How to Install a Security Screen Door in High Moisture Areas

Excessive moisture accumulation is a common problem in many parts of the United States, from tropical Hawaii to the Arctic of Alaska and the warm, humid Gulf Coast. Installing a security screen door in these areas requires special considerations. The door must be the same size as the existing door, typically 3 feet wide by 6 feet and 8 inches high. It should be centered on the existing door and leveled.

Depending on the type of existing exterior trim in your home, you may be able to install the security door over the existing molding, or you may need to remove it and install the door directly against the siding. The frame must be flat and firmly in contact with the house for proper installation. The inner shell of the door must also be removed. Security doors are added to the door frame on the outside side of any standard exterior door, similar to adding a standard mosquito door or storm door.

They have a fully welded steel structure and cross reinforcements, together with an open steel mesh that allows ventilation and is infinitely stronger than aluminum or fiberglass mesh of a standard mosquito door. Security doors are available by special order at some hardware stores and home centers, as well as through retailers and wholesalers that specialize in doors. The frame is installed with bolts that go through the entire wall and are secured with a nut and a washer on the inside. The rotation of the security door must be opposite of the rotation of the existing door.

You'll need an assistant to help you install it, as these doors are heavy and uncomfortable. You can install the door with handrails, which screw into the wall frame on one side, but without the nut on the inside, someone with a key and a little time could simply remove the slats and remove the entire door. Welded steel plates make it possible for you to install a deadbolt lock, creating a door that is virtually impervious to kicks, alarms, locks and other forms of attempted illegal entry. The doors are surprisingly attractive, with a low-profile frame and wrought-iron ornaments that look like most high-end mosquito and storm doors and are typically available with factory-baked glossy white or black paint.