Natural Disasters: How Your Commercial Doors Can Help in the Event of an Emergency

Natural disasters always seem to happen when you least expect them. Tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes, and other events can cause tremendous damage, and you need to do everything you can to prepare beforehand. One of the most important—and most overlooked—parts of disaster preparation are doors.

Installing the right commercial door packages on your property plays a vital role in protecting both your building and the people inside from the impact of a natural disaster. From ensuring your commercial property has readily accessible exit routes to stopping the spread of fires related to natural disasters, commercial doors are a critical part of your disaster response plans.

Emergency Egress Doors

One of the first steps in designing your disaster response is planning out your emergency exit routes. These routes need to remain clear at all times, and they should be clearly marked as emergency exits. You should also ensure that everyone in the building knows where their nearest emergency exit is and run periodic drills to practice emergency evacuations.

One key aspect of your evacuation plan is installing emergency egress doors in all emergency exits. These doors are required to open outwards, and they must be between 32 inches and 48 inches wide. In addition, these doors need specific hardware that doesn’t require extra effort to open, like a push bar

Finally, these doors cannot be locked from inside to prevent people from becoming trapped inside a locked door. Instead, any locking mechanism must be unlocked in a single action with a device like a panic button. 

Fire Doors

While the initial damage caused by a natural disaster like an earthquake or tornado is usually the main focus, the more significant risk comes in the aftermath of these events. Earthquakes, in particular, can cause critical internal structures to shift, which can lead to an increased risk of fire from ruptured gas lines and loose electrical wiring.

In order to minimize any potential damage from fires arising from these disasters, your building should be equipped with fire doors to help slow the spread of flames and smoke throughout the building. 

Fire doors are rated to stand up to extreme heat. Wooden doors are rated for up to 90 minutes, while steel doors can withstand up to three hours of fire. These doors are not permitted to be propped open and must close freely in the case of a fire.

However, that doesn’t mean that fire doors need to be bland or ugly. You can still customize your fire doors with windows and louvers, as well as paint and varnish to give your commercial property a look you want with the safety you need.

Areas of Refuge

As a result of the Americans with Disabilities Act, more and more buildings are becoming accessible for individuals with a wide range of mobility restrictions. Ramps, lifting devices, and other improvements have become standard in most buildings, making commercial properties welcoming to all people.

However, accessibility doesn’t stop with just being able to enter and exit a building. As part of your emergency plan, you need to develop what is known as “areas of refuge.” These areas provide safe spaces for individuals with mobility restrictions to shelter in place during an emergency.

Areas of refuge must be protected from smoke and fire with devices such as fire doors, and in many buildings, they are located on a floor with an automatic sprinkler system. Those with mobility problems can shelter in these rooms without having to struggle to make their way to an emergency exit, which can slow everyone trying to evacuate.

Areas of refuge should be clearly and obviously marked so they’re easy to find. Emergency personnel are trained to access these rooms using the markings as quickly as possible to aid anyone who needs assistance leaving the building. 

When you’re putting together your commercial property’s emergency response plan, don’t hesitate to get in touch with CDF Distributors to ask any questions you might have. Our experts will talk to you without using jargon or overly technical language, and they’ll make sure you have the doors you need to protect your property and your people. Contact CDF Distributors today!

How a Louvered Door Can Spruce Up a Workplace

When it comes to improving your workplace, most people tend to forget about doors. They focus on walls and floors, adding paint or carpet, or perhaps even a unique touch like wallpaper or wood paneling. 

But the fact is that doors are not only an essential part of your building’s infrastructure; they’re also a big part of your commercial property’s aesthetics. When you focus on choosing the right door for your facility, you should make sure to choose doors that fit both form and function.

One way to ensure that you get the most value from your doors is to consider louvered doors. Louvers, which are vents made of slats installed horizontally across an opening, provide additional airflow between rooms separated by a door, and you can even install them in fire doors. Let’s take a moment and consider how a louvered door can make your workplace even better.

Improved Air Circulation

Believe it or not, indoor air quality is often much worse than the air outside your home or business. In fact, OSHA provides several guidelines for protecting workers who may be exposed to poor indoor air quality and how companies can adjust their work environments to make them safer.

The most important part of improving your indoor air quality is to work on your building’s airflow and ventilation system. While this usually means addressing the HVAC system, adding louvers to doors can help keep air flowing throughout the building. Free-flowing air will allow you to equalize temperature better while also filtering out particulates more efficiently.

Reduce Bad Smells

There are some areas of your commercial property where bad smells can tend to build up. By installing louvered doors, you can help reduce those unpleasant aromas. Here are the doors that benefit the most from installing a louver:

By increasing airflow, you can help keep these bad smells from collecting, keeping your office’s scene much more pleasant. Better air quality does wonders for productivity and obviously makes for a more satisfying customer experience.

Better Security

Several parts of any commercial property need security from intruders. But while a simple locked door may be okay for some areas, others require more ventilation, both to cool equipment and prevent gases like carbon dioxide from building up to dangerous levels.

Installing a louvered door provides you the ventilation you need to keep everything working. For instance, utility rooms can cause buildups in potentially hazardous fumes if not correctly ventilated, and most HVAC systems require louvers to keep air flowing. That can also prevent areas from experiencing pressure differentials, which can place additional strain on HVAC systems.

Keep Your Technology Safe

Commercial properties these days depend on significant amounts of technology to keep their businesses running. While technology has made much of our lives easier, it also means we face other challenges in keeping technology running at its best.

Take server rooms, for instance. These rooms must remain secured to prevent unauthorized people from accessing sensitive equipment and potentially wreaking havoc on your system. However, server rooms need to be kept cool—no higher than 77 degrees—to prevent that equipment from malfunctioning. 

One way to help regulate the temperature is to secure your server room with a louvered door. The louver will let excess heat escape the room, while cooler air from outside can filter in.

Louvered Fire Doors

Most commercial properties need fire doors in order to keep the building and the people inside safe from smoke and flames. However, that doesn’t mean that these doors can’t also have louvers in them. 

Most fire doors can be outfitted with a fusible link louver. These pieces of hardware automatically close when the temperature rises due to fire. That way, you can still install louvers where you need them while not having to worry about whether your fire doors will work effectively.

Any time you’re considering sprucing up your workplace, contact CDF Distributors to find out which doors will give you both the security and the aesthetic appeal you need. With warehouses throughout the country, we can ship your doors at lightning speed without the runaround. Contact us today! 

Can I Customize My Fire-Rated Door?

Installing fire doors in your commercial building is a must. Not only are fire doors required in certain areas to stay in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, but they provide important safety benefits for your building, protecting fire from destroying property. And, of course, they preserve the lives of everyone inside.

But the question often arises一how much can I customize my fire-rated door? The concern springs from the fear that by customizing a fire door, you may undercut the door’s fire rating, which can put you at increased risk of fire damage and fines during inspections.

This fear is reasonable. All fire doors need to meet regulations set out by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which addresses materials, construction, and installation. Any changes that you make to a door can potentially compromise the door’s ability to prevent the spread of flames and smoke.

But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have options when it comes to fire doors. There are many ways for you to customize fire doors for your specific needs, allowing you to find the perfect door for every situation. While there are some limitations on changes you can make, you can still make plenty of modifications to suit your fire doors to your needs.

Types of Fire Doors

You can typically find fire doors made of either wood or steel. While wooden doors can be rated to withstand fire for up to 90 minutes, you can’t beat the durability of a steel fire door, which you can purchase with fire ratings of up to three hours.

Fire doors can be installed either as single or double doors, in widths from 24 inches to 48 inches and up to 8 feet in height. Steel doors come painted with a gray primer intended to stop rust, while wood doors are usually varnished. In either case, you can apply your own finish once the door is hung using regular paint since the fireproofing is internal to the door itself.

Glass Kits for Fire Doors

While most people think of fire doors as heavy and imposing, that doesn’t have to be the case. Many fire doors can be made much more appealing by adding a window constructed with fireproof glass. 

While glass itself is technically fire-resistant, the glass installed in fire door window kits undergoes further fireproofing to meet fire code requirements. There are a number of different types of glass available, including:

Adding glass to a fire door can afford you several additional benefits. When added to exterior doors, windows make an entry more inviting while giving those inside the building better visibility to see who is trying to come inside. 

Windows also provide visibility in the case of a fire, making it easier to escape. Finally, windows can help admit light to rooms that otherwise might be too dark, helping add some brightness to an otherwise drab area.

Adding Fusible Link Louvers to Your Fire Door

When you have an area that needs to be secured and requires additional airflow, your best bet is to install a louver. However, when that door needs to be fire-rated, you can still install a particular type of louver, known as a fusible link louver.

Fusible links are simple devices attached to a louver that move in response to heat. As the fusible link in a fire door louver begins to heat up, it slowly closes the louver, creating a fireproof seal that will remain closed.

It is essential to be aware that fusible link louvers are only rated up to 90 minutes at most and must be installed in fireproof doors with a rating of at least 20 minutes. 

If you’re considering installing new fire doors in your commercial property, contact the experts at CDF Distributors. With our easily customizable quotes and rapid delivery anywhere in the country, you can rest assured that you’ll get the door you need when you need it. And with no minimums to qualify for delivery, you’ll only buy what you need. 

Once you partner with CDF Distributors or talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable reps, you’ll be showing other companies the door.

Does Your Office Door Need a Closer?

Door closers are handy pieces of hardware that ensure commercial doors close themselves when left ajar. They also control the rate of closing, preventing the door from slamming. They’re certainly helpful, but does your office really need one? Here are some things to consider:

The American With Disabilities Act

Access to business and places of employment is covered extensively by the American With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The act put in place sweeping reforms for how organizations must accommodate persons with disabilities. Among these are many regulations and guidelines for ensuring access.

The ADA covers many different organizations and affects how most of us work (especially since COVID). Of course, there are exceptions. Depending on the size and nature of a business, specific accommodations wouldn’t be considered reasonable nor required. However, any premises that can be accurately called an office is unlikely to fall under any of these exceptions.

Doors present an accessibility issue for various types of disabilities. Commercial steel doors can be incredibly versatile, but they are often too heavy to be reasonably managed under the terms of the ADA. That being the case, the act outlines requirements for closing speed, among other parameters.

Many commercial door closers are available that can meet these requirements, although they often need to be adjusted to meet them. The force required to open the door shouldn’t be any more than five pounds for interior doors. The closing speed should be longer than five seconds when left to close without any manual intervention to ensure that persons with disabilities can clear the door’s sweep before it closes.

Fire Safety

Accessibility isn’t the only thing to consider when evaluating your need for door closers. The commercial steel doors in your office are highly fire-resistant, but they can only slow the spread of fires when they’re closed. Doors left ajar or unlatched can quickly be drawn fully open by the drafts that a fire will cause. That is one of the primary reasons that any business requires commercial door closers.

Fire codes are going to vary from state to state and even county to county. Your obligations as far as door closers are for fire safety will depend on numerous factors, including the size of your business, building occupancy, and your location. Even if the law doesn’t require them, door closers are always a good idea for an office.

The most important doors to include door closers on for fire safety are those accessing stairwells, fire escapes, and designated escape routes. That will generally feature doors with enhanced fire-resistance in general. Fires can spread through an office very quickly, and door closers are an essential line of defense.

The simple fact of the matter is that door closers will improve the fire safety of your office, and they’re among the simplest and most affordable ways to do so.

Security

While your business’s legal obligations to install door closers likely end with the ADA and fire codes, these are far from the only reasons to do so. You likely can’t afford not to install door closers with the level of security they can add to any premises.

For offices, one of the most common ways that unauthorized visitors gain access is through doors that have been left open. Lockpicking and other advanced methods occur less frequently than most people might think compared with how often access points are simply left open.

A door closer fixes this problem for good, preventing doors from being left ajar. It doesn’t matter how advanced your locks are if the door doesn’t close, so the door closer is what ties all of your security measures together.

You should also consider the difference between an open door and an unlocked door. An open door invites potential intruders from afar. They can’t know if a door is locked or not until they try it, which opens them up to a substantial risk of being caught and confronted. There’s no risk involved when noticing that a door is open.

As an essential security feature, not installing door closers could also affect your insurance. Policies vary widely, but most insurance providers consider whether your business is adequately protected or not.

Commercial Door Closers

Whether or not you’re legally obligated to install door closers, they’re a great way to keep your office safer and more accessible. CDF Distributors can provide you with the commercial door hardware you need at affordable prices and with fast and reliable shipping. Check out our devices online! 

The Best Lock Options for Your Storefront Door

You need to know that your storefront is secured once you lock up for the night. The same is true for your home, but commercial locks are generally higher-grade than residential locks.

You’re more likely to see your business broken into overnight because intruders can be sure that no one is there and chances are there’s something valuable inside. For the best defense, you need to find the best lock.

How Much Security Does Your Business Need?

Each business is going to have different, unique security requirements. Luckily, you can easily define what level of security you need with some help from the American National Standards Institute and the Builder’s Hardware Manufacturers Association.

These two organizations work together to define standards for door hardware security, including locks. There are three grades to consider when choosing a lock for your business.

Grade 3

Grade 3 locks are just regular locks, like most that you would find on a residential home. They’re relatively secure and offer decent protection. For the most part, you would only use these kinds of locks for interior doors that the general public can’t access without going past a higher-security exterior door.

Grade 2

Grade 2 adds greater security and durability. These are the types of locks you’re going to see on many businesses and the exterior doors of apartment buildings or other similar buildings.

Grade 1

Grade 1 locks are the very best, suitable for use in any application where commercial steel doors are used. You’ll find these in schools, hospitals, and businesses that require a little extra security.

Safe Bets: Your Company’s Best Lock Options

There are many locks to choose from, and each boasts its own security features and aesthetic profile. Read to determine which is suitable for your business doors.

Mortise Locks

Mortise locks are among the most popular choices for commercial uses. They are strong and offer superior protection against forced entry. Many steel doors come with the option to install mortise locks embedded firmly within the door.

The mortise panel can also be customized with additional features. They can have additional deadbolts, entry keypads, and other accessories. These locks also come in many great styles that can highlight your unique business.

Crash Bars

Crash bars are only suitable for specific applications. They’re the door handles you often see in malls and other crowded areas. They help prevent crowds from blocking entrances when evacuating buildings due to fires or other disasters.

Depending on the nature and size of your business, you might be required to install crash bars due to fire codes and other ordinances. These will vary from state to state, so it’s best to look them up ahead of time.

Lever Locks

Lever locks are likely what you think of as “regular locks.” A lever, or doorknob, is centered around the lock cylinder. They’re simple and affordable and come standard with many types of steel doors.

They can indeed be relied on for interior doors in most businesses, but you’ll probably want something a bit for exterior doors. A deadbolt can be installed on doors with lever locks to add some additional security.

Keyless Entry Locks

Electronic locks with keypads can be beneficial for businesses with a lot of traffic but need to remain secure, like offices or warehouses. One potential issue here is that anyone who knows the code will be able to enter the premises.

More secure electronic lock options can include RFID tags in ID cards or unique codes for each employee to track who is coming and going. Many other considerations go into determining if keyless entry is secure for your business.

Electric Strike Locks

Many retail operations implement electric strike locks to control entry. You might have noticed this kind of thing at a bank or a gas station late at night. The customer hits a buzzer outside, and the employee hits a buzzer inside to let them in.

These locks are incredibly unique and have specific functions. They either work for your business or don’t. If you need to allow controlled access to customers regularly, this is the way to go.

The Right Lock for Your Business

Different businesses need different locks, but they all have one thing in common: everyone wants the highest quality lock available for superior durability and reliability. CDF Distributors can provide your business with the doors, locks, and other door hardware it needs. Check through our website and reach out to one of our friendly representatives with questions. 

How the Right Door Can Protect Your Commercial Property this Winter

You need to know that your business is protected by your commercial doors all year round. Winter opens up new challenges that doors don’t face the rest of the year. During this time, you’ll be able to see the difference that a quality door can make and how disastrous it could be if your door’s unprepared. 

Here’s how the right door will defend your property in the colder months:

Standing Up to the Cold

Cold temperatures are one of the main issues you will have to deal with during the winter months. Having the right doors for your business is essential to ensuring that you aren’t losing valuable heat and running up your utility bills. A cold building can also be very uncomfortable for employees and clients, so it won’t bode well for your team productivity or sales, either. 

Commercial doors can come in a variety of different materials一steel, wood, glass, and more. Ideally, your businesses should limit glass doors and only use them where necessary for aesthetic purposes, like an office or retail store entrance. Steel and wood doors provide much greater resistance to heat transfer than relatively thin glass windows.

The US Department of Energy advises that doors are a substantial factor in energy efficiency. When it comes time to choose your doors, you’re going to want to evaluate different options based on their R-values. That is a standardized rating scale for insulation and can help you save as much energy as possible.

Wood doors are generally very effective at insulating but can be more expensive than what some businesses are looking for, depending on the specific application. The most common choice is hollow steel doors with insulated cores. There are many grades of insulation available, and a properly insulated steel door can provide excellent heat transfer resistance.

Fighting the Elements

Winter is the time of year that your doors are going to face some of their toughest challenges. There’s going to be plenty of ice and snow that can damage the door itself and hardware. You could find yourself having to deal with frozen locks, latches, and more. This is particularly true for doors in warehouses or other unheated areas that cannot thaw reliability.

The snow itself isn’t the only threat, though. Your doors face potential corrosion from salt. Salt is used to prevent icing on roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks. As an entry point, your door is likely going to be near salted sidewalks and streets. This salt can potentially corrode steel doors or other hardware over time if they aren’t properly maintained.

There are numerous types of steel that manufacturers use to make steel doors. Significant research goes into finding out which withstands corrosion from salt the best. Most steel doors are painted, and those meant for exterior use will have the appropriate protection to stave off this type of corrosion. The largest concern is going to be other hardware exposure, so you want to ensure that you only use the highest quality door hardware available.

Resisting Deformation

Over time, steel can bend out of shape. This is true for anything made of steel, and it’s true for steel doors. If put under enough pressure often enough, a steel door can deform. This will lead to several issues, such as potential security threats, giving potential intruders the leverage they need to gain access. You’ll also run the risk of letting the elements and pests get inside through small gaps.

Winter is when you’re going to have people pushing on your doors more than any other time of year. Sounds odd, but think about it. Your door’s hardware may become frozen due to cold temperatures, and unfortunately, the average person’s first reaction will be to push hard or even kick the door to get it open. This isn’t going to do much at the time, but if it keeps happening year after year, the damage can add up.

Another major concern is that snow can become packed around the door, carrying dirt with it. If the door frame isn’t cleaned from time to time, this buildup can result in the door being pushed to one side or another every time it’s shut. You could find yourself with a warped door eventually or possibly damaged hinges.

The best way to prevent winter from taking a toll on your doors and potentially compromising your business’s security is to only go with the best commercial doors available. CDF Distributors is your source for all types of commercial doors that can stand up to anything winter has to offer. Give us a call or build a quote online. 

Fires, Earthquakes, and Hurricanes: How Your Doors Can Help Protect You

No matter where you live, there’s a natural disaster that can impact you. When considering the fearsome power of fire, earthquakes, and hurricanes, the potential for damage is immense. Protecting your building’s entryways is crucial to keeping them safe! The more your structure can withstand mother nature’s fury, the better protected your business assets are.

Under Fire

Doors play a vital role in slowing or stopping the spread of fire. Fire-resistant doors can mean the difference between a small, contained fire and one that ravages an entire office complex. They also keep smoke from pouring throughout the building. Smoke not only reduces visibility, but smoke inhalation is one of the leading causes of death in fires. 

Ultimately, the point of a fire door is to buy people in the building time to evacuate and provide firefighters with a window of opportunity to extinguish the flames with the least possible damage to the structure.

Fire-rated doors are designed to withstand incredible amounts of heat. When choosing a fire-rated door, you’ll see a fire-resistance rating, typically in minutes or hours. For example, a three-hour door can hold up to three hours of fire in specific conditions. 

Believe it or not, wood fire-rated doors do exist! They’re not able to last through fire as long as their steel counterparts (about half as long), but they offer superior fire resistance to non-fire-rated doors of any type. 

Every part of the door works toward fire suppression. Hinges, latches, fire rated glass with or without wire lattice all must be able to handle the heat for the door’s rated time. The key to a fire-rated door working properly is a professional installation. If your door parts aren’t assembled carefully or the doors are poorly hung, heat and smoke can easily escape, and fire can spread. 

As a bonus, installing fire-rated doors can lower your insurance rates!

When the Earth Shakes

Earthquakes are one of the more terrifying natural disasters you might face. They strike without notice, and the ground literally gives way beneath you. So how can doors help minimize the damage and save lives? Let’s get this out of the way, the old advice of “stand in a doorway during an earthquake!” is not something you should follow. Nowadays, the guidance is to DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON

Japanese earthquake advice advocates opening a door in case the quake causes the door frames to warp and jam the door. In the U.S., this is not recommended practice. Open doors can swing and cause more injuries during violent shaking. The safest thing to do is stay away from your door during the quake! Commercial doors and frames are strong and will probably open just fine after the earthquake ends. The stronger the doors, the more likely people will be able to leave the building without finding a secondary exit.

If you’re concerned about making your doors as earthquake-proof as possible, invest in well-constructed, high-strength doors and frames.

Wind and Rain

WIth gusts that can exceed 200 miles per hour and rain measured in feet, hurricanes can devastate buildings. Doors that aren’t rated to withstand the wind and water can be blown out or let water seep in and flood the structure. Once a door is blown in, if the building hasn’t been constructed to handle high winds, the roof may be lifted off entirely.

Hurricane doors are made to handle the pressure. Generally rated in pounds per foot, hurricane doors offer different solutions depending on how severe hurricanes are in your area. If you never face hurricanes stronger than a category 2, you might not need to get the strongest possible door. Regardless of the rated strength, all hurricane doors are set in reinforced frames and are more durable than standard doors.

Protection from rain is also something your hurricane doors should provide. Tight weatherproof seals can mean the difference between riding the storm out in relative comfort built simple and having to sop up water before it damages your floors or encourages mold growth.

No matter what natural disaster you face, you should expect your doors to keep you safe. Whether fires, earthquakes, or hurricanes, a door from CDF Distributors is your key to riding the storm out! 

Steel vs. Wood Doors: Six Things to Consider

The door is the first thing you see when you walk up to your house or office. The handle is the first thing you touch. It keeps intruders out and family in. No matter how nasty the weather is, your doors keep it outside. A new bride being carried over the threshold is a tradition that continues to this day. In other words, your exterior doors are important. When choosing your doors, you’ll probably have to make a fundamental decision: steel or wood?

There’s no one definitive answer as to what material is “best” for an exterior door. Wood and steel both have positives and negatives. You just have to figure out which ones matter more to you! Let’s look at six points to compare wood and steel to see which one has an advantage.

  1. Aesthetics

You’re going to be looking at your front door a lot. Make sure it’s one you actually like to see.

Wood

The organic feel of the wood grain is soft and inviting. From dark walnut to eye-catching flame maple, the texture of wood alone is engaging. But carvings and engravings can take a door from entryway to centerpiece. Wood can be stained or painted, giving the homeowner a huge palette for personalization and customization.

Steel

It’s tougher to make steel doors look attractive. The surface can feel cold and uninviting. Generally, steel doors are painted a single color and have well-built, simple panel designs. If this is the intended effect, then it’s not a problem, of course. Extra cladding or embossing can even create a wood-like appearance.

Whether you’re building or renovating, there’s always a budget to keep, no matter how wealthy you are. When planning your exterior door choices, the cost will be a factor, and this is another area where wood and steel doors differ.

Wood

While you can find wood doors comparable to steel doors, expect wood to be the more expensive option. Nurturing a tree from seedling to lumber is a time-consuming process with a lot of hands involved! If you plan on using more exotic lumber, then the price will rise even higher.

Steel

Going with steel is usually considered the more economical choice. Even more ornate steel doors with simulated paneling and embossing will come far under the price of comparative wooden doors.

Keeping outside air from making its way in is one of the primary jobs of an exterior door. Your electricity bills directly reflect your AC’s activity一how hard your unit has to fight to maintain a stable temperature. Energy Star can help you determine what insulating efficiency you’ll need from your exterior doors based on your climate zone.

Wood

While a wood door is perfectly adept at keeping moisture and air from getting inside, it’s less able to insulate from hot and cold. Wood is just less energy efficient than steel. However, manufacturers can build wood doors with cores that help with energy efficiency and fire prevention.

Steel

Higher insulation values make steel the choice over wood if maximum energy efficiency is your goal. Adding in a glass window will cut down on efficiency, however.

Cold, hot, or humid air isn’t the only unwanted guest you might face. Preventing break-ins is the job of your locks, but they’re only as good as the doors and frames where they’re installed.

Wood

Unfortunately, while wood is aesthetically pleasing, it’s just less sturdy than steel. Wood can be broken or sawed through even if you’ve taken other measures to make your door more secure, such as strong strike plates with long mounting screws to make kicking the door in that much harder. Of course, a window can negate this security advantage.

Steel

A well-built steel door in a strong frame might as well be a wall when it comes to deterring break-ins. Even hollow steel doors offer more protection than most wood doors, though many steel doors, such as those at CDF Distributors, are filled with insulation and reinforced to increase their strength.

Your exterior doors will get worn from use, weather, and time. Keeping them looking their best will require care and attention no matter what they’re made of.

Wood

To keep wood doors looking and functioning their best, you’ll need to have them refinished every couple of years. The front, back, sides, top, and bottom must be sealed to protect the wood from rotting or attracting pests such as termites. If wood doors are scratched or dented, repairs are comparatively simple. Usually, some sanding and touch-up paint are all that’s needed to fix light damage.

Steel

From the factory, steel doors are coated with vinyl or polyester to protect them from scratches. But, as their coating gets worn down, you’ll need to repaint or recoat your steel door. Moisture can cause steel doors to rust if not prevented quickly. If steel gets dented or scratched, repairs aren’t as straightforward as they are with wood. Steel has to be sanded and filled to keep the door from deteriorating.

What kind of life expectancy can you anticipate with your exterior doors? Will they hold up to decades of use?

Wood

When sealed properly, wood can last for generations. Preventing rot is the job of paint and finishes, and as long as a maintenance routine keeps the finish from wearing away, the wood door will stay usable. Proper finishing will also keep the wood from warping and reduce expansion and contraction.

Steel

While steel is strong, its durability is just not as high as wood when faced with the same daily use. That can be down to the level of maintenance the homeowner or business owner is willing to do, but keeping up with every scratch and paint chip is challenging even for the most meticulous person. Once rust sets in, it’s challenging to eliminate.

Which one won out for you? Are you in camp steel or wood? Whichever way you decide, CDF Distributors is the key to your new doors!

Winter's Coming: 5 Reasons to Weatherize Your Exterior Doors

A blast of frigid winter air hits your face—the sting of sub-zero frost sets in on your extremities. You begin to shiver. Worst of all, you’re in your office. Keeping winter outside where it belongs isn’t just a matter of cranking up your heat, though. If cold air is getting inside your house, you have to stop those air leaks before your furnace can do its job.

Your exterior doors are one of the most common areas of your house for air leaks. Over time, rubber and foam weatherstripping can harden and crack. Wooden doors expand and contract through the years, leading them to be ill-fitting with their frames. General wear and tear (or poor construction) will eventually fail to keep outside… outside. Combined with proper insulation, weatherizing your entry and exit doors can maintain a proper temperature in your home.

What tangible benefits can you expect when you weatherize your doors?

  1. Decrease Your Energy Consumption

If the outside air is constantly making its way into your home or office, your AC unit will work overtime trying to compensate for the temperature fluctuations. Not only will this cause premature wear on your climate system, but you can expect your energy bills to rise as a result. Preventing cold air from entering your house in the first place reduces the stress on your AC/Heater.

The US Department of Energy estimates that weatherized homes can expect average annual energy cost savings of $283. They have even enacted a Weatherization Assistance Program to assist low-income households.

Uncomfortably cold ambient air is irritating. Combined with occasional drafts is distracting at best and dangerous at worst. For elderly or infirmed homeowners, the inability to control temperature can aggravate health problems. The same is true for pets, as well. Your dog or cat might not like the cold any more than you do!

Also, think about anything in your house that needs to be stored at a stable temperature. Certain electronics can be damaged when the weather is too cold. Cleaners and detergents may contain polymers that can separate and make the product less effective. 

Freezing air isn’t the only thing that can be an unwelcome guest. If air can get in, bugs probably can, too! Cockroaches can squeeze into cracks that are only 1/16 of an inch, and doors are one of the primary ways they get into homes. Weatherstripping around doors can keep them out. Door frames can age and rot, as well, leaving doors that might otherwise keep the elements outside less effective at doing so. A solid metal door frame like the kind CDF Distributors specializes in will reduce air gaps and will last far longer than a wooden frame.

Air temperature isn’t your only concern when controlling your indoor climate. You also need to watch for humidity and moisture. Your HVAC unit might not be able to get rid of humid air as fast as you might think, especially if it’s too large for the house. That might not sound like a problem in winter, but snow can melt and leak in underneath doors! The bigger issue then is what that moisture can lead to…

Mold. Mold thrives in wet climates. Spores that might get trapped by your AC’s filter can instead sneak under doors and start to spread. If the indoor humidity isn’t getting reduced by a dehumidifier or your climate control system, then your house or office may become a breeding ground for mold. And it’s not just around the base and sides of the door that you need to worry about. Old handles and deadbolts can be just as leaky! Upgrading to new knobs with proper pressure ratings can make these leaks disappear.

There’s an adage that when you clean up, you tend to find things that went missing. The same is true as you begin to weatherize your home. You may find stripped screw holes behind your door hinges, air gaps between panels, deteriorating weather stripping, and rotten wood. Chances are, if your doors used to be good at blocking outside air but leak like sieves these days, you might have more issues lurking beneath the surface. 

Taking care of your home or business’s weatherization and fixing problems as you find them is the sign of a responsible owner! If and when you decide to sell, you’re protecting the house or office building’s value. Buyers are always looking to see that property was well maintained. If they walk in and it’s the same temperature outside as inside on a cold winter day, they may think twice about making an offer.

When it’s time to keep winter outside where it belongs, contact CDF Distributors! We’re the key to your new doors.

Top Places to Consider a Louvered Door

Are you looking for an inexpensive and stylish way to separate spaces in your home? Louvered doors are a traditional type of door with a focus on a few key benefits. They offer a classic and functional look that can elevate any space. With louvered doors, you can also maintain airflow between spaces without sacrificing privacy. 

This good airflow is due in large part to the design of Louvered doors. With a series of evenly spaced horizontal slats, louvered doors allow air to move from one room to another without much obstruction. Other types of doors more or less block the flow of air, typically leading to stale air on one side of the door. Louvered doors can open and close like traditional doors or fold inward to save on space.

When considering louvered doors, it can be challenging to decide where exactly they would be the most useful. Thankfully, we’ve done a lot of the thinking for you. Here are the best places to install louvered doors.

Spaces That Need Air Flow

Pantries, wardrobes, bathrooms, and kitchens are all locations in your home that benefit from ventilation the most. With proper airflow, you can keep air fresh on both sides of the door, removing odors, and preventing air from becoming stale. 

Tight Spaces

If you’re living in a small home or have a particularly small room, every inch of free space matters. A small room with a closet will need to dedicate a few square feet for the closet door alone, effectively shrinking the amount of space in an already small area. Louvered doors don’t need to swing open like traditional doors, saving you a considerable amount of space. Instead, they can pivot and fold inward against the door frame.

Between Rooms

Louvered doors can be excellent room dividers if you install them as swinging doors. They won’t impede airflow; they’ll maintain a certain level of privacy and foster easy movement from space to space. Louvered doors can add a little bit of flair where an empty door frame might be bland or boring.

Wardrobe

Clothes need to breathe. Otherwise, your clothes will develop a stale smell and starchy feel. Instead of locking your clothes behind a traditional door in your bedroom, you can install louvered doors. With their great ventilation, the air inside your wardrobe won’t go stale. Your clothes will stay comfy and clean for longer.

Bathroom

Louvered doors can provide the level of privacy required for a proper bathroom while adding much-needed ventilation. This benefit is especially useful during and after showers, as these doors dissipate all of the heat and steam generated by your shower. Because of the angle and tight spacing between slats, you won’t have to sacrifice privacy or worry about anyone peeking in. 

Storage

You can install louvered doors in pantries and cabinets, as well. Any storage space will benefit from the added airflow, especially where temperature fluctuations are a concern. Because of the added airflow, you can rely on more even temperatures on both sides of the door. That means no more worrying about whether or not your storage space is warmer or colder than it should be.

Kitchen

With swinging louvered doors, you can stylize the entrances to your kitchen without obstructing airflow. Kitchens need a great deal of ventilation, what with all of the cooking, smoke, and smells. Louvered doors can keep air flowing while providing your kitchen a fun, rustic look.

Utility Rooms

Louvered doors provide excellent separation for laundry rooms, electrical rooms, and HVAC rooms. Since louvered doors help dissipate any heat and humidity, they are especially useful when placed where your laundry or HVAC equipment is.

Order Doors Online with the Best Door Distributors

Need help deciding what doors to get and where to put them? If so, you should call CDF Distributors. CDF Distributors is the leading authority for ordering doors online. We can help you build a quote online and plan out your space, and we deliver anywhere in the country. If you need help deciding what doors are suitable for your space, give us a call with the details. We’ll help you make the right choice.