How do I make a storm door close when the window (not screen) is on it?

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My front storm door is mounted so that the hinges are on the east, meaning that the open part of the door is exposed to the breezes much of the time, and this winter, we've had some very windy days (40-70 mph).
The wind can damage the door if it flings it open too violently, and this of course scares and concerns me.
But when my main front door is shut, and the storm door has the windows (not screens) in, the door won't shut all the way until it clicks firmly closed and latched. The air resistance as it closes, especially the final couple inches into the doorframe, slows the door enough that it won't shut.
I don't have a problem in the summer - with the screens in, the door closes and latches, even with the main front door closed.
I don't have a problem in the winter when the door closes and the main front door is open (such as when I'm entering the house).
The only problem is in the common scenario where people are leaving the house through the front door. They pull the main door shut, then the storm door won't close to latching.
I've played with the resistance/closing speed settings in the storm door, and even when I can make it slam hard with the main front door open, it won't close to latching with the main front door closed.
So what am I supposed to do, without just leaving the screens in even during the winter, if I want the door to properly close in the winter?
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On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 19:06:07 -0400, trader-of-some-jacks

Do you have a door closure device? (looks like a shock absorber)
Might need adjustment or replacement.
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Yes, I've played with that using each possible permutation:
- a "winter" and "summer" setting for how the shaft mounts to the door (two holes for mounting, one for with screen, one for with storm window)
- a screw-adjusted tension setting
On the most tension setting, the door will just slam when there's no air resistance (like when the front door is open). But with the front door closed, the storm door will come flying closed, then slow down and stop short of latching into the door frame.
Since I can set the closure device to essentially slam the door with no shock absorbed "bounces" back, I assume that the door is closing pretty hard. Just not hard enough to latch.
Of course if I expose some screens on the door (the storm windows retract into the door frame), that cuts the insulating ability of the door. Same if I remove weather stripping or the door sweep.
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On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 20:09:25 -0400, trader-of-some-jacks

With a hydraulic cylinder; it should close and then snug the door to the latch. (no portion of the door dragging on the sill?) Hinges are tight, etc....?
I can only suggest the cylinder is leaking ...replace..
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Oren wrote:

I've been doing the same dance; I've come to the conclusion that it's simply not possible to have the storm door latch itself with the inside door closed. I have not found a closer with enough grunt to pull it shut, it's due to the air building up between the doors - it slams nicely with the inside door open.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Sounds like a market niche to me- an air valve for the door to vent the overpressure, but fall back shut once door latches? A little flapper in a tube, light enough that the moving door and air pressure buildup would hold it open, but heavy enough to fall back shut, and with a ring around it on outside, so that venturi effect of passing breeze wouldn't suck it open? There could be a screw-adjusted spring to adjust the tension. Or maybe build it right into the latch- a vent tube that would be closed once the striker cycles.
For commercial doors, they have 2-stage closers, that keep pulling once main swing action is done. Never seen one for residential. People with problem doors usually self-train to take the extra second to force door latched when they go through it.
Or if you like hillbilly engineering, there are all sorts of tricks you can do with magnets...
(Sudden mental flashes of how old VW Beetle doors worked, at least until the rust holes in the floor happened. New ones were <tight>, and cracking a window did help. Probably not many left in that condition.)
aem sends...
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My storm doors close,no problem, They have two closers on them, one on the top and one on the bottom of the door.
Several years ago I bought a door that came like this and now I always add a second closer if the door comes with just one.
Jimmie
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That's the best solution of all...been there, done that. Many of the better storm doors are much heavier than they were some years ago. Bought and installed a new better type Larson a few months ago, and IIRC, the directions suggested an additional closer, thus eliminating the ugly safety chain set up. The two closer set up operates the same as a single as far as speed but the final pull is firmer with two since that mode is solely spring action without air assist. HTH
Joe
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aemeijers wrote:

You could install an exhaust valve from the second stage of any scuba regulator. It's a flat thin flexible silicon rubber disk about the sixe of a quarter that has a central stem also made of rubber. You poke the stem through a 1/8" hole in the storm door so that the valve rests flat against the the outside. You drill a small 1/4" hole or two underneath the wide portion of the valve to allow the air to actually escape; the center hole is already occupied by the stem of the valve. The wide portion of the valve covers the holes until an overpressure exists; then it blows out of the way temporarily to relieve it.
Or you could just wait until the storm door closed before you closed the inner door.
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

Have you actually observed that scheme working?
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Sorry, forgot the tongue-in-cheek half-smiley symbol that I can never remember how to make.
The logical solutions are, of course, user training to hand-close it, maybe a second closer, and definitely one of those spring-limited safety chains that at least will keep it from being torn off the house for awhile.
aem sends...
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Hell, no. I do what I suggested at the end of the post... wait for it to latch before I close the inside door. I just posted that other stuff for those who are inclined to do everything the hard way.

As I said....
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Yep, that's the reason. I have two hydraulic closers on my front storm and it closes just fine - unless the interior door is closed first. The storm door is essentially trapping air and trying to compress it if the door seals are tight all the way around. Adjusting the cylinders doesn't help if the seal is tight - if you adjust them enough to close them when the interior door is closed, the storm slams when the interior door is not closed. If you're inside, let the storm door close first then close the interior door. From the outside is more problematic - you have to push the storm door closed, or sacrifice some of the weathertightness so the storm door seal will allow some air to escape. Aemeijers idea of a one way air escape valve in the storm door would be a simple retrofit and makes a lot of sense.
R
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On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 19:06:07 -0400, trader-of-some-jacks

If a simply storm door spring doesn't do the job the a hydraulic cylinder probably will, plus the tension is pretty easy to adjust.
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trader-of-some-jacks wrote:

I used to leave the window open a tiny bit, just to equalize more quickly. That door that would also be ripped open by the wind because there were no windbreaks. We put up two panels of wood lattice, one on either side. It wasn't very deep but did the trick and stopped the door from being ripped from the frame. The lattice was attached to 4x4 posts. Another kind of windbreak, even landscaping, would probably work. I was surprised the lattice was so effective.
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On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 19:06:07 -0400, trader-of-some-jacks

I think this is a troll, and I'm not going to play.
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wrote:

I don't mind at all that you can't be bothered to offer a constructive suggestion to the very real problem I posted about my storm door not closing and latching under some circumstances.
Hope you don't mind at all that I can't solve at least two very real problems that you seem to have: that you're a judgmental jerk; and that, with roughly 450 usenet posts in the first 70 days or so of this year (according to google), you seem to have considerably more idle time on your hands than a worthwhile person would.
Don't let my storm door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
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On Tue, 11 Mar 2008 21:52:08 -0400, trader-of-some-jacks

"A very real problem"?
Maybe you're not trolling, but it is clear that if you increase the closing force of your closer to allow for the wind, it will close too strongly when there is no wind. And furthermore your closer wasn't strong enough to do the first half anyhow.
So it's obvious that the solution during windy periods is to close the door with your hand. Is that so hard? Since you haven't said a word about that possibility, I think your being a troll was likely. Maybe still is.

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trader-of-some-jacks wrote:

Close it by hand.
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dadiOH
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If the inner door is wood, how about putting in a spring loaded mail slot in that door. When the storm door closes, it would push in the mail slot allowing the trapped air to enter the house and the storm door to close.
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Peace,
BobJ




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