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air gap between storm door prevents front door to close

air gap between storm door prevents front door to close

Old 12-25-07, 07:04 AM
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air gap between storm door prevents front door to close

Hi Everyone -- When the glass panes are in the storm door, our front door will not close unless you really shove it hard. When the screen is in the storm door, the front door closes easily. I assume that the air pressed between the two doors prevents the door from closing easily. The front door seems to be hung well. Any ideas? Thanks!!
Old 12-25-07, 07:30 AM
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storm door

Hi Jersey

Unfortunately, its pretty hard to have the best of both worlds. I used to get this from customers all the time. If the storm door is installed correctly, and seals tightly, and you have a good front door, this is what happens. IF it really bothers you, you could probably remove the sweeps at the bottom of your storm. Of course, the the little critters (in summer) and the cold air (in winter) will have easy access. You also could possibly raise the z-bar (frame) of the storm door, buy after install it can be a little messy.

My advice is learn to live with it.

Best in 2008
Old 12-25-07, 08:41 AM
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Gunguy is right on the mark. It's not the door, it's the air compression that just normally takes place. Usually only happens on the way OUT, since when you are on the way IN the storm door usually closes behind you before you have a chance to shut the prime door. On the way out, a person should normally want to wait, and give it a little nudge to make sure it's shut.

Your door probably already has 2 closers on it, doesn't it? One at the top and one at the bottom? If not, that might "help" but likely won't be a complete solution. You could also check to see that the storm door closer has been mounted in the correct position. Those hydraulic closers are supposed to close the door slowly and evenly, then during the very last bit of closure, the hydraulic cylinder is supposed to "snap" the door closed. If the far end of the closer has been mounted too far away from the jamb, the cylinder never reaches the point where it will want to "snap back", or it does it too late. You can check this by removing the pin that holds the cylinder to the storm door, and then allow it to fully retract into it's resting position. Normally, it should be about 1/8 to 1/4" back from the position it will be in once it is hooked up. In other words, when you go to hook it up and put the pin back in, you should only have to pull it out 1/8" or so. If you have to pull it out much farther, you aren't getting the full benefit of that last little "snap" that the cylinders normally have.

Gunguy's suggestion of raising (or removing) the adjustable sweep is a good one. It will allow air to escape out the bottom of the door as it closes, and just might provide enough ventilation that it will close.

If people ask me for a full view storm door, I will never recommend one that is full glass- I think it's best if the doors have a vent at the top and/or bottom that can be opened and closed as needed. Heat buildup between the doors is another issue you have with full view storm doors.

On storm doors that don't close fully, I am always sure to install a safety chain that will prevent the door from getting blown open past 90 degrees. If your door doesn't have one, it's a $7 accessory you can buy. I've noticed that a lot of storm doors nowadays don't come with one- I think its part of a conspiracy to sell more storm doors. (since no safety chain = more wrecked storm doors)
Old 12-27-07, 10:52 AM
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Storm Doors

I second (and third) the previous comments. Storm doors are not intended to be airtight. They are intended to be windbreakers, screens/ventilation, and a loose thermal barrier, but not airtight. If they are airtight (or close to it actually), then you will have the problem you described in which the storm door will not fully close because of the trapped air pocket. In contrast, the interior door (actually it's called the "exterior door") behind the storm door is intended to be as airtight as possible. The solutions to your problem have already been mentioned, but the reason for the problem sounds like you have two pretty tight doors when ideally it should only be one.

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