There are certain facts of life that simply can’t be ignored and one of these is that Chicago area entry doors take a beating. The region’s warm, humid summers and its cold, bitter winters are a life fact that should be a top consideration when selecting an entry door for your home. Wood entry doors are an option for homes with well protected entries, but for the majority of homes in our area, Fiberglass doors are your best choice.
Weather Resistant Qualities
Fiberglass entry doors are a smart choice for our harsh and humid climate. The finish mimics the look of wood with wood-grain texturing and can be stained to match a variety of woods. This molded fiberglass surface is built on a framework of wooden stiles and rails. The frame is filled with polyurethane-foam insulation. The insulation in Therma-Tru Fiberglass doors and several other brands, is an exceptional heat and cold resistant material that helps keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. The fiberglass door materials won’t warp, dent, rust or crack. Most fiberglass doors include wood edges for the lockset. If the edges of the door are made out of wood it’s important that those wood edges are painted or stained, otherwide they can actually rot, swell or delaminate.
Get Ready for Winter
With winter approaching check your entry door for signs of deterioration. Can the problems be repaired or is it time to replace your old door with an updated entry door or door system?
Some of the signals that you may need a new door include:
- Hard to open and close your door in winter.
- Moisture between the panes of glass if you have a glass door.
- Light comes through the edges of the door and you feel leaking air.
- The door diminishes the look of your home because of its condition or dated style.
Replace the Door or the Entire Frame
Determining if you can keep the existing door frame and simply replace the door or whether you need to replace the entire system depends on the condition of your door frame and the size of the new door. You can simply exchange one door for another, but in some cases, you’ll need to rip out and replace the old door framing, if these wood components are rotted or the house has settled leaving an out of plumb opening. You may also elect to replace your old door with a new door system that expands the opening with either a larger door or a door with sidelites.
A qualified installer can determine whether you can reuse the existing door frame, jamb and threshold with a new door or if it’s necessary for you to replace the entire system.
Finish and Maintain Your New Door
Once your new door is installed you can relish your accomplishment, but make a note to give your door some TLC with regular maintenance. Fiberglass doors, like any door need to be maintained. You can use mild soap mixed in water to clean the door exterior and interior. The only caveat is if you’re planning to refinish the door within a couple days of cleaning, in which case the soap residue can hinder the staining process. Depending on how exposed your door is to the weather will determine how often you may elect to re-apply paint (for a painted door) or topcoat (for a stained door). This regular attention will help keep the door in pristine condition for the life of the product.