How to detect air leaks in your Wrought Iron Door

There’s nothing worse than spending months choosing the most beautiful and secure wrought iron door that money can buy and then having it installed and discovering that air is somehow seeping through or around your wrought iron door and creating cold drafts. Correct installation is critical and even a tiny discrepancy off square, can cause problems with the doors functionality. Air leaks are also a problem in cold weather because they can let in freezing cold air which chills the double iron doors which then can develop condensation on them as the warm air inside the home comes in contact with the cold iron.

There are three main areas where leaks can be detected.

1. Between the doorjamb, the threshold and the house.

If the doorjamb was not properly sealed during installation, then cold air can leak into the space between the jamb and the house. The cold air can become trapped behind the trim on the inside of your home, or it may flow right past the trim. Leaks like this can be hard to identify as you’re not likely to feel any air flow. Take a look to make sure there are no cracks or gaps showing on the outside of the home. If you find any, check with your contractor or the person who installed your wrought iron door, that he used a proper sealant during installation.

2. Leaks in the seals, around and under the door.

You can usually detect leaks by looking for light entering around the edges of your double iron doors. To test, shine a strong flashlight on one side, and see if you can see it on the other side. This is easier if the light is outside and you can darken the inside to see the contrast. Or you can use a candle, held close to your wrought iron door to detect any drafts. You should see the flame being blown about by the draft. If you find any leaks, then it may be because of one or more of the following conditions:

a) The seals may be damaged, have become dislodged or were not installed correctly. In this case, the seals will need to be replaced and/or properly installed so there are no gaps.

b) The doors were not installed correctly and are therefore not closing properly. With double iron doors, push the doors gently closed and measure the gap between the astragal (strip of metal that covers the gap between two doors) and the inactive door. Measure at the top of the door and at the bottom. The gap should be something like 5/16" but the important fact is that it should be exactly the same at the top and the bottom. If the measurements at top and bottom are even a tiny bit different, then the door is installed a little twisted and it can cause the seals on half of the door to not perform correctly. Also if you notice that one door is higher than the other when the double iron doors are closed, then the jamb was installed out of square. It is a very simple matter to correct these problems during installation, but it becomes a much bigger job once the trim around the door and flooring are completed. If you discover this, you will need to get your contractor or original installer back in to redo the entire job.

3. Leaks in and around the door hardware.

Door hardware can leak air badly if not installed properly. Again, you can detect leaks like this by simply holding a lit candle near the area. If the flame moves, you have a leak in your hardware. Make sure the hardware is tight to the door. It can also be installed with a little clear silicone sealant under the plates to be sure they seat completely. On the non-active door, the whole lock area should be filled with expanding polyurethane foam after installation by injecting though the latch plates. Check with your contractor if he used such a sealant when installing your wrought iron door.

It’s no fun discovering these problems and most of the time, the problem arises from poor installation. For this reason, it is generally advisable not to try and do it yourself with the installation of double iron doors. While it may not be difficult, the measurements have to be precise and if the wrought iron door is not installed correctly, in most cases, all warranty on the door can be invalidated.

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Donatello Doors

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