Today's storm doors weather battered images of the past


December 19, 1992|By Gene Austin | Gene Austin,Knight-Ridder News Service

Storm doors are not used on some homes these days because the new entry doors are tightly weatherstripped and insulated, presumably eliminating the need for protective doors.

Some homeowners skip storm doors because of the doors' old image as rickety wood or aluminum devices that make entrances ugly.

Actually, some modern storm doors are not only things of beauty, but also can serve important functions on almost any home.

The new breed of storm doors is better insulated and much sturdier than most older ones. These high-quality doors can significantly improve the energy efficiency of any entry, protect an expensive wood entry door from damaging weather and, in warm seasons, serve with screens for ventilation and insect protection.

Homeowners who don't want to conceal a distinctive entry door can find storms with large expanses of tempered safety glass that give virtually a full view of the entry door.

Security storm doors, with decorative metal grilles to protect the glass and help foil intruders, also are available.

Manufacturers such as Cole-Sewell Corp., of St. Paul, Minn., and Emco Specialties Inc., of Des Moines, Iowa, have helped move storm doors into an era of beauty and utility.

Cole-Sewell doors feature a prefinished aluminum shell with a solid core of wood particleboard. The combination makes an extremely rigid frame that, the manufacturer says, will not warp or dent.

Warping is a common problem with old hollow-core aluminum doors and wood-framed storm doors.

Some other manufacturers use plastic foam such as polyurethane to fill and insulate aluminum frames. Molded polypropylene, a durable plastic, is sometimes used as a frame material.

Readers' questions and comments should be sent to Gene Austin, c/o The Baltimore Sun, Box 8263, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101.

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