Your front door is one of the first things that people will notice about your home. Additionally, a solid front door offers defense against the weather, ensuring that your home’s inside remains cozy and dry. When properly maintained, a front door can last for many years. Are you able to tell when a simple fix will do or if a new door is needed?
Take a close look at your current front door and consider the following:
1. Do you have air leaks?
If your door is leaking air, it may be a clue that it needs to be replaced, but hold off on making the decision just yet. Air leaks are a problem because they permit cooled air from inside escape while letting outside air in, which may be annoying and expensive in the coldest and hottest months.
However, the issue may not even be your door. Instead, it might be the weatherstripping. You should try replacing the rubber weatherstripping first because it has a tendency to dry out and break down over time.
If your new weatherstripping doesn’t stop your air leak, it’s likely that your door is warped or has other damage or deformations, like cracks or chips, that are allowing air to get through.
2. Your door is warped, cracked and weathered?
Over the course of their lifetime, doors can sustain damage. They are kicked, slammed, and subjected to extreme temperature changes.
A solid wood door that is older than ten years has probably seen better days. Many of these doors have cracks, are warped, and are very weathered because they have expanded and contracted so much over so many winters and summers.
In addition, rust and dings on a metal door indicate that its structural integrity may be in jeopardy.
3. Do the glass panels in your front door have moisture in them?
Many doors with glass panels have double-paned glass, just like newer styles of windows. With older doors, the seal between those two panes will eventually break down, allowing moisture, mildew, and/or mold to grow between the glass panes.
Nobody wants their front door to look like that.
Also, this can be a major issue, especially if your entryway is shaded or doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. Mold remediation is the last thing any homeowner wants to hear. It’s time to replace your door if there is moisture between the glass panes, just like with your home’s windows.
4. Have you ever experienced water damage or insect damage?
Obviously, you know that you’ll need to replace your wood door if there is water damage. This is especially true if the wood is brittle and breaking apart; it’s not secure enough to support the door structure or to keep your home safe.
If this is a problem you’ve had, your entry door must obviously be replaced. Insect damage follows the same rules.
In the event that your exterminator informed you that approximately 50% of the wood’s structure has been compromised, your R-Value (energy efficiency through solid objects) has been significantly reduced.
You are not only making your home more vulnerable to break-ins, but you are also creating more opportunities for water or insects to damage your front door in the future and you’ll continue wasting energy on heating and cooling.
A door’s loss of R-Value is significant because it serves as your thermal barrier (unless your door is made entirely of glass). If this is the issue with your front door, then replacing your front door is the right option.
In summary, keep in mind that one of the most cost-effective improvements you can make to your house is replacing the front door. You can dramatically improve your curb appeal while also increasing your energy efficiency. Ask yourself the questions listed above if you’re unsure whether or not it’s time to replace your entry door.