When Should You Upgrade Your Exterior Front Door to Face a Tropical Storm

While a front door introduces your guests and the neighboring community to your personal style, leaving with them a first impression of that side of who you are, its primary purposes are to supply a layer of security and safety, offer energy efficiency, and help block noise pollution.

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The best exterior door will protect the home’s interior from the outside elements, which is particularly important in areas of the country where the weather can be extreme with tropical storms, hurricanes, and other devastation—the higher quality, better fit, tighter seal, the greater the destructive preventive measures.

A durable, solid example will keep intruders from invading your space, ensuring your and your family’s privacy is protected. 

Unfortunately, this part of the home is often neglected, leaving homeowners exposed to hazards. How will you know when to update your front door for optimum protection? Let’s learn.

How Will You Know When You Need to Upgrade Your Front Door

With more people heading in and out of the house through their garage, the front entryway can often be neglected to the potential detriment of those living there. Read here for how an exterior door can impact your home.

When you ignore the exterior doors, age and damage can take over without your attention. An exterior entrance with a functional door that fits the space and is well-sealed is vital for the protection of the home. 

It can block outside elements from severe weather events like tropical storms, hurricanes, and other devastation, often with flying debris and solid objects impacting the surfaces. The door will also secure the property against criminal activity like intrusion.

When adequate, the front door will maintain climate control, preventing indoor air from escaping. That means the interior will remain warm in the winter and cool in the summer for optimum energy efficiency and cost savings. 

While most people recognize the need to upgrade less-than-efficient windows, many are unaware that updating the entryway door is just as important when it becomes inefficient.  Learn tips on how to pick a front door at https://www.thisoldhouse.com/doors/21015515/how-to-pick-a-front-door#:~:.

Some houses are in dire need of an exterior door update; here are signs you could live in a home that needs changes for optimum safety and security of your property.

Gaps around and under the door

If the windows are shut tightly, no light should come in through the casing or from around the frame. In that same vein, if exterior doors are closed, there should be no light around the frame or in through the threshold.

If light is coming in, the outdoor elements and any sort of pests can make their way in, plus air can escape from the household.

Not to mention pests filtering into the property and the risk of intruders breaking into the house. In older homes, drafts are common, coming from gaps in aged exterior doors, causing difficulty with climate control and making the house demand adequate heating or cooling regardless of the HVAC effort.

Updating weatherstripping can be a temporary solution to the problem. Still, the priority is to determine the underlying issue and resolve this, like periodically replacing the seals or replacing the door if the drafts are common from one season to the next.

A damaged door

The exterior door withstands much abuse considering its exposure to extreme environmental conditions like tropical storms, hurricanes, and other damaging weather events.

This often exposes it to premature wear and tear and the potential for extensive damage. The door should be replaced when any of the following damages occur:

Dents 

Structural integrity can be compromised with doors that are dented. Residential doors at home improvement stores generally comprise a wooden frame with 26-gauge steel covering the frame. 

Because these aren’t the most durable, a slight kick to open the door if your hands are full can result in a significant dent and loss of integrity.

Rusting

If you notice rusting, moisture could have created wood rot by seeping into the wooden frame. Builder-grade steel doors, often of a lower quality, aren’t galvanized on the interior. 

This leaves the door exposed to moisture finding a way to the door’s seams and essentially rusting it from the interior to the outside. The door becomes weakened structurally and unable to provide safety and security.

Peeling/splitting 

Aging poorly is common for a solid wood exterior door because it continues to expand and contract from one season to the next, eventually becoming warped, cracked, and weathered. 

With these indications, moisture will readily settle into the split wood or peeling paint, creating wood rot. These are also a draw for pests like termites.

Hinges squeak

Usually, some lubrication can quiet squeaky hinges, but the noise could be indicative of a more severe issue, including the fact that the door is failing. 

When you recognize squeaky hinges it’s essential to find a solution straight away to avoid the potential for intruders who would be better able to break into the home.

Energy bills are higher

Any openings in the home’s exterior can result in air leaks, especially if you have doors exceeding their lifespan. Air leaks cause the HVAC equipment to put out more effort to achieve an adequate temperature, leading to higher utility costs. That’s particularly true in climates with extreme seasons.

When upgrading your exterior door, you have the potential to reduce your heating and cooling costs by buying a more energy-efficient option with the greatest insulation properties. 

An “Energy Star” label will speak to the product’s energy efficiency, while an NFRC- National Fenestration Rating Council label assesses the energy performance. Visit here for a guide on choosing an exterior door for your house.

The storm door

In addition to having a front door, it’s wise to incorporate a storm door on the exterior of the home for an added layer of security and safety for the door itself.  

The storm door acts as a barrier between the front entryway and the environmental conditions including the possibility of intense wind, hail, heavy rainfall, or snow. 

The extra insulation prevents the HVAC system from putting in extra effort when the temperatures are extreme, leading to better climate control and cost savings with utility bills.

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