What Happens to Wood When It Gets Cold in the Winter?

Between the rain, sleet, wind, and snow of the holiday season, your home’s exterior can suffer damage and appearance changes that require your attention. So what happens to wood when it gets cold in the winter? Unfortunately, as part of your home’s barrier against harsh temperatures, front entryways can experience a bit of change themselves. Here are a few of the common issues your wooden door may face during these temperature fluctuations.

Door Stickiness

Considering their vulnerability during the cold season, wooden doors can expand and contract due to temperature fluctuation along with humidity changes. Sadly, this can be detrimental to your front door’s effectiveness at opening and closing. Consider assessing your front door’s hinges and screws for any loose components if you notice this problem.

Frozen Locks

Water from snow, sleet, and rain can make its way into your exterior door’s locking system and freeze as temperatures continue to lower. Frozen locks can compromise the door’s efficiency at securing your home. If this happens, avoid pouring hot water into the lock, which can lead to rusting. Instead, consider using a blow-dryer to melt away any frost and ice.

Wood Rot

Rotting in wooden doors and frames is typical during the winter. Since the season produces more inclement weather, the wood can become soft and damp, leading to rotting. Decay can significantly affect wood structure and stability while inviting unwanted guests such as termites into your residence.

Appearance Changes

Inclement weather can be pretty damaging to your front door, resulting in appearance changes that include wood fading, discoloration, and cracking. These are all cosmetic issues, but they still require attention, as your exterior entry is one of the first components to catch a visitor’s eye.


Drafts can be incredibly frustrating, especially when they pass through your front door. Plus, nothing ruins your day like an unexpectedly high energy bill. Unwanted cold breezes can make your home’s climate unpleasant, but luckily, there are ways you can weatherproof wooden frames.

Your front door serves to protect your residence from gusty winds, frustrating rain, and other inclement weather. But a lot can happen to wood when it gets cold in the winter. Wooden entryways can face many of these issues more frequently, especially when they’re reaching the end of their life spans. On the bright side, we at Nick’s Building Supply extend a humble hand to help! We are an online door store with a vast showroom that displays some of our craftsmen’s best work. Additionally, our expansive catalog provides a peek at our high-quality wooden doors, which can protect your home this season.