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Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

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Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby rehabbingisgreen » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:22 pm

I have a door on the landing midway up the stairs. It happens to be on the north sode of the house and is even enclosed in a sort of addition. Well the COLDEST air somes in every crack in that door. We had heavy winds one night and I was litelrally taping it up because freezing air was coming in. Well the door isn't original to the house. The trim alerted me to that. My guess is when this place was converted into two apartments, the door was added for access to the top floor. Well I don't know exactly what to do with it because it isn't very energy efficient. I'd like to keep it but I'd really need to be able to button it up to keep the freezing air out. It looks like the addition will have to come off when we do the foundation work and I don't know if we will put it back on or not or something else. The addition encases the door to the basement and this door to the stair landing so it is handy but a waste of taxed space.

If I could get storm doors that would actually work well, I could leave the addition off and maybe just build a small balcony with stairs.
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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby melissakd » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:22 pm

Storm doors do work; probably it's similar to windows, in that both the main and the storm need to fit well, but are easy to adjust.

Do you care what it looks like? You might be able to make your own, if you're particular.

I hope you're staying decently warm!

MelissaKD
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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby Patchules » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:51 pm

Plywood and foamboard it shut for the winter. Take the door off, remove the hinges and close the hole with a fitted piece of ply with a couple of sheets of 2 inch blueboard (inside) carefully taped with aluminum tape, the kind used for AC ducts. If you are replacing trim you might consider using foam to seal the ply to the frame and then the foam. Not pretty but a better fix for the winter than a storm door which is just another door that leaks.
No sense investing on leaky storm doors if you might make alterations in the spring.
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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby rehabbingisgreen » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:46 pm

Thanks for the replies! I went out today and put some plastic on the outside of the door for now because temps are going to drop with 20's for high and single digits for lows again. Eee gad that side of the house is chilly! This place is sure a challenge to keep air out!

I've got to go buy some more foam board stuff here before long anyway because out window seat in the dining room is leaking air bad and I think I am going to line it with that insulated stuff and see how that does so maybe I'll pick up another sheet and see if I can't use it with the door.

After 110 or so years one would think the previous owners would have tried to button up this place some...
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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby RosemaryT » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:35 pm

Storm doors work great, especially on old houses. On my old house, the primary doors are pretty drafty so the storm doors really add a lot to the comfort of the home.

On the front door, we installed a nice wooden door (nice and expensive), but honestly, the andersen storm doors we put on the back doors (three of 'em) are much better at keeping out the weather.

The "comfort level" of our downstairs hallway went way, way up when we installed the andersen storm door on the back. It was pricey though. The doorway is extra tall and those extra four inches cost $250 more than an "off the rack" storm door.

The wooden storm door (see below) came from our local hardware store. Cost: $250

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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby melissakd » Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:13 pm

I had leaky windows in an apartment and since I wasn't going to be opening them all winter, I put a sheet over them (plastic doubtless would be better) and taped it around the outside of the woodwork. I didn't put any tape on the front or main surface of the trim, only 'around the corner' on the narrow edge that gets paint slopped on it when you paint the walls. It would be so much easier to draw this, but I can't. Trim is 3 or 4 or 5 inches wide by 1/2 or 1 inch thick, right, so the tape went on the half-inch part. Have I managed to describe that at all?

The sheet used to inflate slightly with the air coming in....

If you have plastic on the outside, and put another layer inside, you'll have made a little airspace between the outdoor air and the indoor air. That will be super insulation, although possibly a moisture problem . . . I would try fabric on the indoor side, or leave a small opening along the taped edge of the plastic for it to breathe. The moisture will gradually equalize, but you'll still be insulated.

Yeah, you might think it would occur to people to do something besides sit around saying "Gee, there's a bunch of cold air coming in here." I'm lazy, but I also hate being cold. I hope the foam board lining works on your window seat. I'm rooting for ya!
:)
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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby rehabbingisgreen » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:51 pm

Rosemary,
That storm door is really pretty! I'd like something nice for the front of the house. The two side doors my main concern at this point is weatherization. The doors aren't the thickest wood and you can really feel the cold just touching them. The air just blasts on that side of the house.
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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby rehabbingisgreen » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:58 pm

Melissa,
That's what I've been trying now on the windows with the most breeze coming in still. The kitchen window, on the north side of the house is much better now. The trim on that window is 80's yuck so I just plasticed,taped the heck out of it and put in a couple staples for good measure. One window upstairs that is in bad need of help won't even shut all the way because the wood is warped because it sat rotting with an air conditioner in it for years. I had to plastic up the outside of the window, then close it as best I could and then put some of the foam insulation board in there with another sheet of plastic on the inside. It's much better than it could be. I'll take all this stuff off when it warms up so it doesn't do too much damage.

I see myself busy for the summer.....
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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby Don M » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:36 pm

Hi Rosemary,
Beautiful wood storm door & WOW double radiators in the hall! Don
1840 Limestone Farmhouse
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Re: Is there really a storm door to keep the cold out?

Postby LarryinIowa » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:54 pm

I've had great success with the Storm King Patio Door Insulation kits. They use double stick tape to attach the film. Heating the film with a hair dryer shrinks it tight.

Don't pay the higher price for the 3m kits. The much cheaper Storm King brand works just as well.
Regards,

Larry
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