Door Expansion: Why the Swelling Occurs & How to Prevent It
Wooden doors provide a rustic feel that enhances any traditional home architectural style. However, they suffer from door expansion or swelling, especially during fluctuating temperatures and changes in weather extremes.
A “Seasonal Affective Disorder”
Wood is porous, which means the elements can cause it to expand in humidity and contract upon contact with dry air. The doors’ major wood components may swell further due to the units’ lack of a water-repellent finish.
This problem occurs in regions across the country known for having extreme climates almost all year round. These include the humid states in the south and the snowy states in the north. Exposure to such conditions can wear down not just the doors but also the replacement windows and other exterior components.
Are Your Doors Swelling?
There is a timeless appeal that often comes with wooden entry and patio doors that makes them the default material for many homeowners. It’s true that the natural wood grain textures certainly tie smoothly with traditional and classic homes.
Unfortunately, wood can be a problematic material overall. It requires plenty of maintenance and can be prone to moisture damage.
Wood is a porous material. This allows water vapor to seep through its molecules and cause problems over time. Treating wood is one way to address this weakness, but treatments require constant attention to be effective.
Wooden Doors Absorb Moisture
You might have noticed your windows and doors can get stuck during rainy seasons as if they’ve grown a few sizes bigger than they usually are. It’s not your imagination. Wooden doors and windows can absorb moisture during high-humidity seasons, making them bigger. The changes are small enough to be unnoticeable but big enough to affect how you use your doors.
Preventing Door Expansion
Swelling can make the door difficult, if not unable, to operate. Inspection is necessary every once in a while to ensure everything is working as intended. When problems of sticking become noticeable, the door must be fixed immediately.
You can reduce the effects of this on your doors by regulating the humidity levels in your home. You can open windows to allow for better indoor air circulation, or you can install a dehumidifier alongside your HVAC system to protect the wooden door by limiting moisture. Applying a new finish would also suffice to ensure protection all throughout. While these can keep the door swelling at bay, they are temporary solutions.
Permanent Solutions for Door Swelling
You can eliminate seasonal affective disorder on your home’s exterior doors by switching to a better material, such as steel doors. Steel doors do not necessarily resemble brutalist designs. Modern steel doors are often finished to have the same aesthetic value as a classic wooden door, only without the door swelling problems.
Another option would be to replace it entirely with a new non-wood door. Woodbridge Home Solutions offers steel replacement entry doors designed with security, style, and energy efficiency in mind. Our experts will help you choose the right door to match your tastes and needs.
Our company has fulfilled homeowners’ exterior home improvement needs for over 25 years. We are the leading installers of exterior doors in Wichita, dedicated to helping you reduce energy costs while enhancing your home’s beauty. Call or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate.