People call me when the door to their house has something wrong with it. Beyond solving the problem, they rarely have something in mind.
The good news is that not all door problems call for a door replacement, and if you need a new door, there are a lot of choices available.
Wooden doors are near to my heart, as they are with most people.
They have stood the test of time if they have been installed in favorable environments. They fail if they have unreasonable demands placed on them. As a general rule, I prefer to see wooden doors on the inside of homes where they aren’t exposed to moisture and temperature swings.
Wood is naturally hydroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture, and the dimensions change in the process. In the winter when you want your door to be the tightest, the wood shrinks from low moisture. Across the grain, the shrinkage can be 8% or more depending on the species of wood used in your door. In summer the same wood expands and the door sticks, so it becomes difficult to open or close.
Storm doors were invented to minimize this air leakage problem. Aluminum doesn’t change dimensions with changes in humidity.
Wood doors are available, but well- made doors are quite expensive. In addition, even the best made door will fail if you install it in unobstructed sunlight, especially if the door faces south.
If you paint a south facing door a dark color, you are asking for problems. Most companies will not guarantee a door painted black,
Regardless of what the door is made of.
So my phone rings when the doors leak air and the foyer is cold. Many times, the door that used to seal well is just drooping. The hinges have gotten loose over time for the same reason that I just described. The wood expands and contracts, s the hinge screws become loose.
I’ve tightened the screws on many a door where people thought that they wanted a new one. Problem solved.
Split or rotten door jambs are another common problem. If it’s the molding on the outside, it can be simply and quickly replaced. If the jamb is splintered or rotten (the wood that holds the door in place, 90degrees from the plane of the door), then it’s time to consider replacing the door. If you can find the name of the manufacturer on the door, replacement frames are sometimes available. The installation of a frame can be expensive because it’s the same amount of work as installing a new door. The old door and frame come out. The new frame is fitted to the door, and the unit is re- installed.
A good technician can get these repairs done in less than a day, once the required parts have been ordered ad shipped.
Every manufacturer makes their doors ad frames slightly different from their competitors.
23 West All Saints Street, Frederick , Maryland 21701
Phone: 301 712-5228