Pros and Cons of Using an Aluminum Door Frame
An aluminum door frame is among the most commonly-used door frame options. Homeowners evaluating various door-frame options should understand the pros and cons of using an aluminum door frame.
Pros of Aluminum Door Frame include:
In terms of resistance against moisture, aluminum door frames are at par with stainless steel or fiberglass-based frames. Most aluminum frames are retailed with an oxidized coating. This industrial coating process is also referred to as anodization. This coating is able to negate corrosion and pitting/scratching, making the door frames immune to moisture-seepage and neglectful handling. This makes aluminum door frames an ideal choice for exterior doors that have to withstand external weather conditions. In comparison, wooden door frames are known to warp due to moisture seepage and metal doors are vulnerable to scratches and corrosion.
Due to greater tensile strength, a thinner aluminum frame provides sturdiness at par with other, thicker door frames. Aluminum frames are considered more resilient than door frames made from hardwood or iron/copper. However, aluminum frames are much cheaper than the other options.
Aluminum door frames are much lighter than conventional door frames. The lightweight nature of such frames makes it easier to install them. A retailed, aluminum door frame is sold in the form of small sections. These parts can be easily assembled at home with basic, tools and packaged instructions due to their lightweight nature and easy layout. This also helps to save upon installation costs.
Aluminum door frames are easier-to-maintain. Such frames can be regularly wiped with a wet sponge. There is no need for regular painting or staining to preserve the appearance of an aluminum surface. Even if a section of the door-frame is damaged, it can be replaced by buying an exact replacement. The substitute parts are sold in standard sizes, retailed across every major hardware store.
These door frames combine visual appeal along with functionality. Aluminum frames can be stained or painted with ease or left untreated for the characteristic, silver-like finish. This is makes it easier to customize the door frame to suit indoor or outdoor style choices.
Cons of Aluminum Door Frame include:
Aluminum door frames are resistant to moisture but the drywall within which they are installed isn't so durable. Usually, the internal section of the drywall along with some coats of paint is compressed along aluminum frame during installation. Now, aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat. This means that when colder temperatures prevail, the aluminum frame tends to maintain a lower temperature than the interiors. The slightly warmer, indoor air condenses upon the aluminum surface. The aluminum surface itself doesn’t absorb the moisture but the compressed layers of concrete/paint are vulnerable to moisture seepage. Due to this, the edge of the frame can develop heavy mold growth.
Despite their many advantages, aluminum frames aren’t preferred by many landscapers. This is largely due to the rather cold or artificial appearance that an aluminum surface has. Even after painting and staining aluminum surfaces, the inviting aura of a wooden door made from hardwood cannot be replicated.
Expensive, Threshold Repairs
To address the problem of condensation, thermal breaks called thresholds are inserted along the door frame. However, the aluminum threshold can get damaged over a period of constant exposure to moist or humid climate. This can cause irreversible deterioration of the sill and the surrounding drywall. The only solution to correct a damaged aluminum threshold is to replace it with a new one—the costs for replacing an aluminum threshold are rather high.