door closer in open position

Door Closers – Do you Really Need Them?

Door closers can come in handy. They close the door behind you and can be adjusted to keep the door open when, for example, you are bringing in the groceries from the car, or large items of furniture into the house.

What is a door closer?

It’s a mechanical device that can close the door in a controlled fashion. There are basically two types; hydraulic or liquid closers, and pneumatic or air closers. Both of these perform the same function. There are also lightweight or heavy-duty door closers designed to match the weight or purpose of the door.

standard door closer

Reasons Against Door Closer Installation

Door closers have been around for decades, and are still popular today, especially when you have a house full of kids who never seem to remember to shut the door behind them!

However, there are valid reasons for not installing a door closure when having a new door fitted, and we’ll discuss these below.

Short Lifespan and Maintenance Requirements

Door closers typically don’t last very long. They require frequent adjusting, lubricating and tightening, something that most homeowners are unaware of, or can’t be bothered to do.

Security Concerns

No matter how expensive the security door was to purchase, if it has not been locked shut, once you are inside, you no longer have a security door, and your insurance company may not cover loss of your belongings in the event of an intruder, if the door was not locked.

Vulnerability to Weather

Hinged doors can be easily damaged by weather. A strong wind may slam the door open or closed, damaging the door closer. Even the door itself may be damaged leading to expensive repair bills. Constant rain can cause rusting of metal door closers, causing them to malfunction and rust staining of the door and its surrounds.

Potential Damage to Door and Frame

Not only can the door closer itself break, but it may also cause misaligned hinges, warped doors, and actual door and frame damage.  So now you’ll be up for the cost of replacing the entire door, and potentially a damaged door frame as well.

Expert Advice and Considerations

Professional security screen installation companies often advise against door closers, emphasizing the importance of properly securing doors for optimal security. Door closers are no longer considered a standard inclusion when purchasing a hinged door from any professional security screen installation company.

metal door closer

These businesses all have the same advice, if a door closer is installed, slamming behind you means that it is not locked shut, and therefore no longer considered to be a security door, if it has been closed by the closer, and you have not locked the snib, or used the key to secure it.

Impact on Warranty

If you can’t live without your door closer, make sure you read the terms and conditions of the installation company. Make sure your closer is lubricated and adjusted frequently and are in good working order, because your warranty may become void, if you have not maintained the door closer. If you install a door closer yourself, this will definitely void your warranty on the security door.

Alternative Solutions

However, it may be worth considering not having a door closer in the first place. A door can easily be propped open if necessary, and even kids can be trained to close the door behind them and lock the snib. It may well save you a lot of money in the future, and guarantee the safety of your home.