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Sarah's adventures in blocking out light

Discussion in 'Home adaptations, mobility and personal care' started by Sarah94, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This didn't used to be an issue, but I've been noticing recently more & more that there's light coming in at the top of my bedroom door and at one side. (I need to have my bedroom in total blackout). I think maybe as time has gone by, the door has become less snugly fitting in the frame? Like, there used to always be a *bit* of light coming through, but it seems to have gotten greater.

    What can we do to block this light out? Obviously we need to still be able to open and close the door.

    The side of the door that's the problem is... um I don't know how to describe it... the side which doesn't have the hinges on. And the top of the door.
     
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  2. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Assuming you wish to be able to open the door at some point ;)

    Wouldn't draft excluder strips also block out the majority of the light? Or hang a door curtain on either/both sides of the door?
     
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  3. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've been hearing about adhesive foam strips which are used to block draughts (or drafts?), but I don't understand how these work. How do they not stop the door from opening and closing?
     
  4. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Many years ago I adapted my bedroom so it could be quickly converted into a photography dark room. The foam draft excluder worked every well for gaps where they were not too large.

    It is self-adhesive on one side, and the idea is that you place it so that as the door closes it will compress the foam strip, not "scrape" across it. So on the part of the frame where the hinges are for instance, place the strip on the same bit of wood as the hinges, but on the opposite edge, where the trim strip is. As the door closes it will then butt onto the strip and compress it. Use the same logic for where to do the other edges, so the foam strip gets compressed. You will find that near the hinges it will mostly compress, but be subject to the door scraping across is a bit also, but it usually works OK.

    This assumes your door frames have trim strips that the door closes onto; I think they all must have else would not close properly. In which case what I'm saying should work. The foam I'm thinking of typically is very soft and compresses a lot. You don't have to fill the gap you see the light in, just somewhere in the light path it is getting though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
  5. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Because they fill the gaps between the door and the frame. I use them on my front door which is an old wooden door and ill-fitting. They're only about 5 mm thick.
     
  6. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks Barry. Please could you help me select a good product? I've had a look on Amazon and I don't know which would be the best one to pick.

    https://smile.amazon.co.uk/s?k=foam+draft+excluder&ref=nb_sb_noss

    Also, how do I figure out what size I need?

    My brain fog is making this quite confusing - I'm not very spatially-minded even at the best of times!
     
  7. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I was already on the case :).

    The stuff I remember using was made by Sellotape, but that was back in the mid '70s, so not too surprising things have changed a bit. So I can't be certain, and I can only offer you my best "guesstimate". So far as I can see these are similar to what I recall:

    , which is 7mm wide and 4mm thick.

    , which is 8mm wide and 6mm thick.

    They are not too wide, which is good because you can put it onto the trim strip easier if need be - the trim strips themselves are narrow. And unless the gaps are really big then 4mm is probably OK, but else go for the 6mm if necessary.

    The foam on these also looks very low density and therefore very compressible, if you look at it close up.

    Is what I would do.
     

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  8. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As a quick fix, if you have a big fleece throw or even a fairly thin old towel, chuck that over the door before shutting it. It'll reduce the amount of light bleeding through by quite a bit. I do this every night with one of the old throws I used to put over the bed for my cat to sleep on, and I find it enough.

    I chuck another over the curtain rail on one side of the window, where my neighbour's security light comes through the side of the curtain if my pesky cat activates it by jumping over the fence! I'm quite tall, so it's fairly easy for me to do this at night as part of my routine – I realise it's not quite so quick and easy for shorter people, though.
     
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  9. Creekside

    Creekside Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You could tape (or otherwise attach) strips of light-blocking material to the outside edges of the door, extending past the opening. I think that would be way more convenient than a whole sheet of fabric. Probably easier than the foam strips too. If you care about how it looks, you could be artistic. If a simple experiment proves successful, you could replace it with more durable material, maybe held on by strips of wood moulding to make it long-lasting and professional-looking.
     
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  10. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I was going to advise more or less what Creekside has already said. (Comes from being at uni and not wanting a certain person to be able to tell whether I was in my room or not!)

    An alternative "draught excluder" would be the stuff that's sold in a reel, but is actually bent in two lengthwise, so that it has a V-shaped profile. Provided you fit it in the right direction, it will get compressed as the door closes, and then should expand outwards again once the door's closed. It's a useful idea where there's not enough of a gap for a 0.5 cm foam strip.
     
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  11. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Envirograf do fire and acoustic products.

    One of their acoustic seals is basically a brush on an angle which may master any gaps ( depends on width). Bonus is it deadens sound .

    The batwing seal is a retrofit to doors - it can make doors more difficult to close but would address gap at source ..you fit it yo the frame.

    https://envirograf.com/product-category/acoustic-draught-and-weather-seals/
     
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  12. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks Barry.
     
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  13. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The foam draft excluders arrived. Mum said she had to talk to Dad before putting them up. Apparently Dad isn't keen on the idea and is "pondering" whether to permit it or not.

    I'm pretty pissed off that he gets to choose whether or not to allow something that I need for my wellbeing.

    (It's presumably because he thinks it won't look aesthetically nice - that's the reason he refused to get a stairlift when I asked for one!!! I've given up on that idea now, though - I can tolerate occasionally walking up and down stairs if I need to, and don't want to generally spend time downstairs anyway, due to light.)

    Mum said I need to explain to him "why the bit of light bothers you so much" because apparently he doesn't understand (pshht, he should understand about ME light sensitivity by now, I've been severe and living with him for 3 years, there is no excuse).

    So, I've sent him this email:
    And I'm pissed off that I had to exhaust myself writing that email, rather than him just believing me that I need it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
  14. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, I think I'd have been equally annoyed.

    If he really objects to the appearance, the other potential solution is a door curtain on your side of the door. These work really well if the curtain is made of thick fabric with plenty of gathering, and is hung from a close-fitting rail (not a pole) that's long enough to overlap both vertical sides of the door by several inches. A heavy door curtain also has the advantage of dampening sound, and shutting out draughts in cold weather.

    You do have to draw it once the door has closed, though. It's not such an issue after you've opened the door yourself to go to the loo or whatever, but if someone has come in to bring you something, it means you have to get up after they've gone. I'm not severely ill, so they've always been fine for me, but they don't suit everyone.
     
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  15. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    What colour is the door and frame? Once the door is closed it is barely visible if fitted how I said (can help more with that if need be).
     
  16. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Use a portiere rod. It ' s a hinged curtain pole that moves with the door . Number of options available and you can get them made . Not cheap but they do work .
    https://www.curtainpole.co.uk/portiere-rods/
     
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  17. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Surely installing a curtain rail would be a more invasive alteration for the house
     
  18. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    White/cream
     
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  19. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    He hasn't responded to my email yet
     
  20. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe telling him about that option as well will persuade him towards the stick on stuff as low impact??
     
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