Front door is not only a showcase of our home welcoming guests, but also an important protection against intrusion of unwanted people. It is also important that their improper construction does not lead to overcooling of the building. There are a number of parameters that affect their usefulness. Here are some of the most important, which should be taken into account when buying a door.
Four important characteristics that determine the quality of doors
On the market we have the offer of very many manufacturers, whose products sometimes seem to differ only in price. In practice, even a product with a similar design may turn out to be very different in terms of performance. External doors are characterized by a specific:
- thermal insulation – determined by the heat transfer coefficient U. It is best to choose doors with the lowest possible value of this parameter, which allows to retain the maximum amount of heat inside the building. Do not install exterior doors with U-values higher than 2.6 W/mkwk;
- sound insulation – denoted by Rw symbol and expressed in decibels. The lower the Rw value, the quieter the inside of the house will be;
- resistance to external conditions – this refers mainly to water tightness expressed in classes 1A to 9A. Higher values of this parameter indicate e.g. protection against rain during very intensive rain or a storm;
- mechanical durability – is expressed in classes from 1 to 9, where each of them corresponds to a certain number of opening and closing cycles. Classes 5 and 6 are suitable for normal and frequent use and translate into 100,000 to 200,000 cycles, being suitable for exterior doors to a detached house.
Exterior door material
The suitability of an entrance door is also determined by the material from which it is made. This translates not only into their design or strength in case of a break-in, but also the quality of their use. The basic materials are:
- wood – a popular and natural material that is even an intuitive choice when it comes to door manufacturing. It also looks very nice and is susceptible to processing such as milling. Doors made of wood dampen outside noises well. The main problem associated with their use is that they are sensitive to moisture. The optimal solution is to install a canopy over them, it is also necessary to impregnate them, very often repeated periodically
- glass – we usually speak about glazed entrance doors, not glass. Thanks to placing in the door leaf even quite inconspicuous glass pane, we have an opportunity to illuminate naturally a dark corridor. The nature of the glazing can vary – you can find completely transparent, semi-transparent or matt
- PVC – plastic doors are characterized by a whole set of advantages. Their lightness and ease of installation will be appreciated by people who will be doing it on their own. They also have a high value of sound absorption and well muffle outside noises. Difficulties arise only during servicing, when repair is needed;
- aluminum – sound-absorbing, but not very durable;
- fiberglass – doors made of it are expensive, but they are respected because of their good insulation parameters in terms of heat loss and isolation from outside sounds;
- steel – it is possible to make a real “armoured” door, but it will be very heavy and with poor thermal insulation properties
Security for exterior doors
Doors intended as entrance doors must also be characterized by a good class of resistance to burglary. In the past they were divided into three groups (A, B and C), nowadays the division is more complicated.
>> See also: Choosing an anti-burglary exterior door
Classes of burglar resistant doors RC:
- RC 1 N – basic protection against burglary (without glazing),
- RC 1 – resistance to physical force,
- RC 2 N – resistance to the use of simple tools (e.g. knife, screwdriver),
- RC 2 – additionally reinforced glazing,
- RC 3 – resistance to e.g. crowbar,
- RC 4 – resistant to crowbar, hammer, low-power drill,
- RC 5 – resistant to the use of power tools,
- RC 6 – resistant to the use of power tools with very high power.