How do you prepare your doors for winter? Before taking any steps it’s a good idea to inspect all the possible areas that can cause problems as the outside temperature cools down. Check all door and draughtproofing, including the letter box and keyhole and look for these signs.
- Sticking doors. As the outside temperatures drop the wooden fibres in the door begin to contract, and as the inside heat warms them they begin to expand. This constant cycle of movement will, over time, cause a door to change shape and size. The minute area between a door and its frame requires consistency to function fully. When the door changes size and shape this affects the measurements and can cause sticking and eventually the door will loosen away from the hinges.
- Inspecting doors for cracking is as important. Wood can easily crack when exposed to humidity, which is generated from the extremes in temperatures from the exterior weather and interior heat. Although a crack in a door doesn’t affect it’s operation, it does affect its aesthetics.
Most often when a door begins sticking, it also begins to expose gaps around it. This is the time when a sealant should either be replaced or applied. There are many types of sealant strips available or sealant paste –
- Rubber self adhesive strips.
- Aluminium brush door guard.
- Brush pile self adhesive strips.
- PVC self adhesive strips.
- Silicone sealant.
Apply the sealing strip to the edges of the door, the sealant paste to the area between the door and the frame and then the brush guard to the bottom of the door. Applying all of these will ensure maximum protection from the draughts and cold air that will be constantly attacking the door.
As well as the door fittings and operation, we mustn’t forget the actual door itself. Applying a wax to a front door will act as a buffer to the harsh cold and keep out unwanted moisture from any tiny cracks in the wood. Before applying the wax thoroughly clean the door to remove all particles of dirt.
Tightening the Hinges
As we have seen with doors, they can become ill fitting due chiefly to ill fitting hinges. By double checking, and tightening all the door hinges you are ensuring the door fits as snugly as possible, reducing the risk of draughts.
A letterbox draught-excluder is a simple way to stop the air coming in. It’s important to measure the space and mark it before drilling holes. Check that the letters can pass through the brushes before you tighten it securely.
Draughts from keyholes cause a bit of a problem, but there are several ways to eliminate this –
- Keep the key in the lock.
- Fix a keyhole cover.
- Apply tape.
Of course, none of these solutions are safe or practical. If the blast from the keyhole is causing problems it may be worth looking at a similar type of brush guard as is fitted onto letterboxes. This allows free movement of key in the lock and stops all air escaping in or out of the hole.
Draught proofing your doors allows you to keep your heating bills down and keeps you toasty over winter- that’s a win win, surely!Tags: hingers, keyholes, letterboxes, winter