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Seal doors - tips against noise, smell and drafts

  • preparation
  • Align door leaf
  • Tips against noise
  • Draft and smell tips

Do you live in a terraced or multi-family house, an apartment complex or a shared flat ">

Doors are part of today's standard of living, provide security and privacy and effectively protect against the weather. Nevertheless, many complain about a nasty smell, noise in the corridor or cold drafts in winter, as the door is not completely sealed and thus disturbs again and again. But there are a variety of methods on how to seal doors by themselves and thus make your own four walls back to the oasis of well-being. For some of the solutions you do not even have to pay a lot of money. However, it should be noted that not all of the tips can be used simultaneously against a smell, noise and drafts.


An important point before sealing the doors is the localization of the problem. If you already know which door is to blame, you should inspect it to find out exactly where the smell or drafts enter the living spaces. This will tell you, for example, if the door is very high and therefore the gap under the door is larger than actually necessary. Or maybe the seal is broken and that's why the cigarette smell from outside gets in. You can check where the location that you want to seal is by following these steps:

  • Look at all the sides of the door and look for large gaps to the floor, ceiling or the door frame
  • open the door and hand-tighten the gaskets to see if they are damaged
  • shake the door; sometimes they are a bit hanging, which leads to gaps
  • if there are no obvious spots, do the candle test
  • light a candle and open a window
  • Now drive with the candle along the frame and pay attention to the flame
  • If it flickers strongly in one place, it will leak
  • Do not forget to also check the locks
  • Beard locks are often leaking
  • the thickness of the door is also crucial
  • the thinner it is, the easier it is to penetrate the apartment

With these dots, you quickly realize why it is pulling or stinking into the apartment. Older doors are more often leaking than modern variants. They often consist of thin door leaves, which are only slightly sealed, making them ideal for drafts and noise.

Tip: You should not be surprised if the door is leaky if it is visibly damaged. In this case, it should be replaced or repaired to remedy the defect quickly and easily.

Align door leaf

Before you try other ways to seal doors, be sure to realign the door leaf. Has this lowered over the years, it comes to the upper door frame to a leak, which can be solved by adjusting the door hinges. If you have adjustable hinges, you only need to readjust them using the respective screws. If your door is too old, you must unhook it and place appropriate washers on it. This allows you to reduce the distance to the upper door frame and seal the doors. Ideally, this step is enough to solve many problems. If not, then suitable methods for the individual problems follow in order to be able to finally relax in their own living rooms.

Tips against noise

When sealing doors, the noise problem turns out to be one of the most difficult, as it is particularly dependent on the material and the thickness of the door. Even a perfectly sealed door does not have to be insulated against sound, using the following methods:

1. Foam: a classic component of Recording Studios are panels made of different types of foam, such as composite foam or soft polyurethane foam. These are attached to and around the door and, because of their nature, do not direct sound in and out. Just a few inches thick enough here to achieve great results. Depending on the type of foam and the thickness, the prices for plates measuring 100 cm x 50 cm start at five euros and are already sufficient for numerous door sizes. The market for foam panels for soundproofing is large and for this reason there are many colors, thicknesses and sizes that can even be integrated into the ambience.

2. Carpet: Alternatively you can hang a thick carpet on the door. The fabric has a similar effect as the foam panels, but hanging is more difficult. However, this only needs to be attached to the top two corners as it can simply hang down. If there is a small gap to the door, even more sound can be trapped as it is better broken.

3. Curtain: The curtain works the same as the carpet, is easier to hang, but not quite as effective. You should choose a heavier, thicker curtain here, as it absorbs more sound better. These can be attached to the wall via a curtain rod directly above the door, thus eliminating the noise.

Draft and smell tips

Drafts and bad smells always go hand in hand as the air carries the smell to you in the apartment. For this reason, you can use the same tips for sealing the doors. Another advantage: noise is also counteracted by these methods. Put one of the following tips:

1. Brush seals: Brush seals have become increasingly popular in recent years, due to their ease of installation and great effect. These are aluminum profiles that attach to the bottom of the door and have a brush that sits directly on the floor. This seals the open gap and is not in the way of opening or closing. The prices vary between 15 to 40 euros, depending on length and quality. They even work very well against odors.

2. Foam double seals: Double foam seals are used for smooth floors. This seal is a piece of foam that is thickened at both ends and simply closes around the bottom edge of the door. No adhesives are needed. The necessary dimensions for the door must be:

  • Door gap: maximum height of 2 cm
  • maximum width: 1 m
  • maximum thickness: 4.5 cm

If the door has been provided with the gasket, it only has to be cut off and then it works perfectly when sealing doors. The cost is about 10 euros for a meter.

3. Rubber sealing strips: Sealing strips made of rubber are provided with a self-adhesive and only have to be adapted to the frame rebate in the dimensions. Once these have been cut, they need only be glued to the frame rebate to seal the doors. They are quite cheap with 3 to 5 euros for five meters.

4. Draft stopper: the draft stopper is probably the classic with which you can seal doors. These are a long cylinder of fabric that is filled with cotton wool or other insulating fillings and simply placed in front of the door gap. They are often offered in the form of animals. An absolute highlight is the possibility to sew yourself a draft stopper. For this you simply take a web of fabric that is at least as long as the door is wide and sew from this one cylinder, which is subsequently filled. Alternatively there are draft stops made of rubber. Depending on the type and material of the stopper, the prices vary greatly.

5. Seal the beard lock: You can easily close beard locks to effectively seal your doors. If you never lock this door, you can remove the key, stow it away safely and stick unobtrusive adhesive tape on both sides of the openings. As a result, neither odors nor drafts can get through the keyhole. If you're using the beard lock, put a small ball of paper, cotton, or cork on the side where the key is not sticking out. They can be removed again if necessary and they effectively stop drafts.

6. Sealing tapes: Sealing tapes can be used on all door sides as they are simply glued to the edge like an adhesive tape and overlap, which allows the insulating effect. These cost about 10 euros, are super easy to use, but unfortunately have not the most effective effect.

Tip: there are products from companies such as ecolock that produce special pressure fittings that effectively work against smoke and odors. These are offered as a mounting kit for about 40 euros and work particularly well against any smell that tries to penetrate your living spaces.

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