Bi-fold doors have seen increasing popularity over the years as both a modern and stylish style of door. Many homeowners find their structure of large, glass panes attractive due to the amount of natural light and the seamless connection to nature they offer. However, glass is not the strongest of materials, and sometimes the entire door can run into a common problem – gusty winds shaking the doors and even slamming them shut.
This creates more issues than just the jarring noise. A door that shakes in its frame cannot be energy efficient, meaning that your investment in a heat-saving door could be for nothing. Additionally, it compromises the high-level security set within the door.
In this guide, we will be taking a look at this problem and what can be done about it.
What are Bi-Fold Doors?
A bifold door is pretty much a giant window for a door. It’s made up of several glass panels that slide along a track system. Through this, they’re able to be opened and closed with ease, and take up no space whilst doing so, as it slides into itself, more or less. Obviously, it’s not completely beyond imagination that such a construction could end up being less sturdy than a standard door.
In the case of blowing wind causing the doors to shake, there can be several culprits. Here, we will mention two of the most common reasons a Bi-Fold door may malfunction in this way.
- The Track System – Bi-Fold doors operate its multiple panels on a track system. If, for any reasons, the tracks are not properly secured, then the result will be your doors shaking.
- Central Vertical Frame – In most bi-fold door designs, there is an absence of the central vertical frame, sometimes called a “Mullion”. The mullion gives rigidity and resistance against wind force. Most other door designs have this feature, which is why Bi-fold doors seem to suffer against wind more than anything other door.
- Lack of Seals – It could entirely be the fact that your doors are simply insufficient against the level of winds in the area. If that’s the case, either a bi-fold door with stronger construction is necessary, or seals are.
How to tell if my bi-fold door tracks are faulty?
There are more ways to tell if your tracks are faulty besides the wind. In fact, it may not be the wind at all. Nonetheless, here are some things to check:
- If you’re having difficulty sliding your door smoothly.
- If you can see visible damage in the tracks.
- If there are unusual noises in operation.
- If the doors slip out your track (definitely faulty).
- If your rollers are damaged.
- Loose or missing fasteners.
- Old age.
Bi-fold doors’ unique folding mechanism requires professional installation. A well-installed door will have secure tracks, and be highly resistant against the winds. This is done through an installer, preferably a professional, aligning the doors seamlessly with the tracks. Even a minor misalignment means that there could be gaps within the tracks that could be exploited by the wind.
How can I weatherproof and seal Bi-Fold Doors?
To weatherproof and seal your bi-fold doors is to both enhance the performance, meaning the energy efficiency and comfort of your doors, and prolong its lifespan. In reality, there’s no reason not to get either of these enhancements.
Weather strips come in narrow pieces of rubber or silicone, designed to seal gaps between the door frame and the panels. Whilst obviously ineffective when the bi-fold door is opened, when closed, the strips compress and ensure that nothing gets through. This compression adds to the integrity of your doors, making any level of gust almost unnoticeable. Weather strips also have the added bonus of keeping out insects, if that’s a concern.
Brushes and Seals
Brushes are installed at the bottom of your door, and act as a barrier against debris, water and, of course, wind. They are not made for sweeping, but the many individual fibres make it easy to move along the tracks and not be damaged through friction.
Seals are very similar, which is why they’re grouped, only they are installed at the sides and the top of the bi-fold door. But, with both brushes and seals, your door is protected at all openings.
Can Doors Locks help with Bi-Fold Doors against wind?
Door locks and bolts, for bi-fold doors, double as structural integrity boosts as well as security measures. Most high quality dooring companies will supply doors with built-in, modern locking solutions. Let’s take a look at some:
- Multi-point locking system – which locks the doors at several points inside the frame. This holds the door together at several points, allowing for an even distribution of integrity.
- Dropbolts – The dropbolt allows door panels to be anchored tight to the floor, ensuring they remain stationary against force.
- Flush bolts – In the inner tops and bottoms of the door, they secure panels to the frame tightly.
Strong winds tend to test a lot of bi-fold doors, and simply having one of these will make a world of difference. These locks are all built with strong materials made specifically to withstand force.
Can I use the environment to block the wind?
An ingenious and perfectly serviceable idea is to manipulate the environment to lessen the wind’s strength against your doors. The following will be some ways in which you can do this.
It makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. If you hide behind a tree, opposite of the direction the wind is blowing, you won’t feel much of the wind. The same principle applies to thick shrubs. On top of this, nice and thick plants can add to the aesthetics of your home effortlessly.
Canopies and Awnings
Canopies and awnings are often seen as visually pleasing to a house, but they also have very practical qualities.
When strategically placed, canopies and awnings can act as a solid, first line of defence. Think of them as a shield designed to reflect arrows. By redirecting wind currents upwards upon hitting these structures, a lot of the wind coming towards your way is diverted elsewhere. That being said, some wind will still get to your door, but momentum will slow to a deathly crawl.
Canopies and awnings also prevent rain, sleet and snow from making contact with your doors. That being said, it also prevents the sun, which may or may not be a dealbreaker for you,
Patios have high wind-breaking potential. Some patios can come with walls and screens, and these in turn act to block the wind. The wind’s velocity will plummet when making content, meaning that only a weak breeze will actually reach your door. Of course, materials matter. Some materials are stronger against the wind than others.
The design of fences are as equally as important as the placement. Solid fences can act like a barrier, sure, but slatted designs are often used to completely break the wind currents. When placed in front of doors, it can create a tranquil environment where you can barely even feel the wind.
Of course, it’s possible to combine all of these into renovating and breathing life into your garden at the same time, which is highly beneficial and practical.
Overall, ensure that your bi-fold doors are a professional installation, and take a look at what your warranty offers if you suspect damage to them. In those cases, only replacement or repair is an option. Get in touch with Homeshield Scotland today.