Many people have exterior door issues of some sort in their homes. Often the home is no older than five years old. Other times the home still has the original door from thirty years ago. A door is used much more often than most windows, which is why they are usually more problematic.

Door Issues in the Cold Winter Months

Here are some of the issues that you may encounter with your exterior doors.

The door doesn’t seal well and lets cold air into your home.First check to see if the weather-stripping is in good condition (i.e. is not damaged and has the correct 45 degree corners that overlap). If the weather-stripping is okay but you can feel wind or see light anywhere coming through when the door is securely latched, a strike plate may have to be adjusted. In newer homes the exterior doors may have adjustable strike plates making this an easy and quick adjustment.  Usually there are two or three screws in the strike plate that when loosened will allow the plate to be shifted towards the exterior, making the hole a bit smaller so that the striker from the lockset will hold the door tighter to the frame (and weather-stripping) hopefully closing all the light or air gaps that were there before and giving you a proper seal. A dustblock in the bottom corners of the frame also aid in making a proper seal.

The door is difficult to close and sometimes pops open by itself.  First check to see if the gap between the edge of the door and the frame by the strike plate is correct. It should be no more than one quarter of an inch (1/4”).  If it is more than that, the striker has a difficult time holding onto the strike plate and puts undue pressure on the mechanism.  The solution is to take the casing (moulding) off the operating side, take out any long screws holding the doorset and the deadbolt strike plates, inserting a flatbar between the door jamb and the wall stud forcing the jamb closer to the edge of the door to a gap of approximately 3/16 and while holding it there placing shims (preferably plastic) between the jamb and the wall stud and replacing the screws in the strike plates. All too often, people put longer screws through the strike plates for security reasons but forget to check if there are shims between the jamb and the wall stud. With no shims installed, the jamb pulls towards the wall stud and leaves too large a gap between the door jamb and the edge of the door.

To replace or repair, that is the question.  Call WinDoor Installations for an honest assessment of your door issues.