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One of the many things that builders and contractors are often called upon to do is to help clients determine if it’s time to consider replacing their exterior door. Below are some of the telltale signs that a new exterior door might be in order.

1. It’s very difficult to open and close the door.

If opening and closing the door requires the strength of Hercules, it may be time to replace it. The door may expand and contract slightly with the changes in seasons, which means that it might be more difficult to open it in the winter versus the summer, or vice versa. Not only is this a nuisance to deal with in terms of functionality, but it’s also very energy inefficient. This is one of the reasons why the fall season is a great time to consider replacing an exterior door; the last thing you would want is to have your client’s house leaking out all of that warm air during the cold months!

2. You can see light around one (or more) of the edges of the door when it’s shut.

Any gaps around either the sides or top/bottom of the door will allow light from the outside to come in even when the door is shut. This could be a sign of poor alignment, which means that some part of the door will be sticking into the door jamb. Try holding a lighter near one of those gaps and see what the flame does. If it looks like the flame is drifting towards the gap, that’s a sign that air is leaking out of the house.

3. You see signs of warping, cracking or excessive wear.

Doors are one of the most frequently used parts of a house, and as such, they can take quite a bit of a beating over time. This is especially true for solid wood doors, because they are typically more vulnerable to the elements than doors made from composite materials. Warping, chipping, cracking, splintering, stress fractures, or extreme weathering (e.g., sun fading, etc.) are all signs that the door might need to be replaced.

4. The hinges are squeaky, loose or sinking.

Squeaky hinges can be quite aggravating, and the “WD-40 treatment” can only go so far. If the hinges on the door are sinking, loose or excessively squeaky, it will affect the door’s performance, and will eventually lead to more problems down the road. This is especially true if the screw holes for the hinges in the door have become stripped or very loose. Eventually, the door will begin to sag, which can produce damage to both the door and the frame.

5. You notice dings, dents or rust on the door.

The majority of off-the-shelf exterior doors feature a layer of laminated steel over a wooden frame, which can be susceptible to dings, dents and rust from just regular wear-and-tear. Rust in particular can be a real problem, because more than likely the moisture that produced the rust is also seeping into the interior wood frame of the door as well. This problem can be compounded by various weather and climate conditions such as rain, humidity and so forth. Unfortunately, the law of entropy will continue to do its dirty work as well, which means that the condition of the door will get worse, not better, over time.

If you’re currently looking for quality exterior doors to use in your building and remodeling projects, Nisbet Brower is a building materials supplier in Cincinnati, OH that can provide you with plenty of options to choose from. We offer an extensive variety of door styles and materials, from solid wood (e.g., oak, mahogany, cherry, juniper, etc.) to glass panel selections and everything in between. We also provide custom millwork solutions if your project requires a more specialized approach. Contact us today to explore the various exterior door options you have available to make your next replacement project a success.