Winter means two things in Canada: cozy evenings by the fire with hot cocoa in hand—and harsh winds, heavy snowfall, ice, and hail. Temperature drops can also make sleeping uncomfortable, and you’ll see an increase in your energy bills due to the drafts seeping into your home.
Space heaters are great, but learning how to winterize doors can be the difference between shivering all winter and staying warm, especially if you live in an older home. This is why your front entry doors are the first line of defence.
In this guide, we’ll explore some tips for effectively winterizing doors, ensuring that a drafty door or two doesn’t send a chill up your spine!
1. Assess Your Exterior Doors
Before diving into the winterization process, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough assessment of your front door’s current condition. Begin by inspecting for any visible gaps, cracks, or signs of wear. Check the weatherstripping for damage and assess the overall tightness of the door in its frame. Take note of any drafts or cold spots near the door, as these can be indicators of potential issues.
Air leaks in old door frames can allow cold air to enter your home despite your best efforts, whether your home is new or old. Pay attention to the frame and look for any areas where you feel moving air or see the outside.
An affordable quick fix for winterizing doors that are drafty is to add a draught excluder or a draft guard. These are cushion-like devices that can seal air leaks and prevent cold air from entering gaps in your entryways.
2. Clean Around Your Doors
Once the assessment is complete, it’s time to prepare the door for winterization. Clean the door and its surroundings to ensure proper adhesion of winterizing materials. Remove any debris or obstructions from the door’s threshold and hinges.
This is equally important if you’re winterizing patio doors or want to winterize a sliding glass door. Months of going in and out during the warmer months have likely left behind quite a bit of debris around the door jamb. Check the door tracks and make sure that those are clean, vacuum any dirt up and wipe the excess with a damp cloth. Cleanliness is key when it comes to winterizing doors.
3. Seal Gaps with Weatherstripping and Caulking
One of the most important effective strategies when learning how to winterize a front door involves sealing the gaps with precision.
Weatherstripping is a key ally in this step, forming a resilient barrier against air leaks and drafty windows. Note that weather stripping should be replaced each year; be sure to install fresh strips even if you still have last year’s in place. While you’re at it, take a look at the exterior swinging door sweeps and try to slide a piece of paper underneath it. If the paper can pass through, it’s time to replace the sweeps to further prevent drafts.
Equally important in the quest to seal air leaks is the role of caulking, a versatile solution adept at filling minute cracks and crevices. Opt for high-quality caulking to fortify the integrity of your door, preventing not only cold drafts but also potential water infiltration.
This tandem approach, combining weatherstripping and caulking, acts as a formidable duo, enhancing both energy efficiency and overall comfort within your Ontario home throughout the winter season.
4. Use a Wax Coat to Prevent Cracking
Cracking happens when a wooden exterior door experiences a sudden and significant drop in humidity, which can happen when the heat in your home turns on. You’ll be left trying to seal the crack and keep out the cold while wondering if you need to buy a new door in the process.
Avoid this issue entirely by using a wax coat as a kind of “moisturizer” for the wood. It will sink into the material to form a protective barrier, giving the door a natural defence against cracking. Make sure to clean the door thoroughly before applying!
5. Check Your Stairs
Ensuring that your door and door frame—and everything connected to it—are in good shape should be a priority as you winterize your home this year.
While you’re winterizing doors, make sure to give the foundation and stairs a check, too. If you see large cracks or other problems, you should consider taking care of them before the cold weather hits as the snow will only make these problems worse.
Stay Warm with High-Quality Exterior Doors
While you were learning how to winterize doors, did you notice any defects or issues with your current exterior door? Or do you find yourself fixing the same problem areas every year?
Winterizing doors shouldn’t be a necessity when the weather gets cold, and if it is, it may be time to invest in higher-quality entry door solutions.
Burano Doors has over 40 years of experience in manufacturing steel and fibreglass exterior doors for homeowners across Ontario. On top of durability, energy efficiency, and style, our doors are fully customizable and come with premium weatherstripping to keep warm air in and the harsh winter elements out!
Contact us today for a free in-home estimate to see if your home’s exterior door could use an upgrade!