, but it would cover it well for the winter.

It is also possible to use other forms of insulation than expanding foam in a door frame. The biggest problem with this is that it's hard to get other insulations to pack in there well enough to stop all of the air. It might be possible to do this, but it will end up costing you a lot more time and energy than if you just use the foam spray.

Wrapping It Up

Worker applying a spray foam to the gap between the door frame and concrete

Insulating your door frame is a great way to fix air leaking that can often be hard to locate. Using expanding foam is the best way to fill the tight gap found in many door frames. This can help you save money and make your home more energy-efficient. Just follow the directions on the foam's container and stay safe!

To learn more about making the doors in your home be energy efficient, click on the links below!

How To Insulate A Wooden Front Door—6 Methods For Improvement

Does Closing Bedroom Doors Save Energy?

How To Insulate Hollow Core Doors

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