When the air starts getting crisp and the leaves start to change, it can only mean one thing. Time for apple cider and pumpkin pie? Okay. Maybe it means two things. It's also time to winterize your exterior door
.com/modern-solid-wood-doors' target='_blank'>wood doors. You can watch the weather report and read the farmer's almanac, but the truth is that none of us really know what the next winter will bring. Maybe it'll only flurry once or twice, or maybe we'll see the blizzard of a lifetime. So, it's best to be prepared if things start getting ugly. Well, ugly for your exterior doors anyway. Follow these simple tips this fall and your doors should stay looking fresh and new throughout the winter.
Install a storm door
If you haven't done so already, it's time to install a storm door. Wood doors are strong, but they will definitely benefit from the added layer of protection that a storm door provides. You may want to choose one that has optional screens, but be sure they're covered when the weather starts getting cold. If your budget is very tight, you can opt for a storm door that has just one panel, but keep in mind that it will be more expensive to repair if that panel gets damaged.
Seal up any exposed cracks
Stand inside your home facing your front door and look for any cracks. Evaluate everything around the paneling, and windows, if you have any, to see if there are any holes. If there are, fill them in with a small dab of wood glue. Now, do the same thing on the other side. Weather extremes can cause cracks in exterior wood doors to expand, which will only result in more difficult repairs later if it's not dealt with now.
Don't be afraid to use weather-stripping
Many people shy away from using weather-stripping on their exterior wood doors for two reasons. First, you usually have to drill into the bottom of the door in order to install the weather strip. Second, poorly installed weather-stripping can make it difficult to open and close your exterior doors. But, the rewards are worth the risks in this case. Not only will the weather-stripping protect the bottom of your door from water damage, but it will also keep any drafts out of your home, which will help save on heating bills. It's a win-win situation. If you haven't installed this before, call in a professional or grab a friend or family member with some experience to minimize the risks of mistakes.
Apply a weather-resistant finish
Even with a storm door, exterior wood doors can experience some damage. So, double your layer of protection by adding a weather-resistant finish over your paint or stain. You have two choices here. You can apply a surface finish or a penetrating finish. Surface finishes dry on top of the wood and provide a stronger layer of protection, but they don't look as natural. Penetrating finishes are also easier to apply, but ultimately, your choice will depend on the look you're trying to achieve for your home.
Many people don't like to think about the cold winter days on the horizon and the potential damage that comes along with them, but it's always wise to be prepared. If you weatherize your exterior wood doors in the fall, you won't have to worry about replacing them in the spring. It may be a little extra work, but that work will keep your doors looking great for years to come.
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