I've been writing on DenGarden for over 5 years and have over 25 years of experience working in the window and door trade.
So, your UPVC door is letting in a draft—where do you go from here? Do you call in the pros, who will charge you an arm and a leg?
Luckily, that will likely not be necessary, as most of these things are quite simple to fix. If there is nothing broken in your door like a lock or hinge, then you should be able to fix a simple draft quite easily. This article will show you how.
Step 1: Find Where the Draft Is Coming From
To begin, you need to find which side of the door the draft is coming in. To do this, just run your hand around the inside so that you can feel the cold spot.
For Drafts Coming in at the Lock Side
To sort this out, just open the door and turn the round cams with an hex key. Turn it one way to loosen door against the seals, and turn it the other way to tighten the door against the seals. In some cases, if there are no round cams on the door lock, then look at what keeps the door on the frame. You will find the adjustments there.
For Drafts Coming in at the Hinge Side
Most PVC door hinges have an adjustment on the top of the hinge. (Note: There may be a plastic cap covering it. If so, take off the cap and, just like the cams on the door lock, you will need a hex key to turn them.)
Once you have located them, just turn them one way to tighten against the seals and the other way to loosen against the seals. Tip: If you lift the door about 1 or 2 millimeters with a crow bar, this will take the weight off the hinge and allow you to turn the hex nut in the hinge more easily.
For Drafts Coming in at the Top of the Door
If this is the case, it could mean your door is sagging a small bit. If this is the problem, you can lift the door back up by adjusting the hinges. On the bottom of the hinge, you will find a hex nut. Turn this and your door will move upwards. Just be sure to adjust all three hinges the same so that the weight of the door is spread across the three hinges. And just like the previous section, if you lift the door about 1 or 2 millimeters with a crow bar. This will take the weight off the hinge and allow you to turn the hex nut in the hinge more easily.
Note: If your door is sagging too much, you may not be able to adjust it enough with the hinges, and the door may need to be toe and heeled. If this is the case, you might need to call in someone who knows what they are doing, as it involves taking out the glass or panel.
Step 2: Check the Rubber Seals
In some cases, it may not be any of the above. So here is something else you should check before you call in the professionals.
On your door, there are two rubber seals: one on the frame and the other on the door sash. Check that these are still in place. In most cases, they are only pushed in and can sometimes come out. If this is what happened, all you need to do is press the seal back into the groove.
Step 3: Activate the Lock
All PVC doors now come with multipoint locking systems. But it's important to remember that your door is not draft proof until you activate the lock. This means that when you have the door closed over, you must push the handle upwards. This will active all the locking cams and pull the door tight onto the seals.
If the door is closed over and the lock cams are not activated, however, then your door is only being held closed by one single point at the center. So the top and bottom of the door will allow drafts in.
You would be amazed at how many people do not know this and end up calling in the professionals to fix their drafty door.
Test it yourself first by pulling the door closed. Then just push against the top or bottom, and you will see how easy it can come off the seal. A light wind can also push the door off the seal and let a draft in.
Now, activate the lock by pushing the hand up. You don't have to lock the door with a key—just push the handle up. Now try pushing the door in on the top and bottom, and it will now move. Your door is now draft proof.
Bonus Maintenance Tip
UPVC doors are designed to last for years. But it will do no harm to them if you put a small bit of grease on the keeps and the lock once a year.
You don't need to coat the whole lot, just the parts that move up and down on the lock, on the keeps, and on the part where the lock strikes them when closing.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Martin
Lakshmi from Chennai on November 19, 2020:
Very informative article