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Security

Doors

Security Doors 101
 
What Considerations & Features Should I Look for In A Security Screen Door?
 
 
A) Materials:            Steel Frames versus Aluminum or Metal Alloy Frames?
 

All can be made strong enough to be security doors, however, because Aluminum & Metal Alloy Frames are weaker than Steel the frames must be made wider to gain the necessary strength. The difference is that 2-3" Steel Frames allow nearly 40% more Airflow & Visibility than Aluminum / Metal Alloy frames which have to be almost 6" wide for strength. Use a piece of cardboard to add a 3" boarder around the inside of your door screen and you will see how much airflow & visibility you lose....  Aluminum doors will not rust but are significantly more expensive.  Steel doors properly treated and powder coated should not show signs of rust for several years in our area, and can then be re-coated.

 

B) Installation Choices:      Flush Mount versus Tube Frame Mount?

 

Either installation method provides security, however, Flush Mounting (inside your opening) looks more natural and seals better because there is no gap around the opening.  Mounting on a Tube Frame means that your door will stick out 1-1 1/4 inches from your opening because it is mounted on the face of your trim instead of inside the opening.  This can be accommodated by extending the threshold sill out to meet the bottom of the door but often costs more.

 

C) BUGS!                How is the door sealed against insects & scorpions?

 

Make sure you understand how your door will close and seal against BUGS!  In the Mid-West and East the biggest problem is mosquitoes. Here in the West we have less of those kind of nuisances BUT you don't want pesky flies or dangerous Scorpions sneaking in!

Most companies use a "peel & stick" foam tape to create a seal around your door.   They harden and crack and need to be replaced about once a year. Better quality companies use "felt strips" to seal your Security Door.  You are not looking for an airtight seal, just a BUG tight seal. The felt strips last nearly forever and are maintenance free.

 

D) Finish:                Paint versus Powder Coating?

 

Wet Paint is not heat tested or heat resistant and subsequently it doesn't hold up well under the beautiful, but HOT, Arizona sun. It just adds another maintenance item to your list of projects.

Powder coating is a type of coating that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The main difference between a conventional wet paint and a powder coating is that the powder coating does not require a solvent to keep the binder and filler parts in a liquid suspension form. The coating is typically applied electro statically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a "skin". The powder may be a thermoplastic or a thermo set polymer. It is usually used to create a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint.

Even the screws & screen frames should be powder coated so everything matches in color and lasts a long time.

 

E) Other Features & Enhancements


                1)  Mitered corners. This means the corners are solid steel on top and bottom instead of open tubes. If

                    the corners are hollow water can get in and rust doors from the inside out... also makes a rust stain on

                     your stoop or sidewalk.  If you have chosen a tube frame mount be sure the tube frame ALSO has

                     mitered corners. Find out if your company charges extra for this, and if so, how much?

                2)  Closers.  Make sure a pneumatic closer is included to pull your door shut.

                3)  Spring Chains.  These prevent your door from opening too far open, and should be included.

                     Find out if your company charges extra for this, and if so, how much?

                4)  Sill extensions may be required to insure a bug tight seal on the bottom.  Find out if your company

                     charges extra for this, and if so, how much?

                5)  Re-Keying to match your front door so you don't have to use 2 different keys to enter, should be

                    included in your purchase price. Find out if your company charges extra for this, and if so, how much?

                6) Hinges should NOT be welded on.  Welded on hinges eliminate any chance of making adjustments to the door if

                   ‘settling’ takes place.  “H” style hinges, properly secured, provide the best long term adjustability.

 

F) Warranties & Guarantees

 

Ask about product guarantees or warranties. What happens if there is a break in? What if the sun fades the color? What if the handle comes loose? How long can I expect it to close & open under normal conditions? Is there anything that can be done if the house 'settles' and the door becomes unaligned? How about labor guarantees?

There are a lot of considerations when you think about it so make sure you get a lot of answers BEFORE you lay out any down payment or deposit!