Cold Room Door

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Old 12-10-16, 05:45 AM
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Cold Room Door

Hi there,

I live in Canada and this will be my second winter in my home. My home has a sizeable cold room storage area in the basement. Last winter I noticed the whole basement is quite cold and the main reason appears to be because the door to the cold room has no weatherstripping causing drafts. I was going to put on weatherstripping, but I noticed it was actually an interior door. It seems to me, I should have an exterior door given that the cold room has temperatures similar to the outdoors, am I right in thinking this?

If I am right, where do I go from here? I know there are prehung doors and slab doors. Is it likely that I will find an exterior door that will fit the area? (It's definitely smaller than the average front door to a home). And finally, if there is a slab that would fit in the in the frame, is this something the average person could install or would I most likely need a professional?

Any input is appreciated.
 
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Old 12-10-16, 06:23 AM
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Welcome to the forums Robert!

Just adding weatherstripping will help some, does it have a threshold? Eliminating drafts should help the most. An exterior door would help but might not be worth the effort/expense. You could also add a foam panel to the door.
 
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Old 12-10-16, 06:59 AM
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It seems to me, I should have an exterior door given that the cold room has temperatures similar to the outdoors, am I right in thinking this?
Yep!

If I am right, where do I go from here? I know there are prehung doors and slab doors. Is it likely that I will find an exterior door that will fit the area?
Don't know, it would help if we knew the size of door that is currently in there... width x height. And the rough opening if you have it.
 
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Old 12-10-16, 08:00 AM
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Thanks for your replies.

Marksr- that sounds like a good idea for a quick fix. There is no threshold. Just carpet in the finished portion of the basement. I was thinking about putting a doorsweep to block drafts underneath if I were to proceed with weatherstripping.
The foam panel is a good idea, would it be bettet on the finished side or the cold side? I'm thinking it wouldn't look great on the finished side, but I guess my main concern should be function.

Xsleeper, the door dimensions are:
Height - 79 inches
Width - 31.5 inches
What other measurements might be useful?
 
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Old 12-10-16, 08:08 AM
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To find the rough opening size you would need to pop off the trim on either side. It would also help to know if the rough opening is concrete or if it is wood on top of concrete (woodbuck) and especially would need to know what is above the door because it's likely that the food might need to go higher than it currently is.

A 32" prehung exterior door would need a rough opening that is about 34x82. A 30" prehung is available but is usually special order, it needs a rough opening of 32x82.

I assume you measured the door slab itself, which does not include the 3/4" jambs on either side. Pop off the trim and see how much space you have in the opening.
 
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Old 12-10-16, 12:20 PM
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The foam panel is a good idea, would it be bettet on the finished side or the cold side?
Not sure which would be better [if it even makes a difference] but I'd put it on the cold room side so it doesn't detract from the finished room.
 
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Old 12-10-16, 02:31 PM
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If you go with the foam panel idea one of the members here (I forget who) said he pokes a few holes in the perimeter of the foam, then inserts a tarp bungee (the short elastic ones that are just a small loop with a ball on the end) through the holes. The ball holds against the back side of the foam and the bungee goes through the hole and can hook over a hook or nail. I thought it was ingenious.
 
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Old 12-11-16, 02:18 AM
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An exterior metal pre hung door is best option.

I have a storage area under the front porch that is not insulated and similar to your situation it sucked any/all heat out of the basement.

After installing and sealing it was 15 degrees warmer down there!
 
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Old 12-17-16, 05:10 PM
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Thanks for all of your input (and i apologize for the delay in response).

Since it is already cold here, I think I will try the foam insulation & weatherstripping to get through the winter...

Eventually I hope to change the door but it definitely beyond my abilities (for now anyway!). We'll see how well this option works to see if I need to make the whole door change a priority for next winter. Thanks
 
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Old 12-18-16, 03:38 AM
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The main thing is to stop the drafts! Adding insulation will also help but probably not to the extent of stopping the airflow.
 
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Old 12-18-16, 11:05 AM
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How exactly is this cold room built and what are you storing in there?
Insulating and sealing the door would definitely make the basement warmer but it will also make the cold room colder.

Cold rooms are very useful in my opinion but care is needed in building them.
They need to be somewhat insulated and have a good vapor barrier to prevent moisture accumulation and damage in cold weather.
It is difficult to build though........the insulation you put in to prevent frosting and freezing of what you put in there will work against you in warmer weather.
I have installed a small cooling unit in a few cold rooms when they were renovated.
They would use natural cooling in the winter months and the refrigeration unit in the summer time.
 
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