Storm Door Icing Up? Here’s Why (+ How to Fix It)


If your storm door is icing up and bringing the chilly cold weather inside, this can be very problematic. While it is frustrating, removing the storm door is not the best decision. You need to understand why your storm door is icing up and what you can do to fix the issue. 

Your storm door is icing up because the moisture in the warm air from the house is reaching it. The moisture cools, clings to the storm door, and solidifies into ice. Solutions to this problem include weather stripping, reducing moisture in the air, and locking the interior door securely.

Read on to understand more reasons why your storm door is icing up and the best ways to fix it.

Why Your Storm Door is Icing Up

The reason you put up a storm door in the first place was to keep the cold out. But, if ice forms on the door, then you’ll eventually start feeling the chill inside your house. 

Now, before looking for solutions for your iced-up storm door, you need to understand exactly why it is icing up. Here are some of the reasons your door could be icing up:

Worn Out or Lack of Weather Stripping on the Interior Door

Weather stripping on your interior door helps to completely seal the interior door. This seal ensures that the warm air inside stays in and the cold outside stays out.

So, if your door inner door has no weather stripping, it’s easy for the warm air inside your house to leak out and reach the storm door, where it’ll eventually condense and ice up.

On the other hand, if your interior door is weather stripped but the stripping is worn out or has come off, your interior door will have gaps. These gaps can easily let out warm moisture inside the house, hence the iced-up storm door. 

Leaving Your Interior Door Open

If you leave your interior door open for too long, the warm moisture in your house moves out and lands on the storm door. 

Consequently, when the cold air from outside hits the storm door, the warm moisture cools and condenses to form ice on the storm door.

The Expander on Your Storm Door Isn’t Sealing Properly

A door expander is usually applied at the bottom edge of a storm door to tightly seal gaps along the floor.

Now, if your expander is not well-positioned, then it doesn’t properly seal the door. The cold air from outside has more openings to get into the space between the storm and interior doors. 

When the cold air hits the moisture in the air, it condenses to form ice around your storm door. 

Temperatures Are Too Low

Sometimes, the ice on your storm door is not your fault. The temperatures outside could be too low; therefore, ice continues to form on your door at a very fast rate.

In this case, there’s not much you can do. You only need to figure out ways to thaw the ice regularly. 

5 Easy Fixes To Stop Your Storm Door From Icing Up

As mentioned throughout this article so far, it’s clear that the most common reason your storm door is icing up is that the moisture from the warm air in the house is reaching the door then solidifying into ice. 

Thankfully, there are several ways you can end this problem. Here are the different strategies you can use to stop your storm door from icing up. 

1. Apply Weather Stripping 

First and foremost, you must apply weather stripping to your interior door.

Secondly, ensure the weather stripping material is well intact. Loose weather stripping means air and moisture can escape through the spaces and cause icing up on your storm door.  

To check whether moisture is escaping through the gaps around your interior door, use the following strategies:

  • Hold a piece of tissue paper, a lighted candle (or lighter) near the edges of your door. 
  • If the candle goes off or the tissue paper moves, it means some air is coming through the spaces. 

2. Reduce the Moisture in the Air

If you have to keep your interior door open for long or regularly, even on cold days, you can use a dehumidifier in the house. This will reduce the warm moisture getting to your storm door and reduce the icing up. 

You can also use a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) humidifier. The following are steps to make and use one:

  • Place a bowl of salt in front of your storm door, on the inside part. 
  • After a while, the salt will soak in the moisture. 
  • When the bowl is full of water, drain the water. 
  • Dry the salt in a microwave and place it back near your storm door. 
  • Repeat this process. 

3. Lock Your Interior Door Securely

The interior door is supposed to keep the warm air in and lock the cold air out. However, if you don’t lock it properly, some of that warm air will escape and cause your storm door to ice up. 

Use quality locks to keep your doors securely locked at all times.

4. Adjust the Expander at the Bottom of Your Storm Door

If your storm door frosts up too fast after opening your interior door, it could be that cold air from outside is seeping in from below the storm door.

One of the solutions to this problem is to lower the expander at the bottom of the door. This is also a good strategy if you just don’t like the condensation on your storm glass. 

On the other hand, if the expander is too low, it may prevent the storm door from closing up properly, hence letting in cold air. In this case, the solution would be to raise the expander.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Loosen screws on the expander you’re using on your storm door. 
  2. Raise the expander – it should just slightly brush the upper part of the door sill.
  3. Tighten back the screws on the expander.

5. Take Advantage of Warm Temperatures

When the temperatures outside are warm, take advantage of the weather to thaw away the ice buildup on your storm door. 

Open the door, and leave it that way for some time for the warmth to hit it and melt away the ice. Make this a routine every time the weather is warm to keep your door from icing up every time the weather changes. 

6. Apply a Lubricant

An insulating lubricant could be the trick you need to keep your storm door from icing up. Apply the lubricant to the door tracks and sills. 

The best kind of lubricant to use is granite-based. 

Granite-based lubricants have a low freezing point. They can withstand the chilly weather and fight off the ice. 

Final Thoughts

During winter, you might notice an ice buildup on your storm door, which usually translates to more cold in your home. 

The ice buildup is caused by frozen moisture from inside the house. This mostly means the interior doors have gaps that let out the moisture. The cold air near the storm door causes the moisture to solidify into ice. 

However, you can use strategies such as weather stripping, dehumidifying, and raising or lowering the storm door expander to reduce the ice buildup.

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