Homeowners have storm doors installed for a variety of reasons: protecting the exterior doors from inclement weather, the security of being able to see who is at your front or back door without the need of opening the door, energy efficiency by preventing hot or cold air from seeping in, the added bonus of keeping out crawling and flying insects, and adding an aesthetically pleasing look to a home’s exterior for curb appeal.
Because front and back doors are the first line of defense against heavy winds, an improperly functioning storm door closer can be caused by something as simple as a storm door left ajar and caught off guard by wind, resulting in the door whipping back and forth. The excessive flapping of the door can lead to the bracket bending or breaking and making the closer inoperable.
Another popular reason for a broken storm door closer is the amount of normal daily traffic going in and out. Everyday usage alone can cause the closer to work overtime in homes with large families, putting extra stress and strain on the closer’s components. Additional reasons for a storm door closer to not work properly include:
- Internal springs wearing out or rusting over time
- Springs becoming unadjusted, which prevents the door closer from closing properly
- Spring tension needing an adjustment to accommodate the weight of the door
- Faulty or improperly installed latch that secures the door preventing the door closer from doing its job
While it’s inconvenient to have a broken storm door, it is an easy do-it-yourself project. With a few tools and materials and a little time, you can put your storm door back in working condition.
Removing the Storm Door Bracket
Whenever a storm door closer is subjected to unusual usage that it isn’t designed to handle, it can stress the storm door bracket to the point that it breaks, warps, or is torn out of the door jamb. If torn from the jamb, it can result in additional damage, such as a cracked door frame. Also a possibility is the mounting hardware necessary to hold the bracket in place becoming loose, or the mounting screws are stripped, making them useless to retain the bracket in place.
To fix the problem of a malfunctioning storm door closer, gather the recommended tools and materials together and follow these simple steps.
- Before you start work, lock or secure the storm door.
- Remove the broken or bent closer bracket and mounting screws.
- Remove the piston pin from the closer bracket, releasing the piston arm.
- Discard the old bracket.
- Hold the new storm door reinforce plate against the door jamb where you plan to install it.
- Use a marker to signify where the holes will need to be drilled to secure the steel plate in place.
- When lining up the plate, be sure the steel plate is parallel to the edges of the door frame.
- Before installing the steel plate, fill in any damaged wood, holes, cracks or crevices that won’t be covered up by the new plate with wood putty.
- Paint the repaired area.
- Once the repaired area is dry, place the steel plate onto the door frame and using a drill, attach it securely using wood screws.
- Attach the new storm door closer bracket to the steel plate with no.10 screws.
- It is important that the closer bracket be aligned with the storm door precisely so that there is enough space available to allow proper functioning between the storm door and the jamb.
- Use the piston pin you removed from the old bracket to connect the new bracket and piston arm.
- Once everything is connected, test the door to ensure it is opening and closing properly.