Your exterior doors aren’t just an aesthetic addition to your home’s visage, but a barrier between the interior of your home and the brutality of the elements without. An exterior door can act as a deterrent to would-be thieves or invaders as well, so when the door starts looking like it went through a wood chipper, it’s probably time to consider a new one. Here are five signs your exterior doors probably need to replace.
1. The Door Is Damaged
Ok, so your door doesn’t have to look that bad before you should consider replacing it. If your paint is peeling off and the wood is badly cracked beneath, the handle doesn’t sit right in the hole any longer, or the door simply has multiple drafts flowing right through its crevices, it’s probably time to replace it.
You’ll want to consider many factors when choosing a new door. The color of your new door is important, as it should accent the rest of your home’s exterior and be free of peeled paint or cracks. You’ll also want to consider security as well. Get a door with good locks and a solid core. Stay away from hollow core doors, as they’re not very solid and can be easily kicked or pried open. Wood core steel doors are a popular choice, and fiberglass doors won’t warp or shrink as wood does. They also offer flexibility and strength for a decent price.
2. Opening and Closing The Door Is A Workout
When you go to leave for work in the morning, opening your door shouldn’t be a workout. Most likely, your door has become warped from years of exposure to the elements. If it’s a struggle to open and close the door, you probably have drafts of cold air leaking in where the door has shrunk away from the frame. This occurs quite often with wooden doors, as wood responds to temperature changes and moisture more intensely than materials such as fiberglass.
Another reason your door isn’t opening right can be from sinking hinges. When the wood warps or shrinks, or is exposed to moisture, the screws holding the hinges in place (or the hinges themselves) can begin to loosen, causing the door to hang too low on its frame and drag on the floor. When the problem becomes such that you tightening the screws isn’t enough to solve it, you’ll want to find yourself a front door replacement.
Is your door rusted like an old junk car? Do the windows develop condensation between the panes? Or perhaps there’s a buildup of moisture on the wood itself, giving life to mold growths?
Moisture is one of the biggest problems a home can experience. Moisture causes wood rot, mold growths, water damage, and even structural integrity failure.
If your front door’s frame feels moist to the tough, you’re likely getting moisture from outside seeping its way through a crack in the door itself or even where the door has shrunk away from its frame.
When you have a buildup of mold, it can be a twofold problem; mold causes respiratory issues and sickness, and in large quantities can be lethal if the spores are inhaled. Mold on a door frame can spread anywhere there’s a food source, including behind the drywall where it can’t be seen. It also aids in the decay of organic material, causing structural issues and wood rot. An exterior door should be keeping moisture out, so if any of these symptoms are true for your door or frame, you’ll have to replace it.
4. The Winter Winds Flow Right Through It
If you’re sitting in your living room in the dead of winter sipping hot cocoa, and a sudden gust comes hurtling through the house from your front door, it’s a telltale sign that door’s lifespan has long passed.
Your exterior doors should keep the heat (or cool air in the summer) in the house while keeping the outside air from getting into your home. Helping to maintain the ambient temperature of the house keeps your energy bills manageable, and exterior doors are just as important as the windows of your home in this role.
If your exterior door is letting the outside air in, it’s probably far too warped to fix or shim at that point, and a replacement is the best option to keep your energy bills from breaking the bank.
5. It’s Just Plain Ugly
You shouldn’t be getting compliments on how “retro” your door looks if it’s not supposed to look that way. Peeling, chipped paint, cracks & dents, are all displeasing to the eye. If we’re talking about a front door, one that looks this weathered and beaten down isn’t exactly inviting, unless you’re visiting a haunted house.
It’s important to remember that the entryway to your house is the first thing your guests will notice. A beautifully painted and shapen door that opens and closes with ease can make a good impression; it says “I care about my home and how it looks”.
While a new coat of paint can usually do the trick, often a cracked or warped door with chipped paint has some of the other issues we’ve already mentioned. Combine bad looks, energy inefficiency, and moisture problems, and your door is literally serving no purpose but to cost money on energy bills.
Replacing exterior doors can be a step toward boosting curb appeal and the overall efficiency of your home. Do yourself and your wallet a favor: don’t neglect your doors!