An exterior door is a barrier to your home. Whether it’s a front, back, or side door to your garage, your door must function correctly to protect your home.
If you’ve noticed light peeking through or felt a draft blowing around the edges of your door, it is not creating a proper seal to keep your home secure.
You may not notice these symptoms unless you know what to check for.
If you step back from your door inside your home, do you see light coming in around any edge of the door?
If you hold your hand near the edges of the door, do you feel a breeze coming from the door?
So, you’re reading this article because you’ve recently noticed one of these issues and want to know what to do about it. Can I adjust the door? Does it need reinstalling? Does it need a full replacement?
We’re here to answer all your questions about your door problems, so you know exactly what to do with your door.
Southwest Exteriors has been an expert San Antonio door replacement contractor since 1989. While we only offer high-quality full door replacements, we want you to have the right information to know whether you really need a full door replacement or if there is a better option for you.
Depending on the door problem you experience, you may need an adjustment or a full door replacement.
What do you do if you notice drafts or light coming in around your door?
This article will outline the common causes of drafts and light coming in around your door and what the solution is.
After reading, you’ll know how to diagnose your door problem correctly. Then, you can take the right next step to take to have your door fixed.
Drafts and Light Coming in Through Door Frame: 4 Probable Causes and Solutions
If you look at your door and notice light seeping through from the outside or feel a draft blowing on your hand, you may not think this is a serious problem.
It’s just a little light and air, right?
The truth is, depending on the cause of leaking drafts and light around your door, an underlying issue may continue to grow and cost you more in the future.
Leaking drafts and light coming in around your door may be caused by:
Let’s explain each of these causes further so you can better understand why you may be experiencing this issue and understand the best solution.
1. If the door has warped over time
One of the first symptoms that would cause your door to allow drafts and light to seep around the edges is if your door has become warped.
Warping of a door depends on a few factors, like the material of the door, environmental factors, and usage.
Lower-quality vinyl doors are known to warp when exposed to constantly changing temperatures from hot to cold and back and forth. Wood doors can also become warped from sun heat and expand if they trap water in the frame.
If a door is made to be flexible, like vinyl, it can also become warped if forceful use is constantly present on the door, such as pulling the door upwards or downwards against the hinges when opening or closing the door.
If you have a vinyl or wood door, warping is more common and may be the probable cause of this problem than in other types of doors, like fiberglass or steel.
What is the solution to fixing a warped door?
If you’ve determined that drafts and light around your door are caused by warping, the door may be adjusted at the hinges to fix the problem.
But, if the door has become permanently warped beyond fixing, it may need to be completely replaced.
Adjusting a door will only fix the problem temporarily. The best thing you can do if your door is warped is to have a professional come and examine your door to determine if you need an adjustment or a replacement.
2. If the door frame has shifted due to foundation shifting
Another common cause of drafts and light leaking through your door frame is if your home has shifted on the foundation.
Foundation shifting is inevitable and happens to nearly every home over time. When your home shifts with the ground shifting, it causes every opening in your home, like windows and doors, to shift with it.
This causes the square of the opening to become unlevel or slightly angled. This will then, in turn, cause your door frame to turn from a square to a parallelogram.
If your door frame is not level both horizontally and vertically, it will cause the door slab to not fit perfectly in the frame. Depending on how it is angled, even slightly, this will create small gaps around the door frame, allowing air and light to seep in around the frame.
What is the solution to a shifted door frame?
If you suspect door frame shifting has caused your door to allow air and light to seep around the edges, the probable solution is a simple adjustment around the hinges and the frame.
This solution, however, depends on the degree of shifting of the frame. If your door has been shifted for a while and continues to worsen, an adjustment will likely not do anything.
A less common cause that would create gaps between the door and the frame is if there are any manufacturing defects in the door or the door frame.
A manufacturing defect that would cause the door to fit improperly in the frame is if the slab was manufactured unevenly, the door jambs are uneven, or any other part of the door was manufactured incorrectly.
Any manufacturing defect will affect how the door fits in your home. An uneven door and door frame will lead to multiple issues beyond just drafts and air coming through, especially if the door has been installed with a manufacturing defect from the beginning.
What is the solution to a door with manufacturing defects?
If the door allows air and light to leak around the door frame from a manufacturing defect, it may be fixed with some adjusting or replacement of the jambs, but it may also need to be fully replaced.
If the entire door slab was manufactured incorrectly, it would most likely need to be replaced. If the jambs or bottom threshold have manufacturing defects, the jambs may be able to be adjusted or may need replacing.
A door system must be installed completely level and flush to your home. This would allow the door to function properly with no issues in the future.
If light or drafts are coming around your door since it was installed, it is not level in the frame. You will notice this as soon as the door is first installed, or if you move into a new home and notice this problem, the door was most likely not installed properly when it was put in.
The biggest cause of drafts and light coming in around the door is if a contractor did not properly install the weather stripping around the frame. Weatherstripping ensures the frame is properly sealed to create a flush opening for the door.
If the weather stripping is not installed properly, there may be gaps around the door and between the frame and the wall.
What is the solution to a door that was installed improperly?
If drafts and light leaking through your door frame are caused by an improper installation, you will first want to contact the company that installed the door to have them fix it.
They may be able to fix or adjust the door jambs to make the door even in the frame, but if the door was installed improperly in multiple areas of the door, it might need to be completely reinstalled or replaced.
Finding a high-quality door replacement contractor to fix your drafty door
Now that you know four common causes that will allow drafts and light to seep through your door frame, you can take the right next steps to having your door fixed.
Depending on the cause of your drafty door, you may be able to have your door adjusted, or you may have to have the door system fully replaced.
If drafts or light around your door are caused by minor warping of the door, foundation shifting of the frame, minor manufacturing defects, or small installation issues, the door most likely can be adjusted, or the defective part can be replaced to fix your issue.
If drafts or light around the frame is caused by any of these four symptoms that have been present for a long period of time or have created major gaps between the door and the frame, you may need to have the entire door system replaced.
Whether your door problems come from a major or minor cause, the best thing you can do for your home is to consult a professional, especially if you’ve been wronged by a faulty door replacement contractor before.
At Southwest Exteriors, we offer full door system replacements with high-quality, long-lasting doors from ProVia, Anlin, and Marvin. Your new door is made and installed to last a lifetime in your home and is also backed by our lifetime warranty.
If you have problems with your door that we’ve installed in the past, we’ll do all we can to fix it. But, if you haven’t worked with us before and just need a simple door adjustment, you need to find the right company to do so.
You may be wondering then, “How do I find a trustworthy door replacement contractor to fix my door?” A part of this is by researching and asking the right questions.