You might be second-guessing the usefulness of storm doors, wondering if they are worth installing when rain and snow only hit your area several times a year. Don’t let the name fool you. Storm doors remain useful all year long, regardless of the weather. I will show you in this post how they have other uses besides just protection from storms.
What Are Storm Doors?
A storm door is an additional door installed in front of the main entry or exterior door of a house. As the name suggests, it serves to protect a home from getting wet or wind-damaged during inclement weather.
As such, storm doors are typically installed in areas with harsher climates, and in houses where the main doors are of aesthetic or antique value. The degree of protection and durability they lend depends on their composition and style. Generally, their frames are made of wood, aluminum, and PVC and fiberglass. These, in turn, are outfitted with interchangeable glass panels and screens, or a combination thereof.
Commonly, storm doors come in three styles: full-view, ventilating, and rollscreen, a hybrid of the first two. Each enables homeowners to enjoy a number of benefits.
What Else Are Storm Doors Good For?
Further protection, even in fair weather
Inclement weather alone does not cause the cracking, chipping, and warping of doors. Year-round weathering – the process by which the elements inevitably alter the color, texture, composition, and form of exposed materials – also diminishes their shine and sturdiness. A storm door acts as the first line of defense against dust, heat, and other possible causes of damage.
A storm door can also keep debris from collecting in the doorway itself, as well as animals from scratching the main door or entering a house.
Insulation. If sealed well enough, the pocket of air between the main door and storm door can serve as an extra layer of insulation for both the summer and winter.
Extra light and ventilation.
With a storm door in place, the main door can be left open in order to let more natural light into a house. If a homeowner has not opted for a ventilating door, they can still achieve more ventilation by temporarily replacing the glass panel with a screen, i.e. during the summer.
Security and privacy.
Just as it does against the elements, a storm door can provide the first line of defense against potential burglars. Specially built “security” storm doors are also available. A storm door can make homeowners feel more comfortable inside their house even if they have left the front door open for the breeze. It helps to know that the extra door is there.
For all its little practicalities, a storm door can pack a punch when used to make a residential facade more beautiful. A single- or multi-pane storm door can set off the design of the main door, serving as both an accent and frame.
How Much Are Storm Doors Worth?
Storm doors cost anywhere between $100 and $500, but their monetary value lies in how much more they can help you save in the long run, in terms of front door maintenance and energy efficiency. Check if installing or keeping a storm door is indeed your best option; perhaps you will be better off replacing your existing main door instead of reinforcing it.
Keep in mind that how storm doors are constructed influences how well they work. For example, wooden ones are considered the most attractive, but also the most brittle. Aluminum and fiberglass options are more resistant to weathering and require less maintenance.
If you are banking on storm doors for extra insulation, you should be wary of how full-length glass can trap heat in the airspace between entryways. The added heat would only damage the main door. It is advisable to get a style that would let you replace glass panels with screens when necessary or else one that does not have glass running the full length of the frame. Storm doors built with low-emissivity glass, as well as vents, are also good options. I suggest that you ask a professional contractor for advice on which storm doors are best for you.