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brand new composite door badly warping in sunlight

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by rjm2k, 20 May 2019.

  1. rjm2k

    rjm2k

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    anyone come across this? we had a "safedoors" composite door fitted last week, perfect initially but within a few hours we couldn't lock/unlock without difficulty, having to push it back into the frame to allow it at all. the company that fitted came and had a look, it wasn't as bad by that time but he said they didn't quite understand it, but the top and bottom of the door seemed to be bowing one way (into the house) and the frame the opposite way, he adjusted the keeps and said they would return today. over the weekend it has been fine.

    it's the kind of arrangement where the door has a window as part of the frame next to it.

    the door is west facing, so as soon as the sun finally came out today, hitting the door, sure enough the problem has returned. I did some measurements using shims and a laser thermometer

    cold

    (inside temp 18 top 19.5 bottom)
    (outside temp 16 top 18 bottom)
    shims show the door comes inside by 3mm at the top and 3mm at the bottom relative to the frame, the lock part of the door in the middle is flush with the frame.

    hot

    (inside temp 23.4 top and 27 bottom)
    (outside temp 27 top and 43 bottom!)

    shims show the top is now 4 to 5 mm away from flush and the bottom is 7 to 8mm away from flush with the frame!

    now, the door is inset within an open porch, so it seems the sun is hitting the bottom at full whack, but the roof is shading part of the top, this is causing uneven warping! as soon as the sun goes in, the temp drops and the door returns to the better position.

    Has anyone experienced this?

    Is there any remedy to this? We have neighbours with almost the same position, they have a pvc rather than composite door and we don't think they have this issue, would pvc be the only option? our original was wood.

    The door was measured up by the company so I would expect any such issues would be checked during the survey.

    We haven't paid anything yet
     
  2. foxhole

    foxhole

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    You don’t need to pay till it’s fit for purpose. No fitee , no payee .
     
  3. rjm2k

    rjm2k

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    Apparently the distortion is out of manufacturers tolerance so he's going to measure at worst and tell them to make to to specification
     
  4. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Is the door a dark colour?
     
  5. rjm2k

    rjm2k

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    Yes its rosewood
     
  6. ronniecabers

    ronniecabers

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    Surprise surprise! Rosewood Pvc doors and frames are notorious for moving in the heat. In your case the comp door is bowing too, which to be honest isn't as common but I have seen a few do it ( but no where near as quick as yours has ). You have the double whammy of both frame and door sash moving. We switched away from Safedoors many years ago due to problems with their doors including warping and also the lacquer peeling from Rosewood slabs. Did the installer tell you to engage the full locking mech everytime you use the door? As the manufacturers advise pulling the handle up to engage all locking points to try and stop the doors bowing in the heat ( this is for uPVC AND composite doors). It also engages all the ' seals ' to keep drafts etc out , because if you don't pull the handle up you are relying purely on the centre latch to keep the door closed , straight ,level and draft free. As an experiment , just push the door closed ,vwithout pulling the handle up, and then push bottom and top of door and watch how much it moves. Now pull handle up and try again , should be no movement. So if you can't push it , theory is the heat can't warp it either...

    In the case if yours , now , it's a new door and frame, costly for the manufacturer , and installer ( as Safedoor won't cover the cost of taking out old door and putting new in... )
     
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  7. rjm2k

    rjm2k

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    Out of interest is there really a stated manufacturers tolerance? We are told 3mm is the max, yet ours was 5mm out. Nothing in any of the brochure or order suggested darker doors have different performance to lighter ones nor any mention of keeping out of direct sunlight. We tend to keep this door locked as it's rarely used so it's always fully latched, but when it's hot as things stand, If we manage to unlock it, we can't relock without considerable force which my wife can't manage and will no doubt lead to damage. When the sun goes in, it returns to normal very quickly almost visibly moving
     
    Last edited: 21 May 2019
  8. ronniecabers

    ronniecabers

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    Yes there is manufacturer tolerances but I've yet to have one that warps fall within the tolerances, so every time it's been a replacement. The industry is very good at hiding the issues with Dark coloured frames and doors. Maybe we are too honest in our company but we try really hard not to sell Rosewood uPVC doors due to the warping issues. We sell a Rosewood composite for a comparable price instead ( especially since we've moved away from Safedoors! ) as with our current supplier we have very few issues. We have recently replaced a Blue Composite Door from Safedoors that we fitted the best part of six years ago. .... Guess what ? That had bowed too! We had other issues on getting that door replaced but they did replace it for a small fee ( as customer wanted to change the style due to the warping ) but we never saw a penny towards our fitting costs, and we had to completely change door and the frame. We were completely out of pocket for a fault from the manufacturer ( Safedoors )
     
  9. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Plastic and some composites have a high thermal expansivity.

    In strong sun, rosewood and very dark colours get roasting hot.

    So they expand.
     
  10. rjm2k

    rjm2k

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    Which manufacture did you move to instead of Safe doors? Our fitter says they won't pay them until resolved
     
  11. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    All of my windows and doors are a dark wood look finish - I'm guessing its the dark finish which exhibits the sun heat problems? I haven't had any indication of any warping in the heat, but I do hear occasional creaks and groans as the expand and contract. My back door (or its frame) is slightly distorted all the time - when closed, there is gap of around 3mm between door and outer seal in the middle, by the handle. I can close the gap by moving the latch, at the expense of having to make the door harder to close. The fitter was unable to fix it.
     
  12. Ian H

    Ian H

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    My grey Solidor has bent a bit but differently to yours. The middle has come into the porch by a couple of mm, or the top bottom has gone towards the frame. It’s still shuts and locks as it should but i’ll be keeping an eye on it.

    I googled and apparently they have a 5mm tolerance on theirs.
     
  13. rjm2k

    rjm2k

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    So the guy came out and used a straight edge that doesn't go the full door length, you can visibly see the bottom edge out by between 7 and 8 mm, but the straight edge doesn't show that. He says that the manufacturer won't accept measurements relative to the frame, although the frame is only out by a mm according to his edge. Interesting that the frame and side panel are made by safedoors to from what he said, but the door warp can't be relative the the frame?

    Is this how to measure? If I use a straight edge against a right angle I can pretty much make any deviation I want depending on where I put it

    IMG_20190524_163804105_HDR.jpg IMG_20190524_163710027_HDR.jpg IMG_20190524_163721413_HDR.jpg IMG_20190524_163705257.jpg
    He even asked if I had a longer straight edge.
    The level shown here is mine and is smaller.

    The warp isn't as bad her as the sun was behind a cloud

    I can't find any reference to warp tolerance for safe doors online, does anyone have a link?

    He suggested that they always have to come back and adjust doors fitted in winter, and summer, so 2 visits per year? As it is the keeps are at their maximum now

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2019
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