Over the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about composite doors, specifically, how secure they are. But do they really offer as much protection as everyone says they do?
Composite doors will absolutely keep your family safe and secure. IN comparing composite doors with uPVC doors, you will see just how much more protected and secure your family and belongings are behind a composite door, by demonstrating with a sledgehammer test.
When looking to purchase a new door for your home, you want to find a door that looks great, but more importantly, you want to ensure that the door will protect your home from intruders. Given that 34% of burglars use the front door to break into homes, (and this occurs between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm), you want a solid door that will even deter the most determined burglar.
What Is A Composite Door Made Out Of?
In order to determine if a composite door is safer and more secure than other doors, we need to first need to look at the make-up of the composite door. What is it made out of?
A typical composite door is comprised of at least 5 components, all of which work together to provide a rock-solid door that will not warp over time regardless of extreme weather conditions, be it hot or cold. The following comprises your typical Composite door:
- PVCu outer frame with reinforced galvanised steel
- Composite PVC subframe to ensure stability and rigidity
- Hardwood inner frame
- Polyurthane insulation foam that is injected thermally.
- A Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) skin so that it will not crack, warp, discolour or fade.
While composite doors may look exactly like a traditional hardwood door, they do not have the same the issues that are common to hardwood doors, such as wood rot, discoloration do to the sun, and they are virtually maintenance free, minus a drop of oil on the hinges here and there.
Are Composite Doors Better Than uPVC?
I’ll answer that question, but let’s first understand what uPVC is. Polyvinyl chloride is a flexible, lightweight plastic. It’s used in, (of all things), stretchy clothing, (think stretchy pants). When you take the plasticising agent out of it, you get a far more rigid substance. Your will find this used in outdoor furniture, which is great because it is able to withstand any weather conditions. This is where Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC) doors come in.
Composite doors are FAR more secure than uPVC doors.
A uPVC door may be a great solution for an external entrance to your house to make it aesthetically pleasing, whereas, a composite door might be a better choice for securing your home. The uPVC door just does not offer the same security you might want or need out of a door. For example, a uPVC door is made out of 2 pieces of plastic, (which composes each side of the door). The middle of the uPVC door contains foam. That’s it. One could easily take a sledgehammer and put a hole through the door near the door handle, reach inside with his arm and open the door from the inside.
A uPVC door is really designed to look good.
Unlike the uPVC door, which is made out of plastic and foam, composite doors are comprised of a number of different materials. They are are highly compressed with glue and then molded together. Due to its construction, a composite door offers much more strength and protection, and therefore is a more secure door.
A uPVC door is really designed to look good, but should not even be considered as a security measure. It just will not withstand the sledgehammer test at all. It literally takes 5 seconds to put a hole through the door large enough to reach inside.
How Expensive Are Composite Doors?
The cost for basic composite door can start somewhere between $300 and $1,000, but that does not include installation, which can run about $150 or so.
When all is said and done, a composite door can range anywhere from $300 and $3,000, depending on the door size, the materials used, not to mention the design. Other aesthetic enhancements might include glass inserts, which will raise the price.
A composite door has a lifespan of about . . . Forever.
Because composite doors will last you all of your life, manufacturers and retailers are very liberal when it comes to offering lengthy warranties. They just don’t go bad due to their excellent durability.
The durability of a composite door is not just limited to how solid the door is, or what abuse it can take. Durability also refers to the lack of maintenance it requires. You will not need to sand and paint this door, do you will save money on sandpaper and paint . . . and elbow grease. It will not loose it’s shine either, and in 20 years, it will look the same as it did the day you had it installed, provided you wipe it down once in a while and add a drop of oil to the hinges every couple of months.
The expense of a composite door may be a hard pill to swallow. It may seem like a big investment, and it is. However, when you consider just how long the door will last, and the protection that it offers, that hard pill to swallow becomes just a little more palatable.
How Hard Is It To Break Through A Composite Door?
Very hard. You can easily break down a uPVC door with a sledgehammer, but you won’t make it past a composite door. The composite door is that much more secure. I could talk at length on how strong the door is, but I would rather show you.
To see just how secure a composite door is, I encourage to click the the play button on the video below that shows the strength (or lack thereof), between different types of doors when applying a sledgehammer to each. Please note that I have no affiliation whatsoever with the company that posted this video. I just wanted you to “see” the difference in quality between everything else and a composite door. You will want to start at 0:16 seconds into the video to see the demonstration.
If you tried to kick a composite door down, you would break your foot. It would literally take a S.W.A.T team using a ramming bar to break down a composite door, and even then, that would break the deadbolt lock in the the wall, not the door.
How Can I Better Secure My Door?
Besides choosing a composite door, you can better secure your door by implementing the following:
- Choose a Reputable Quality Dead-Bolt Lock
Dead-Bolt locks are still considered to be the most reliable locks. For maximum security, ensure that the dead-bolt lock extends through the doorframe and well into the walls of your home. This brings me to my next tip.
- Hire a Professional Installer
Cousin Larry is just not going to cut it. You want to make sure that the job is done right, the first time. The last thing you want, is for “cousin Larry” to do the job, only to find that it has to be done all over again because it was not installed properly. A professional installer knows what he is doing, and you can easily find one from a reputable resource like AngiesList.com or HomeAdvisor.com. You may end up paying about $150 to have the door installed, but it is well worth the investment.
- Choose a Door Without Glass
For aesthetic reasons, people might put a window in the door. This is not a good idea, as an intruder will simply break the glass, reach his hand through the door and open it up from the inside.
Can I Paint A Composite Door?
It is possible to paint a composite door. You will want to ensure, however, that you use a high quality exterior primer and weather resistant exterior. Just keep in mind that you will have a very difficult time trying to get it to look like the professional quality of the original composite door.
What Are The Main Benefits Of A Composite Door?
• Composite doors are more energy-efficient.
• Composite doors require no maintenance.
• Composite doors are highly resistant to extreme temperatures.
• Composite doors are able to withstand incredible abuse.
• Composite doors will stop the most determined burglar from entering.
What Are uPVC doors Made Out Of?
In the most basic terms, a uPVC door is a plastic hollow door injected with foam. It offers virtually no protection given that one could easily put a hole through the door with a sledgehammer or a well placed kick.
Do Dogs And Fences Deter Burglars?
Both dogs and fences still serve as a major deterrent to anyone thinking of burglarizing your home. Fences take too much time to climb over or cut through, and dogs threaten exposure and bodily injury. Burglars will avoid both dogs and fences like the plague.
Do Gun Safes Need Dehumidifiers?
If you want your guns to function properly, and last for generations to come, you absolutely need a use a dehumidifier in your gun safe, regardless of what climate you live in. Even if you clean your gun every day, moisture will destroy it, but a dehumidifier will preserve it.
Do Alarm Systems Work Without Power?
All home security systems will function as designed when a power outage occurs, provided that the system was installed correctly and that there is a battery back up in place. However, should an extended power outage occur, you would be wise to take measures that do not require power to protect your home and family.
How Far Can A Home Security System See?
Most indoor and small outdoor home security cameras will provide a high quality image of a given subject ranging from about 10-30 feet. Larger bullet cameras perform best at 50-60 feet. PTS (pan, tilt, zoom), cameras have a range of approximately 500-700 feet.
Do Safes Have GPS?
You would be hard pressed to find a portable safe that has GPS embedded within the safe itself. The monthly fees involved, the week GPS signal, and the lack of power to sustain a battery for the GPS unit, prevent GPS as being a practical solution.
How To Test Your Home Security System: A Quick Step By Step Guide
Regardless of the system you currently use, you can test your home security system by following this quick step-by-step guide and find any points of failure to ensure that you and your family are safe and protected.