Bilco Offers Tips to Get Basement Doors Ready for Cold Months Ahead

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With winter fast approaching, it is high time for homeowners to button up their basements for the cold months ahead. The Bilco Company shares some tips on how to perform a checkup and annual maintenance on a basement door and offers advice on the door replacement.

basement doors, replacement basement doors

Bilco's new Classic Series Steel Basement Door is the ideal replacement for an old basement door. It features easy, one-hand operation and weather-tight performance.

With winter fast approaching, careful homeowners turn their attention to winterizing their homes to keep them in tip-top shape through the cold season. If a basement door is rusted, leaky or rotted, chances are that homeowners will have a damp and cold basement this winter. In addition to heat loss, a leaky basement door can lead to mold, mildew and costly foundation problems over time.    

Before the cold weather sets in, homeowners should perform a checkup and annual maintenance on their basement doors:

  •     Inspect the area around the door for obvious signs of leakage, such as dark areas on the concrete foundation and water in the basement. If homeowners find a leakage, they should try to identify the source of the problem and patch small holes with exterior grade silicone caulk to weatherproof the door.
  •     Operate the door to see if one person can open and close it easily. Make sure that the door is not heavy to lift and it does not slam closed. A door that is hard to operate in the fall will be more difficult and unsafe to operate in the cold winter months.
  •     Install an insulated vertical door at the bottom of the stairs for improved energy efficiency and added security.

If a basement door has passed the inspection up to this point, homeowners should perform the following maintenance procedures to ready it for the winter months:

  •     Clean the header channel at the top of the door to remove dirt and leaves that have accumulated over the summer. This channel, primarily on steel basement doors, is designed to divert water away from the door.
  •     Close the door and inspect it from the inside. If there are large gaps of light coming through the door, ensure that there are no obstructions, such as pebbles, preventing the door from seating properly.
  •     Use a broom to brush the tops of the side panels and the sill at the bottom of the door to ensure that these areas are free of debris, mulch and other landscaping materials.
  •     Touch up exterior paint and spray a lubricant on all moving components.

In the event that a basement door has large air gaps, damaged areas and does not operate properly, it is advisable to consider a complete door replacement. One alternative is Bilco’s new and improved Classic Series Steel Basement Door. New patented gas springs assist homeowners in opening and closing the door easily and safely as well as prevent the door from shutting while it is in use. The door also features new Sherwin-Williams primer with superior adhesion and low VOC emissions.

Classic Series Steel Basement Doors are made of heavy-gauge steel, and their flanged construction and improved header design shed water and prevent binding due to ice and snow, permitting all-season use and lasting service. They satisfy IRC 2009 Building Code requirements for emergency egress in finished basement areas.

Bilco has a network of certified installers who remove old and install new steel doors. Homeowners can expect to pay on average from $1,200-$1,300 for the entire job and can find a local installer by visiting

Do-it-yourself homeowners who have the skills and tools necessary to replace the door themselves can purchase a Bilco door at a local lumber dealer or home center for around $490 – $570 for a steel model. The company also offers a maintenance-free polyethylene model for a slight premium. Doors are supplied with detailed installation instructions and the name of your local dealer can be found on Bilco’s website.

For more information about Bilco basement doors, call (800) 854-9724 or visit
For more than 80 years, The Bilco Company has been a building industry pioneer in the design and development of specialty access products. Bilco – an ISO 9001 certified company – offers a line of basement doors and egress window wells that improve the look and function of basement areas, as well as a complete line of commercial access products. With headquarters in West Haven, Connecticut, Bilco has manufacturing facilities in Trumann, Arkansas, and Zanesville, Ohio, and an international network of sales offices, dealers, distributors, and representatives.


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Yuliya Kutuzava
Catalyst Marketing
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