Category: Home and Domestic Arts

Tips for Deciding When to Replace a Front Door

MAUMEE, OH – Homeowners looking to save on rising energy bills can start right at the front door. That’s the advice of experts at Therma-Tru Corp. who suggest evaluating your main entry door at least once a year to determine the status of the door’s operational capabilities and energy efficiency features.

door“Every component of a home needs to be replaced at some point over time,” says Derek Fielding, director of product management for Therma-Tru Corp. “Most homeowners can get years of service out of their front door, but there will come a time when a door needs to be replaced. That’s why it’s important to annually evaluate and maintain your main entryway.”

According to Fielding, there are several easy ways homeowners can determine when it’s time to consider a front door replacement.

  • Tip #1 – Open and close your doors — on both dry and wet, humid days. Make sure all the components operate smoothly. If your door doesn’t close securely, or fits tightly on humid days, then it’s most likely leaking air on dry days, causing the home to lose energy.
  • Tip #2 – Inspect the weather stripping around all sides of the front door to make sure it has not worn out. On a bright day, stand inside near your door and look for daylight flowing through the door perimeter. If light is coming in, then so most likely, is external air and possibly moisture. That means it’s time to determine if your foam-filled weatherstripping may have lost some of its compression, cracked or simply worn out.
  • Tip #3 – Examine your locks to make sure they operate smoothly and are strong enough to help protect your home. Multi-point locking systems, like those that can be requested on Therma-Tru® doors, offer exceptional peace-of-mind and security for the home.
  • Tip #4 – Reach out and touch your door on both hot and cold days. If you feel the exterior temperatures on the inside surface, then your door may not have adequate insulation. In this situation, consider upgrading the door with a replacement that is more energy efficient and has an ENERGY STAR® qualified rating for your geographic area. Order a multi-point locking system on your next door for a tighter fit against the weatherstripping, which can help provide even greater energy savings.
  • Tip #5 – Look at the appearance of your door. If you have a wood door, it may be warping or rotting after years of service. A steel door can get dinged and rust over time. And, it’s possible that the style of the door simply doesn’t match up with the design of your home. These are all red flags that it’s time to replace your front door.

What to Look for in a New Door

“If it becomes apparent that you’re in the market for a new door, consider one made of fiberglass,” says Fielding. “A solid fiberglass door is up to four times more energy efficient than a solid wood door, plus you get the benefits that fiberglass has to offer, including resistance to rot, rust, dings and weather.”

Another factor to consider is what’s on the inside of your door. The dense polyurethane foam used in the core of Therma-Tru fiberglass doors helps the doors achieve high thermal performance values.

According to Fielding, homeowners choosing to add decorative glass to their Therma-Tru fiberglass doors can also count on energy-efficient features. The company’s triple-pane construction of most doorlites and sidelites creates both a strong thermal and acoustical barrier. And, factory-coated Low-E glass, available as an option for clear glass, also delivers exceptional energy efficiency. In cold weather, the Low-E glass helps reduce the loss of heat by reflecting the heat back inside the home. In warm weather, Low-E glass reflects the sun’s rays off of the glass, helping keep the interior of the home cool.

Benefits of Fiberglass Doors

According to the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), fiberglass products are known for their reliability, customization aspects for style design, and energy efficiency. Fiberglass doors have an abundance of features outlined by AAMA at

http://www.aamanet.org/general/1/437/fiberglass-product-reliability-and-durability.

Constructed as a complete system of components, Therma-Tru fiberglass doors are designed and engineered to work together for lasting performance, security and energy efficiency. Multi-point locking systems that engage a series of locks at several places on the frame, plus the adjustable security strike plate that can withstand up to three times the force of a standard strike plate, are key factors in creating Therma-Tru’s dependable entry door system.

Homeowners looking for durability in their doors can also rely on the Tru-Defense® Door System. This system maximizes the seal between the door and the frame to help keep out the damaging effects of wind and rain, while helping to increase energy efficiency. Within this optional upgrade system, the weatherstripping, corner seal pad, door bottom sweep and profiled sill all work together to provide a door system that can withstand severe weather conditions along with day-to-day family activity.

National Home Improvement Month Tips for Homeowners

AMBLER, PA – While springtime was slow to arrive this year, the warmer weather is now here just in time for May’s National Home Improvement Month. With so many home projects to tackle, where do you start? According to Mark Clement, a professional contractor and host of MyFixitUpLife home improvement radio show, begin by selecting those projects that give your home a curb appeal “pick-me-up” while also enhancing the functionality of your house.

“National Home Improvement Month in May is the ideal time to shine the spotlight on projects that can make a big difference to both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your home’s exterior,” says Clement. “Start by looking ‘from the top down’ on your home to determine what projects need to be tackled first. It may be time to add a new roof, replace your windows or door, or even spruce up your home’s exterior with new shutters or trim. All of these projects can add to the curb appeal and overall value of your home.”

Clement, who is currently renovating his own 100-year-old home in Pennsylvania, reminds homeowners that eventually all building products in a home need to be replaced. “Our doors, windows and roof were really shot after decades of continual exposure to the elements,” says Clement. “When I decided to replace these important features of our home, I went with the most advanced products available on the marketplace — vinyl windows, a fiberglass door, PVC trim and a polymer slate roof. Now I won’t have to worry about replacing these products for many more decades to come!”

According to Clement, there is a “must do” list of six exterior home features that homeowners should review every year during National Home Improvement Month. “If you get in the practice of evaluating these six items each May, then you’ll always make sure you’re staying on top of your home’s needs and keeping it looking great.”

The “top down” list recommended by Clement includes:

Item #1 – Check the roof. Using either a ladder or binoculars from across the street, look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that may be “flapping” in the wind. These are all indications that a new roof may be in your future. If that’s the case, research the newer products on the market, such as polymer shake and slate roofing tiles. These impact-resistant tiles are man-made in a wide variety of colors. Some roofing tiles, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes® that Clement chose for his home, are fire- and hail-resistant. They also have a 50-year limited warranty.

Item #2 – Clean and assess the home’s siding. Environmentally-friendly detergents, scrubbing and/or pressure-washing all work well for many homes to remove dirt and algae that can grow on siding. Remember never to pressure-wash trim pieces, windows or their screens. The extreme high pressure could crack or destroy the caulking around the units. While cleaning the siding, make sure to check for changes in the exterior from the previous year and be alert to buckling, warping, peeling paint or insect damage that may need to be fixed.

Item #3 – Check on the gutters. Don’t underestimate the importance of the gutter system on the home. Each year homeowners should check to make sure their gutters are clean, unclogged, securely attached to the home and remain sloped for proper drainage. Plus, make sure the water running off the roof doesn’t cause damage to the building structure, landscaping or property below the roof.

Item #4 – Evaluate the windows. If you find that the windows in your home don’t operate easily, there’s air leaking in or out of the units, or there’s condensation between the glass panes, it may be time to seriously consider replacement windows.

Vinyl framed windows have the highest growth rate in the country due to their energy-efficiency, aesthetic appeal and durability. Some of the best have fusion-welded corners and multi-chambered construction. Plus, maintenance hassles are so low you’ll forget the horrors of rotting frames, scraping and repainting that come with wood windows. For his renovation project, Clement selected vinyl home windows from Simonton Windows. The award-winning company impressed him with its strong product warranty, 65+ year history, selection of exterior frame color options and return-on-investment with their ENERGY STAR® qualified windows.

Item #5 – Spend time with your doors. If you can see light around a door from the inside, your door is hard to close or lock, or the door itself is warped, it’s time to consider a new door. Even if you can’t see light, air may be moving through gaps in the weather stripping at a surprising rate.

Think about the weather conditions that your home’s doors face along with your energy bills. If either run to the extreme, consider replacing an inefficient entryway with a high-performance fiberglass door (which can have up to four times more insulation value than wood doors). Clement added a Therma-Tru fiberglass door to his home with a decorative glass doorlite to update the look of his home while gaining energy-efficiency savings.

Item #6 – Look at your home’s accessory features. Spend time with your shutters, trim and louvers to see if they’re rotting or deteriorating. Check the bottoms and tops of columns and near the joints in crown and other mouldings for water spots, decay or peeling paint to see if they’re deteriorating in any way. They may also be suffering from termites, insect infestations or warping. When it’s time to replace these items, select low-maintenance urethane or PVC products from Fypon. The lightweight pieces are easy to install, add instant curb appeal to your home and extremely durable with their weather-resistant features.