In addition to providing access and security, a door must also function properly to keep water and unconditioned air from entering the home. Stopping environmental infiltration is the job of multiple door components: Sills, frames, door bottoms, corner pads, weatherstrips, mulls, astragals, locking systems to name the most important ones. Stopping water and air is essential to maintaining occupant comfort, reducing energy demand, and ensuring the long-term durability of the building structure. Failure to stop water and air infiltration results in a host of problems and costly repairs.
PUTTING DOORS TO THE TEST
Ensuring reliable performance for the life of the door is where testing comes in. Cody McMillian, who leads the Fenestration Test Lab at Endura Products, explains the three key tests door units must pass to ensure that the unit you install will provided a home’s occupants with the best possible door system. prior to installation. These tests are how Endura ensures that their own products – and door systems designed by their customers – not only meet but exceed industry standards and code requirements to lead the category in performance and durability.
1. Open and Shut
First, it’s open and shut. Literally, the door is opened and shut 50,000 times to make sure that weather stripping and other parts that compress or engage as part of door operation perform reliably throughout the life of the door unit. For door locks, add an additional 50,000 repetitions for a total of 100,000 cycles of operation.
Any door unit must face extremes in heat and cold, as well as humid and salty air so that wherever in the US or Canada the door unit is installed, it will provide a lifetime of use with no surprises. Weight slams into the door and is fired at the door as demonstrated in this door cannon video. Testers drag weights across thresholds to make certain that door sills can stand up to the stress of moving furniture. All this simulated force is applied so that parts don’t fail, even when they are not used as intended.
3. Water and Air
Finally comes water and air testing – typically referred to as wind-driven rain in the testing business. Doors are subjected to ever increasing wind and water for hours at a time to prove that they can keep air and water out.
When the testing is done, the door unit can be certified by independent agencies, such as the National Accreditation & Management Institute (NAMI), to perform up to specific stated levels so that you can be confident in the door unit you are installing.
It’s time to ask about the quality of the components that go into the unit you are purchasing to find out if it really meets YOUR standards. After all, when you install a door unit, it’s your name on the line. Have questions about door unit performance? Just ask Endura Products. We’ll be happy to help.