A heavy wind can catch a storm door and whip it open like a sail, tearing out the closer mounting bracket and cracking the door frame. And often the mounting screws strip and loosen from heavy wear.
Fixing the problem used to involve the tricky job of patching the old holes or even splicing in new trim. However, storm door jamb reinforcers (we used a type called the “Ultra Jamb Reinforcer” from ultrajamb.com) eliminate all that hassle. You can find them at some home centers, or search online for storm door jamb reinforcers. Jamb reinforcers are basically a heavy-duty steel plate that strengthens the door frame. The steel plate can be mounted anywhere on the door frame, accommodating virtually any type of closer bracket.
To begin, remove the old bracket as shown in Photo 1. Pop the pin to release the piston arm and discard the old bracket. To install the reinforcer, mark and drill the eight mounting holes for the steel plate (Photos 2 and 3). Make sure to mount the plate parallel to the frame edges. This plate will allow you to drill new mounting holes in sound wood, and should cover most trim damage caused by the old bracket. Fill and paint any cracks not covered by the steel plate. Mount the steel plate to the door frame with the eight No. 6 wood screws enclosed in the package.
The new closer bracket is mounted to the steel plate with four No. 10 machine screws (Photo 4). Be sure to position the closer bracket so the angled edge faces the storm door. This provides the required spacing between the door jamb and storm door, allowing the closer to function properly. Connect the piston arm to the new bracket with the piston pin and test the door.