How long do security doors last?

It’s important to choose security features for your home that are strong, durable and will last the test of time. The Australian climate can be harsh on our houses so it’s important to ensure your security door is made from premium materials and is designed to last. But, how long do security doors last before they need to be repaired or replaced?

Whether we are upgrading or installing security doors in our home, the main things on our minds are privacy, air flow and protection from intruders and insects. But it is also important to consider: how long will your new security door last? Do security doors come with an expiry date? When will it need replacing? And can you do anything to help your security door last longer?

Factors that affect the longevity of your security door include:

  • Weather;
  • Component materials;
  • Installation;
  • Wear and tear;
  • Cleaning and care; and
  • Warranty, repairs and servicing.

Weather

OK, we can’t control the weather. But it is good to keep in mind when choosing your security door and window screens. Does your region have extreme weather — summer heat waves and icy winter winds? The direction your doors and windows face, and how much structural protection they have (balconies or verandas), will determine how much rain, hail, snow, wind and direct sunlight they will bear. Even in moderate climates, a north-facing door will see more hours of direct sunlight and a west-facing door will be more exposed to wind.

If you live in a coastal area, corrosion from salt will be a factor. Aluminium is more resistant to corrosion than steel, however, a galvanised and powder-coated steel door that meets Australian Standards will also be resistant to corrosion.

And don’t forget that, no matter the weather conditions, a security door has the added benefit of protecting your main door from the elements.

Component Materials and Design

The material used in each component (or part) of the door is chosen for maximum strength and durability? There are different parts to security doors and window screens, and each one plays an essential role in protecting your home for as long as possible. The main components are:

  • Frame;
  • Mesh;
  • Grille; and
  • Hinges

Frame: Steel and aluminium are both excellent choices for long-lasting security doors. Aluminium is light and more resistant to corrosion. A steel-frame door is the strongest option which is effective for security and longevity.

The design of the frame is also important to assure that the grille and infill or mesh cannot be pushed through. Check that the door frames use internal PVC strips and wedges in a deep receiver channel to ensure a secure grip for the mesh and grille. Corners should be

Mesh: To meet the Australian Standard for security doors (AS5039-2008) mesh is tested for tensile strength by subjecting it to a physical cutting attack. This is done by dragging a sharp blade over the mesh three times. If you have pets or even just hoping to have a pet in the future, choosing a door with a strong pet-proof mesh will help your door withstand wear and tear from pets.

PerfGuard Security Doors use a very strong 1.6mm corrosion-resistant aluminium mesh that will not stretch or sag. This is a visually appealing option for commercial and residential properties.

ScreenGuard Security Doors are impact tested and the woven 316 marine grade stainless steel mesh is corrosion resistant.

Grille: The Diamond Grille security door is a classic for a reason. It is strong, it lasts, and it works with a variety of mesh styles. You can also match your window screens to your door. Not only are the cords of the -grille strong because of the diamond or double-diamond shape, but it is equally important that the grille is joined securely to the screen frame for maximum protection. This is also true for Colonial Cast Aluminium Grilles which are a good option for those wanting an aesthetic to match their home. When fastening the grille to the frame, good-quality welding is best-practice. Screw caps are also strong but keep in mind that wearing can occur between steel mesh and aluminium frames and this can result in corrosion.

Hinges: Home intruders know where to look for weaknesses. Like a chain, a security door is only as strong as its weakest point, which is why it is so important that hinges are up to the task. The door should have at least three hinges with fixed hinge pins that cannot be removed. A hinge filling between the door and the frame protects against ‘jimmying’ or levering the door off its hinges with something like a crowbar. It also keeps the hinges protected from the elements.

Installation

No two homes are the completely identical, just as no two doorways are identical. Making sure your security door fits snugly is essential for maximising your own security as well as the life of the door. The best way to do this is to have the door custom-made and installed professionally. Even if the fitting is only out by a millimetre, there will be unnecessary wear and tear on the frame each time the door is opened and closed. It also means you know who to call if any problems arise.

Wear and tear

Most main doors take a pounding — even in 2021 when periods of lockdown might mean we’re not allowed out of our homes much. Add kids, ball sports and pets to the mix and multiply those openings, closings, scratchings, shakings and slammings by 30-40 years and you realise how much work our security doors are doing. Luckily, if they have been custom-built and installed to Australian Standards (AS5039-2008 and AS5040), they will last where old fly-wire screens and poorly installed doors would quickly fail.

Cleaning and care

There are steps you, the owner, can take that will help your security door last as long as possible. Security doors are pretty tough and don’t need complex maintenance, but they can accumulate dust and dirt. Cobwebs can also build up and hang around attracting dust. This is less of a problem for screen doors that are in regular use, but they can build up on window screens or doors that are not frequently used.

 

A quick clean with a soft brush vacuum head will get a lot of surface dirt off the door and screen. Avoid using a scrubbing brush or anything with abrasive bristles as this could damage your door.

For a more thorough clean, you can use a small amount of liquid dish soap in water. With a soft cloth, start at the top of the door and work your way down. To rinse, use the garden hose on low pressure. Pat dry and allow the door to air dry. Stand back and admire your good-as-new security door!

Avoid using vinegar, lemon juice, cream cleansers or dishwasher detergent to clean your door as these can damage the coating and mesh.

How often you clean your door will depend on where you live and the time of year. You might only need to clean your door once or twice a year or as often as seasonally.

Warranty, repairs and servicing

Getting your security door custom-made and installed by experts not only keeps your home more secure for longer and gives you the peace of mind the comes with a warranty. Jim’s Security Doors can also provide repairs and servicing. Jim’s skilled technicians can replace screening mesh or damaged grilles.