A security screen door (also called a security storm door) is more than a door that uses strong mesh for screening. To be called a security screen door, the door should be built to deter someone from getting into your home. It should still allow you to get air circulating in your home while keeping out flying pests.
The key elements of a security screen door are:
- The front scroll or grille work
- The mesh
- The frame and hinges
- The lock
The front scroll or grille work
The front of most security screen doors will usually include some sort of grille work, usually made from a strong metal such as steel or cast iron. The standard grille is typically a series of bars that are set closely together. But you can also find scroll-type or decorative metal grille work.
The grille work serves two purposes. First, its strength makes it harder to break through. Secondly, it can serve as a decorative element. By using powder coated paint on the scroll work you can make sure the color of the security screen door fits in with the appearance of your house.
This type of door will typically be made from a strong mesh. Security mesh is woven with thicker strands of stainless steel wire than standard window screens, so it is both resistant to impact and harder to cut through.
Standard mesh is usually only held in place with rubber clasps. The mesh used for security screen doors should be riveted or welded to the body of the door. Be sure you ask for a door with continuous welds or rivets that are close together.
The door frame and hinges
With its steel grille work and stronger mesh, a security screen door will be heavier than a standard screen door. This means you should be prepared to use a heavy duty frame for the door. This may also mean using heavy duty door pneumatic or hydraulic closer so the door can be more easily opened and closed.
The door frame should be attached with heavy duty hinges. These should be attached with hinge bolts or long wood screws that go deep into the door frame and door jamb. This will make it more difficult to break the door free from its hinges. Another suggestion is to cover the hinges from the outside so they are not accessible when the door is shut.
Last, but not least, the security screen door locking mechanism should be made of a solid metal material with a deadbolt lock. Also recommended are wide, thick steel plates that overlap where the deadbolt fits into the door jamb. This helps prevent someone from trying to jimmy open the deadbolt with a screwdriver.
Like other screen doors, a quality security screen door should let you enjoy the air flowing in while keeping bugs out. But it should also feel heavy, smoothly open and close, provide a decorative element, and most importantly, make you feel that your home is adequately protected from intruders.