At a certain point, it will be time to replace your front entryway door with something new, but many new homeowners are asking this question: when is that time? Doors are simple, designed to accomplish one function and accomplish it well. So when should you start looking for a new front door? What are the signs that your old door is on the way out? Our friends at ETO Doors shared these 5 questions to analyze how soon your door should be replaced.
It would be a different story if doors grew on trees, but doors are trees, and lumber is expensive. There’s no need to go buy a brand new door slab if your current door is able to be rehabilitated, but sometimes you just can’t teach an old door new tricks. Here are some of the reasons you may want to start shopping for a new door.
Is Your Door Dented or Cracked?
Your wooden front door slab might be pretty resilient, but after a while, frequent use takes its toll. Dents and nicks make doors look worn out and unstable, and are difficult and expensive to repair. And if your door is showing cracks, forget about it; that means you need to start looking for a new slab right away, since a cracked front door is an invitation for break-ins, not to mention you’ll be living in fear of deepening the crack and one day pulling your door into pieces as you come home from work. If you have a metal door, you might encounter the same issue, in addition to some nasty rust
When purchasing your new door, look for something extra sturdy and solid that will handle regular use a bit better than the old door. The harder the wood used, the more rugged the door slab will be.
Does Your Door Seem Warped?
Another form of wear and tear is warping. All wood objects that are used routinely, and therefore routinely come under strain, may experience warping. This is only exacerbated by shifting weather and climate conditions, with warm, humid seasons causing extra warping.
A warped door will lead to all kinds of problems, and it’s pretty easy to tell if a door slab is warped, because it will usually have a harder time opening and closing. Because the slab is no longer exactly matched to the dimensions of the frame, the door may get stuck and even scratch and damage the frame when opened and closed. All wood doors are susceptible to warping, so if you really don’t ever want to deal with it again, consider a fiberglass or metal door.
Is Your Door Leaking Air?
If your door is leaking air, it could be a sign that it’s time to replace it, but don’t act on that impulse just yet. Air leaks are problematic because they let in outside air while letting out conditioned air from inside, which can be irritating and costly in the coldest and warmest months, but the problem might not even be your door. Rather, it could be your weatherstripping. Rubber weatherstripping tends to dry out and disintegrate over time, so you should try replacing that first.
If your new weatherstripping doesn’t remedy your air leak problem, that means your door is warped or has other damage or deformations that are letting air pass through, like cracks or chips.
Do Your Door’s Windows Seem to Collect Moisture?
We all love doors with glass panes because of their elegance and functionality, and many windowed doors are double-paned for better insulation. However, the seals of those glass panes will deteriorate over time, allowing moisture to build up inside. If enough moisture builds up, you might start to see mildew growth, or damage to the door slab if it’s made of wood.
Replacing the windows in your door will most likely cost too much for the price to be justified, so this is probably a good time to get a new door slab. This time, see if you can reinforce the seals, or maybe opt for a door with no glass at all.
Did Your Door Fall Victim to Termites?
Did you recently experience a termite episode in your home? Termites are the bane of a homeowner’s existence, and in states where termites are a common sight, you’ll often see homes enveloped in fumigation tents during the summer months in order to rid them of termites. Termites love to burrow through and snack on wood, especially in older houses, leading to devastating structural and cosmetic damage to homes.
If termites have infiltrated your door slab and door frame, you’ll probably want to figure out a replacement. In this case, look into prehung doors, which come fitted perfectly to proprietary frames for a perfect, airtight door. Termites will damage the security and integrity of your wooden door, leading to a greater break-in risk, not to mention air leaks and loose connections to the frame caused by termites burrowing near the door’s hinges. Plus it’s never fun to find your door has crumbled from the inside out.