Many homeowners opt for security doors for their front and back entryways but then ignore or overlook the sliding doors that lead to a patio or outside deck. These doors are often very vulnerable, as the glass is easy to break and the locks are usually very lightweight and easy to force open. A sliding security door can be the right option for this area of your home, keeping you secure while still allowing full access to the outdoor space. Note a few considerations when choosing a sliding security door for your home.
1. Choosing the material
Steel may be the strongest material, but note that it is also usually the heaviest. Your door frame may not be strong enough to manage a steel sliding door, no matter its size. If you opt for steel for your security door, you may need to get an entirely new frame for the door itself. You may also need to check with a contractor to note if the sub-floor is strong enough to hold the weight of the door, as the floor may need bracing in order to avoid splintering or otherwise being damaged from the weight of a steel door.
2. Heavy-duty lock
The lock on a sliding glass door can work like your standard sliding glass, in that it simply opens a bolt into the wall slot and is locked. However, you may want to upgrade to a lock that can only be opened with a key from the inside. This type of lock is usually stronger and thicker and harder to pick. Note that this may create a hazard if there is a fire in the home and you cannot find the key and open the sliding door, so balance your need for security from outside intruders with what you might need for an easy exit in an emergency.
3. Mesh or bars
Most sliding security doors will have either mesh or bars. You might note which one would provide the most comfort, if you like to keep the glass doors open. The mesh will allow in fresh air while keeping out insects and other pests, whereas the bars won't provide this same protection as a screen. However, bars may be thicker and harder to cut for an intruder. If you do opt for a mesh screen, choose one with a very thick material that cannot be cut, as this makes it harder for someone to reach through the mesh with bolt cutters or shears. Some doors combine both materials, creating an doubly secure sliding door.