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Old 07-14-2008, 01:23 PM   #1
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


I've heard that some exterior doors will warp or melt if you put a storm door over them. How can we tell if our doors can safely have storm doors installed over them? We don't have any storm doors but sure would like to have some.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:13 PM   #2
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


What manufacturer is the door. And what material is the door made of. The only problems that I have seen is with the molding that holds the glass to the door on the exterior warps. Thermo-tru is the only one that I know of that has addressed this problem.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:57 PM   #3
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


The insides of cars get to be 180F so I guess if the door can withstand this temp, possibly with high humidity, over a reasonable service lifetime, it will work.


It's hard for salespeople to spin hard numbers. Ask for data sheets on tests that were run on your door and candidate doors.


I guess good keywords for an Internet search like this would be wood, fiberglass, metal, warp, melt, split, sun, odor, and storm. If you put the word "patent" in front, you may find what problems each type of door has because someone is seeking a patent to fix the problem.


As a handyman, I guess it is also in my own interest to do this search.


-(ex USPTO employee)
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:59 PM   #4
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


Have seen plastic moldings that have melted and become distorted around the window area on a few doors over the years. Usually the doors were painted a dark color (which absorbs heat), were facing south and exposed to sunlight throughout the day ;and ,had a full view glass storm door that trapped and magnified the heat from the sunlight.

A light color main door and a type of storm door that has a window that could be adjusted for ventilation ,when necessary, is a much better alternative to help avoid heat build up.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:41 AM   #5
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


I didn't get to choose the door, but I have the window sticker. It says SolarShield Maintenance Free Frame.

Door Glass Frame Features:
* High Heat Resistance
* Frame Will Not Yellow
* No Painting Required

ReliaBilt 32" 9-Lite 2-Panel Steel Entry Door Unit Model 21686
Wood Core
pre-primed white

It's our kitchen side door. I can't find what the window frame is made of...probably a vinyl, but I'm not very good at figuring out this stuff just by looking at it!

The putty at the top of the window section is soft and very slightly sagging on the outside, along the very top edge of the glass. A little dirt has stuck onto the soft putty. Is this normal? Do we leave the unsightly bit of sagging putty, or do something with it?

When it says High Heat Resistance, we are not sure how high the heat really is. Temps get pretty high in Virginia in the summertime. The kitchen side of the house is facing northeast.

The door will remain white, not a dark color. Maybe I could choose a storm door with a roll-down screen and leave it partly rolled down all the time except when its cold outside. That wouldn't do much for energy-saving/insulation goals in the summer, and would let more dirt through.

Have not yet succeeded at getting more information from Lowes. Will try again! I think they should just outright tell you if a door can have a storm door on it before you buy it! Why make it such a secret?!

I called Larson to ask them what kind of entry doors can have storm doors on them....they have no idea. Said they don't really get that kind of question very often.

Update: Lowes has an in-store phone number for the door mfg. Lowes faxed in the information to the company, who will then send out a rep to inspect my door where the putty is soft, sagging, and collecting dirt... While he's checking the putty, maybe the rep can tell me if this door can take a storm door. If the putty is melting out WITHOUT a storm door heating it up, I wonder what would happen WITH a storm door. The window frame however looks fine, no warping.

Last edited by Beth777; 07-15-2008 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Updating what Lowes said
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:28 AM   #6
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Ask for data sheets on tests that were run on your door and candidate doors.


I guess good keywords for an Internet search like this would be wood, fiberglass, metal, warp, melt, split, sun, odor, and storm. If you put the word "patent" in front, you may find what problems each type of door has because someone is seeking a patent to fix the problem.


-(ex USPTO employee)
Lowes has no available data. Their door manufacturer does not provide any customer service phone number, and they are not showing up for me on an internet search. Maybe I need to hire a spy or a private investigator to uncover this secret information!

Lowes says I could try a storm door and maybe it would be okay...
"Maybe".

What does a handyman do when a customer has this type of question?
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:48 AM   #7
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth777 View Post
Lowes has no available data. Their door manufacturer does not provide any customer service phone number, and they are not showing up for me on an internet search. Maybe I need to hire a spy or a private investigator to uncover this secret information!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth777 View Post

Lowes says I could try a storm door and maybe it would be okay...
"Maybe".

What does a handyman do when a customer has this type of question?

Lowes and HD buy in such volumes that they seem to have manus that only serve them.

In this case, a bolt from your ma and pa hardware store that has a tensile strength of 50,000 PSI according to some ANSI specification will have a tensile strength of whatever Lowes/HD tells it to have.

See corner, cut it, make money.


From when I worked in a hardware store I have learned that leaving out information, either on the packaging or otherwise, seems to work in favor of the manufacturer.

On the other hand, it is a double edged sword, because the manu wants to be able to say that they have a superior product, not as a matter of someone's opinion but as a matter of scientific fact [the hard data].


There are much easier ways for a vendor to make money than to deal with a customer who is an engineer, an attorney, or who asks too many questions of the unwelcome variety.


You might try Consumer Reports.


You might try independent testing labs out of the Yellow Pages; if you talk nice they might give you a tip on who might do this type of testing, and maybe blab some stuff about the costs/benefits/service lifetime of various door materials and construction.

Flatter them by asking for examples of test reports they have published.


Tell them you have a new design for a door using a state-of-the-art material and you're looking for a lab that can test it to generally accepted guidelines. They might give you some tips before they see through your cover story.


Stuff that is common knowledge in the right circles is sometimes totally unknown to us civilians. E.g., try Googling


"captain of industry" sociopath


or


CEO antisocial


while thinking of Enron.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-15-2008 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:26 PM   #8
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


If you pursue this, you're going to need some tools for dealing with the people you will meet. The tool below is not commonly found in a toolbox.

Unspun: finding facts in a world of disinformation, Jackson & Jamieson, Random House, 2007
-Spin is not puffery.
-People use fear to promote their ideas (FUD: fear, uncertainty, doubt) so if it's scary, be wary.
-Watch out for dramatic ideas that match what we want to believe (data in the service of ideology)
-If it's pictures vs. spoken words, pictures win
-Average is not typical
-A smaller increase is not a cut
-We think in stereotypes: ask, is the picture in my head an accurate representation of reality?
-Hastorf & Cantril's Myside (confirmation) bias. The countermove is to try to disprove your own idea; what fact could disprove it, what evidence has not been considered.
-Kuklinski: the more misinformed we are, the more we are convinced that we are right.
-Close calls; spreading of alternatives. When it's a close call we exaggerate the differences between choices. The countermove: Ask would I feel this way if I were hearing this the first time? Have new facts emerged since I made my initial decision?
-There is no correlation between price & quality.
-Hearing something often makes us think it happens more often. The availability heuristic, a bias that gives more weight to vividness and emotional impact than likelihood.
-Many anecdotes is not data.
-To evaluate a dramatic factual claim: Who stands behind the info, does the source have an ax to grind, by what method was the info obtained, how old is the data, what data collecting assumptions were made, how much guesswork was involved?
-While everyone has a bias, disinterested people are more likely to be trustworthy than advocates.
-Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.
-Even a good study from a reliable source can be wrong.
-Testing evidence: is the source highly regarded and widely accepted, is the source an advocate, what is their track record, what method is used, does the source show its work, is the sample random, is there a control group, does the source have the necessary skill, have the results been replicated or contradicted?
-correlation may not mean causality.
-#1, you can't be completely certain.
-#2, you can be certain enough; preponderance of evidence, clear and convincing, beyond a reasonable doubt.
-#3, look for general agreement among experts (but consensus is not proof).
-#4, check primary sources.
-#5, know what's really being counted.
-#6, know who's talking.
-#7, seeing is not necessarily believing.
-#8, crosscheck everything that matters.
Be skeptical but not cynical.
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:19 PM   #9
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


Yoyizit, you have presented much food for thought in the arena of critical thinking skills and survival through self-preservation and discernment! I thought DIY work would be much more straightforward than this is turning out to be...never dreamed that painting the house and fixing up our kitchen door would turn into a battle for truth! The tools you have presented will go much further than dealing with Lowes, and ReliaBilt, and SW.

So bring 'em on! I am ready to approach this with caution, boldness, and intelligence! (as long as I've had my cup of coffee first, that is...)
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:31 PM   #10
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


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So bring 'em on!
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:40 PM   #11
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


Excess putty is normal. If you prefer,cut off. Recommend Self Storing Triple Track storm door for ventilation,when necessary.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:35 PM   #12
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


Quote:
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Excess putty is normal. If you prefer,cut off. Recommend Self Storing Triple Track storm door for ventilation,when necessary.
Thanks so much for the putty input, and for the storm door recommendation! Things are looking up.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:06 AM   #13
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


It is important for anyone who is considering a storm door to understand a few things about science.
-Dark colors absorb heat. If you have a dark colored door then your storm door better be a ventilating door to release heat since.....
-Glass allows solar heat to pass but radiant heat can be trapped, therefore sunlight will heat up anything that is contained in a glass covered apparatus.....like a storm door.
-Material does matter! If you are set on using a certain material for your main door than you should be willing to accept the strengths and weaknesses of any given material. NO DOOR IS PERFECT! Every manufacturer has flaws and downsides. Some have less but YOU must determine which material fits your setting best. Things to consider are...
-Number of hours of direct sunlight reaching door.
-Overhang or no overhang?
-Decorative door? (Why cover up a decorative door?)
-Does your door face North, South, etc.? (Does it face the sun?)
If you really need a storm door than these things should be considered.

I have sold doors and windows for several companies and I have seen wood/steel/fiberglass doors all warp from someone putting a full glass storm door on it. Full glass should only be used if your door is not exposed to significant direct sunlight. If you get direct sunlight than you should just not use a full glass storm door....simple.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:46 PM   #14
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


Thanks for summing it up. I'm getting a new front exterior door installed and don't know what to do.

-I would like to get a black fiberglass front door
-I would like to have a matching black storm door and would use a screen in the summertime (I'm on Long Island)
-It is southeast facing, and I have no overhang to provide shade. There's a lot of direct sun in the morning, but its not bad later in the afternoon.

Am I out of luck, or do you have any recommendations for me? Any brands/different materials?

THANKS!
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:07 AM   #15
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How can you tell if exterior door can take a storm door?


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Originally Posted by clkenny20 View Post
Thanks for summing it up. I'm getting a new front exterior door installed and don't know what to do.

-I would like to get a black fiberglass front door
-I would like to have a matching black storm door and would use a screen in the summertime (I'm on Long Island)
-It is southeast facing, and I have no overhang to provide shade. There's a lot of direct sun in the morning, but its not bad later in the afternoon.

Am I out of luck, or do you have any recommendations for me? Any brands/different materials?

THANKS!
This would be the combination that would cause the most heat build up between the doors. You would contact the manufacturer for their reccommendations.
I once put a black storm door, facing east ,over a Therma-tru beige door. The adjustable bottom seal was plastic. The heat distorted two of them before Larson sent me a metal piece. The fan light entry door was unaffected.
Ron
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