Reasons for and Against Storm Doors
I’ve had the storm door conversation several times recently. It’s a common discussion I’ve had many times. I always ask the why question, when customers are considering the installation of storm doors. Most people assume that having a storm door is just a given…I mean shouldn’t everybody have a storm door?
Historically storm doors were installed like storm windows. Both were an effective added layer of protection for old drafty doors and single pane windows. With the changes that have been made to doors, windows, weather stripping, sealants and finishes the need for storm doors or windows has become somewhat of a moot point.
Start by asking WHY before blindly moving forward and installing a storm door.
Why do I want/need a storm door? Is it for protection against the elements, visibility, ventilation, security, appearance or do I just want one.
Protection against the elements – If you have an older draftier entry door, then a storm door can be simple way to get an added layer of protection against the rain, snow and wind.
- Visibility – If you like opening the entry door to see outside. There are a variety of storm door styles, full view, ¾ and ½ glass that allow you to see out and get natural light in.
- Ventilation – If you like opening the entry door to get fresh air in without bugs. Here again there are different ways to get storm doors for this purpose. Some the glass and screen are exchanged. One common style has a half screen and one pane of glass slides up and down. A newer style has a screen that rolls up out of the way until you slide the glass.
- Security – It adds an additional layer that someone would have to get past to get in. Keep in mind that storm doors are not designed as a security system.
- Appearance – There are some storm doors that offer decorative glass that can enhance the way the house looks.
- Wind catchers – Storm doors are notorious for being caught by the wind and getting sprung or twisted and the closers being bent and/or pulled out of the jamb.
- Adjustment – Storm doors are difficult to get adjusted from the beginning. When the entry door is shut and the storm door closes and latches properly then the storm door will slam when the entry door is open. If the storm door is adjusted to shut and catch when the entry door is closed, then the storm door won’t latch when the entry door is closed. This is caused by the building up of air pressure between the two doors.
- Inconvenient – Opening a storm door and holding it while opening the entry door when carrying things can be difficult.
- Damaging the finish of the entry door – This seems contradictory to protection against the elements. When the entry door is located where there is exposure to direct sunlight (especially the east and west sides) the glass in the storm door works like as magnifying glass and can cook the finish of the entry door. This is especially true with stained fiberglass doors.
Things usually start out being done for a specific reason and over time that reason gets lost in the normalcy of whatever that thing is. Installing a storm door without thinking through the reasons for and against is one of those things.
So, how do I know if I need a storm door? Ultimately this is a question only you can answer, but I hope this week’s solution helps.
If you have questions about storm doors or other construction projects that you would like answered, contact us in the comment section below.