Your exterior front, back, or side door is what sits between you and the howling winter winds outside. Winter can be hard on an exterior door, which can affect your security and comfort inside your home. Fortunately, you can plan ahead for possible winter door problems so you can either avoid them or be ready to call for a quick repair if damage does occur.

1. Warped Panels

Wooden doors are most prone to winter damage. The panels can warp due to moisture absorption combined with freeze and thaw temperature cycles. The best repair is prevention — if the paint or sealer on the door is wearing thin, the door needs to be repainted before winter. Once damage occurs, you may need to have the door replaced if it is warped to the point it is difficult to operate or sticks in the frame.

2. Creaking Hinges

Cold weather affects the viscosity of any type of lubrication on the hinges, so they may begin to squeal and creak annoyingly as the winter season progresses. Fortunately, this can typically be repaired quite easily with the addition of more lubrication. If you decide to repair the creaky hinges yourself, opt for a household lubricant that is made to work well at lower temperatures.

3. Cold Drafts

Drafts don't just make the home uncomfortable. A drafty door also means heat loss and higher energy bills in the home. This doesn't have to be the case, as drafts are one of the easier door repairs to make. Often, you only need to have the weatherstripping and threshold sweep replaced in order to enjoy a draft-free door. The only time weather stripping may not work is if there is damage to the door or frame that is causing a large gap. In this case, the damaged door or frame may require replacement.

4. Rusty Hardware

Moisture doesn't evaporate quickly in winter months and condensation can be an ongoing battle. This ubiquitous moisture makes issues with rusty hinges or door locks much more likely. If rust is forming on any of these hardware pieces, a door repair service will need to clean out the hinges or locks to remove rust and grime. Then, they will lubricate fully to prevent future rusting. A special, non-gummy lubricant is typically used in locks to avoid gumming up the sensitive works inside.

Contact a door repair service, such as AM PM Door Service, if you are concerned that winter weather has damaged your doors.