Q: We have replaced the door bottom on our front door twice, but a large amount of cold air is still coming in. The original door bottom was the snap-on type, but we avoided getting that type again because it was such a chore to remove the front door from the hinges and put it back on. Any suggestions on what else we can do?
South Riding, Va.
A: Sometimes when a draft seems to be coming from the bottom of a door, the air is actually seeping in only at the bottom corners, through the small gaps between the sweep and the weatherstripping on both sides of the door frame. You can plug these gaps with small squares of foam, which are sold alongside weatherstripping materials at home centers and hardware stores. Home Depot carries the Frost King version, called Door Corner Guards for Inswing Entry Doors. Sold four to a pack for $3, they come with an adhesive backing. Or you can make your own corner draft-stoppers by nailing squares of felt approximately 2 inches tall by 1¾ inches wide to the bottom of each side of the door frame, in line with where the door is when it is closed.
If the drafts persist, perhaps you need to adjust the door sweep itself slightly downward. Door sweeps typically have elongated holes for screws, which allows room for some adjustment. Loosen all the screws, tap the top edge of the door sweep down so the sweep touches the threshold under the door, then re-tighten the fasteners.
If that doesn’t work, you might need to buy a new sweep. Be sure to measure the gap between the bottom of the door and the top of the threshold, and buy a style designed to plug a gap at least that tall.
Q: We have a beautiful wool rug in our bedroom. Unfortunately, the woven edging on part of the rug has been torn off. Should I try to even it off with a good pair of sewing scissors and then use Fray Check to prevent it from fraying again? Can you suggest a rug repair firm in the Washington or Baltimore area that I could take the rug to for repairs?
A: Two companies in the Washington area that repair wool carpets are Ayoub Carpet Service in Chantilly (703-255-6000; rugcare.com) and Hadeed Rug Cleaning in Springfield (703-836-1111; joehadeed.com). Both companies require that you have them wash the rug before they tackle repairs. It’s the only way to guarantee that carpet moth larvae and eggs on one customer’s rug don’t spread to rugs brought in by other customers.
Imad Danfora, a quality-control inspector at Hadeed, looked at the picture you sent and said new edging is what you need. “It’s what keeps the rug together,” he said. Also known as binding or serging, this edging needs to be done by hand on handmade wool rugs such as yours. For a rug 8 feet wide and 10 feet long, replacing edging on one of the long sides would cost $300. It would be double that if the edging on both sides needs repair, as is often the case, Danfora said.
On machine-made rugs, it’s possible to machine-stitch new edging, which brings the cost down by nearly half. For one 10-foot-long side, it would cost $175; for two sides, $350. Machine edging isn’t an option for handmade rugs, Danfora said. “They are too thick to fit in the machine.” Plus, machine edging would look wrong and would lower the value of the rug.
Cleaning an 8-by-10 handmade wool rug would cost $363, said Chantel Roberts, a customer service representative at Hadeed. Cleaning a machine-made rug is slightly less time-consuming, so the price is a little less, $315. Hadeed often offers coupons on its website. A coupon posted there now, good through the end of February, cuts the cleaning cost by 20 percent.