Common Problems With Storm Doors

Rhonda McDowell

Storm doors are extra outer doors. From a distance, they can resemble a screen door. But instead of merely letting air and light in and keeping insects out, they also protect the primary door and the rest of the home from harsh weather.

Adding a storm door can help maintain your primary door's appearance.

They block cold drafts and strong breezes and minimize heat energy loss by providing an extra barrier. As part of your home’s protective outer layer, storm doors can develop certain problems, usually caused by the weather.


If a strong gust of wind blows the door open, it can yank or bang the door violently enough to damage the hinges. To avoid this, install a wind chain between the door frame and the door itself.

Door Closer

Door closers on storm doors are meant to automatically close them upon opening and to soften the way they shut close. But over time, they lose their dampening ability. To remedy this, turn the tension adjustment screw at the end of the closer cylinder. If the tension can no longer be remedied, it’s time to replace the closer. You can install either a pneumatic or hydraulic closer.

Door Frames

Many damages to door frames are caused by opening and closing the storm doors with excessive force. Apart from adding a closer, keep hinges oiled and latches properly aligned.

Frozen Locks

Storm door locks sometimes get stuck in one position because of freezing weather or the build-up of dirt and grime. To avoid this problem in the locks and many other moving parts of the door, keep them oiled. If, however, you’re already dealing with a stuck lock, you can fix this by gently heating the affected area. After heating one side of the lock, test if the key will turn. If it won’t, or if the key becomes stuck, apply additional heat to the other side of the lock before trying again.


Water vapor often collects on the inside part of a storm door, especially on its glass window panes, which then condenses into moisture or actual water droplets. In fact, if your storm door is installed properly, sealing your house and main door away from the cold wind and water outside, condensation can form within seconds after closing the door. This is because house interiors are warmer and more humid than outdoors, even more so during cold weather. Too much condensation can damage wooden or metal parts of your storm and even primary door. One way of avoiding damage is to install fans in a spot near the door to help evaporate the liquid water.