Frequently asked questions

General Operation

How do I know if my storm door is left or right hinged?


Storm doors are always measured and described with you standing outside looking at the door. A right-hinged door means if you are standing outside and looking at where the storm door will be, the hinges are on the right and the door handle is on the left. A left-hinged door means if you are standing outside and looking at where the storm door will be, the hinges are on the left and the door handle is on the right. A left-hand outswing door means if you are standing outside and looking at where the storm door will be, the hinges are on the right and the door handle is on the left. A right-hand outswing door means if you are standing outside and looking at where the storm door will be, the hinges are on the left and the door handle is on the right.




How do I make my storm door close faster or slower?


There is an adjustment screw in the tip of the storm door closer piston. Take a phillips head screwdriver, insert it into the tip of the piston, and turn it clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the speed of the door. Want to know which way to go for sure? If your storm door is right hinged (meaning when your standing outside looking at the door, the hinges are on the right and the door handle is on the left: 1) Turn the speed set screw in the tip of the closer counterclockwise (or towards you) to make the door close FASTER, 2) Turn the speed set screw in the tip of the closer clockwise (or away from you) to make the door close SLOWER. If your storm door is left hinged (meaning when your standing outside looking at the door, the hinges are on the left and the door handle is on the right: 1) Turn the speed set screw in the tip of the closer counterclockwise (or towards you) to make the door close SLOWER, 2) Turn the speed set screw in the tip of the closer clockwise (or away from you) to make the door close FASTER. If you try adjusting the set screw and the door does not slow down, then the unit is defective or broken and must be replaced. You can find them at any hardware store for about $5-$10, or call the manufacturer and order a replacement part. Still have questions? Check out my instructional video on how to adjust a storm door closer.




How do I operate the Larson Tradewinds roll screen?


To reveal the screen in a Larson Tradewinds storm door, you must first unlock the top window by pulling the latch located on the top-middle part of the bottom glass panel. Pull this latch towards you, the reach up to the pull-down bar that is located on the top of the top glass. Pull down and voila! There’s the screen. Still need help? Watch my video on how to operate the Larson Tradewinds roll screen.




How do I stop my storm door from squeaking?


Oil the hinges with WD-40 or other silicone lubricant.




How far will my storm door open?


Most storm doors will open to about 90 degrees. You can get them to open a little further by removing the door closers if you are moving large furniture or objects in and out of your home.





Troubleshooting

My closers make a loud “popping” or “clicking” noise when the storm door shuts


If this happens, the bracket that attaches the closer to the storm door is loose. Since it’s loose, the “popping” noise you hear is cause from the bracket sliding side to side. All you need to do is: 1. Tighten the screws that hold the bracket to the storm door, 2. Add more screws to the bracket, or 3. Replace the screws with larger diameter ones.




My storm door won’t close and latch on it’s own with the entry door closed.


This is one of a storm door’s most common problems. I can’t tell you have many people have argued with me about doors closing and latching on their own when the primary (or entry) door is closed before the storm door closes. From an attorney threatening to sue, builders and general contractors asking me if I’ve ever installed a storm door, to a scientist who actually installed 6 (yes, 6!) door closer pistons on his door in an effort to get the storm door to close and latch on it’s own, this problem drives type A personalities insane. But it’s really not a problem at all … in fact it’s simple physics. Here’s how the problem starts. You leave through the front door and pull it shut behind you. You hold the storm door open; maybe with your foot or back while you lock the entry door. When done, you get out of the way and let the storm door close on it’s own. But it when it closes, it doesn’t latch. It’s stays open slightly. Now the Type A personality spends the next 4 days adjusting the speed of the door closer(s), trying to find the scientifically accurate balance to make the door close and latch on it’s own. If this is you … stop. Just stop. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack or a stroke. There are bigger things to worry about in life. Here’s whats going on. Assuming you have an all glass door (or the screen is not down), as the storm door closes it begins to build pressure between the glass and the entry door. Normally, a storm door will close about halfway, the closers (or pistons) then kick in and slow the door down a bit, and then it closes the rest of the way. But it won’t latch at the end. As the storm door is closing, it forces the air that’s trapped between the two doors out. But there comes a point when the air can’t escape fast enough, so it builds up pressure and pushes back on the storm door and the glass, and that pressure build up forces the storm door to stay open. In the end, the air pressure wins and the storm door remains unlocked. That’s why a storm door won’t latch if the entry door is closed first, and the reason you have to push it shut in order to get it to latch. Want to fix that? Well, you have 3 options (ranked in order from hardest to easiest): 1) Change physics. Sounds absurd, but in my experience people have demanded it. 2) Put a screen in the storm door or open the window. This will break the pressure seal and allow the door to close and latch on its own. How much you have to leave the window open depends on the storm door, layout of your house, wind direction, how plumb and level your entry door is, what day of the week it is, what season, and a myriad of other factors you don’t control. 3) Just remember to push the storm door shut when you leave. I mean really? If that’s the biggest problem you have to deal with every day, you’re doing great!




Where is my storm doors registration number


Most manufacturers put the storm door’s registration number on the inside of the hinge z-bar frame. To find it, open the storm door and look at the inside of the hinge z-bar. It will be somewhere there.









Cleaning and Maintenance

What do I use to clean my storm door?


For the storm door frame: dish soap and warm water. For the glass: windex and paper towel or vinegar and newspaper. Do NOT use a harsh cleaner like ajax or comet. For the handles: soap and water and brass polish if the handles are brass.





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