“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know…”
…and lucky for me, I know A LOT of people! There are plenty of things that I don’t know but I can usually figure out who to call to get an answer. Lee Echols left a question on the Facebook Fan Page an embarrassingly long time ago (I didn’t realize it was there), and I asked a very knowledgeable hardware supplier/installer for some help in answering Lee’s question.
Question from Lee Echols: “I have been going over this with many people in the hardware industry and have not found an answer that completely satisfies me yet. On a pair of doors, what is the best way to install surface mounted door bottom sweeps along with surface mounted astragal seals and a saddle threshold??
If you square cut the items you are always left with some sort of open gap.
If you run the astragal seals the full height of the door and then butt the sweeps against them you are left with a gap under the astragal seals. If you run the sweeps all the way to the door edge and then butt the astragals on top of the sweeps, you are left with a gap between the door sweeps.
I have seen some hardware installers run the seals long (beyond the edge of the door) but this never lasts.
This problem can be resolved by using a panic type threshold with seal and not using the sweeps but I have 2 architects that will only approve a saddle threshold.
Any ideas or pointers will be greatly appreciated.”
Answer from Paul Goldense of Goldense Building Products: “Yes, this is a problem and there’s no way around it. If you have hollow metal doors there is a gap and it is always a problem with the customer.
We use the shortest sweeps possible and run them full width of the door. We then use brush astragal and run it down over the flange of the sweep and butt it to the brush holder part of the sweep. You see a gap at the center that’s the depth of the brush and brush holder.
Moral of the story – USE MULLIONS !
If you have wood doors you can recess the weatherstrip like NGP 144PA or 144SA and then run the sweeps full door width (picture attached of some mahogany doors we did like this). If you have hollow metal doors you will always have a complaint. All this is predicated on the fact that we ONLY use brush weather-strip. On occasion, silicone, but it is pretty rare for us to use it.
Regarding the threshold, I rarely see panic thresholds and don’t like them as you have to have your doors so low to the ground they get caught up on rock salt and ice and snow. You need a ½” high lip for the sweep to brush against. ¼” thresholds and panic thresholds do not create enough of a lip to seal the sweep to. In a perfect threshold install the ½” high edge is 1/8” in front of the pull side of the door and the sweep laps the front of the threshold.”
Paul also sent along a photo of a beautiful bank of mahogany doors on a church, where he used recessed weatherstrip at the meeting stiles of the pair. I recently saw a pair with recessed weatherstrip, and the only way to close the doors was to open both doors and close them at the same time. The door attendant at the performance center with this condition told me she thought they were supposed to be like that! I asked Paul about this and he said that he typically leaves 3/8″ clearance at the meeting stiles, and uses spring-loaded recessed weatherstrip which can accommodate the door fluctuation. These doors have been in place since 2006 and they’re still working well:
Here are the entrance doors that I saw on the performance center:
Do you have a different way of handling weatherstrip for pairs?
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First I want to thank Lori for posting this question. I am always interested in other ideas when it comes to this field of work I have chosen. Paul, I like the idea and will give it a shot. In my research I actually found a product by “Sealeze” called the “astrasweep” (see link below) which is a 1 piece “L” shaped brush gasket system. I have not ordered any yet. I am concerned how it will ship and how much of a pain it will be to install.
You’re welcome, Lee! I think this site could be a great way to pull together the expertise that exists in our industry, and once a question is addressed here it stays here so we can refer back to it later on.
You might find some answers to astragal seals on page 4 of my web site. For door bottoms take a look at pages 8, 9, 10.
I have several newer products for astragals if you wold like to discuss this further.
Bob Rissone, President , DHSI