Your front door is often the first impression people have of your home. It adds character, keeps out the elements and acts as a secure barrier for you and your family. But they don’t last forever, and at some stage will need to be replaced. The question is though: When?
When it warps
Changes in climate can cause a door to warp or bow, particularly if it’s made of wood, which often results in the door sticking. Things to look out for are:
- Cracking or splitting of the wood, which is a sign that the door might no longer be structurally secure.
- An increase in the gap between the door and the frame, often identified by a constant draught.
- Parts of the door getting damp or starting to rot, meaning the wood is becoming weak.
- Distortion or bends in the wood which make the door stick or not close properly.
When it rusts
Metal doors are not without their problems and like anything made out of the material, rust normally signals the end of the line. Look out for the following:
- Hinges and screws becoming loose. If they are squeaking they might need lubricating, although that will only be a temporary fix to the problem.
- Cracks in the paint. This is where water is able to get in and cause corrosion making the door weaker.
- Blemishes on the door, again an effect of water, and at the same time will make the front door less appealing.
When security becomes an issue
Making sure your front door locks properly is paramount for home security, and when this simple task becomes compromised, action needs to be taken. Check for the following signs:
- It becomes increasingly difficult to open your door with a key. This could mean the lock or barrell could be rusted and worn. This can also be the sign of a warped door.
- The front door doesn’t lock at all, meaning the lock is out of alignment with the strike plate (the bit on the door frame that the bolt goes into).
- The door locks but can be pulled open, a probable issue with the door latch.
- The key becomes stuck in the lock or its hard to pull the key out first time. It may be tempting to use something like WD-40 here, but often this exasperates the problem in the long-term.
- Your locking technology is outdated. A door that is recognised as Secured by Design (a Police-backed initiative) will also provide much greater security to prevent forced break-in. Quality modern composite doors have multi-point locking too, resulting in much more robust protection.
When it’s costing you money
No matter what the material, front doors will battle the seasons all year round, keeping your house warm in winter and cool in summer. But as your door reaches the end of its life-cycle, you’ll start to notice the following deteriorations that not only affect your home and security, but also your wallet:
- Rising energy bills are a sign that the door is not as energy-efficient as it used to be. A constant draught is a sure-fire way to know that something is wrong.
- Does the door still fit the sill? Over time a house can settle and cause the frame and door itself to become out of alignment, causing gaps that let the elements in.
- Weather stripping is the seal that runs around the door edges. If this has become worn chances are it’s the cause of the draught and will be letting the heat out or cold air in.
If your door is suffering from any of the above problems and you’re considering upgrading to a new front door, then the online Yale Door design tool is a great place to start, allowing you to create your perfect door in just four simple steps as well as giving you a host of information on the benefits of composite front doors.
Try it now by clicking here, with no obligation to buy.