The best doors are designed to give you lasting beauty, comfort, and efficiency. But they also need proper care and maintenance to keep them looking and working like new. It’ll pay to pay attention to the specific care instructions in your product guide, and to listen to the tips given by your installer as well. In addition, here are some things you can take note of to help keep your doors in peak condition.
Know Your Door
Doors have their own unique care and maintenance needs, depending on the style, material, finishing, hardware, and building design. The first step to making your door last longer is to knowing the different factors that can affect its lifespan. Wood can be susceptible to discoloration and bowing when exposed to high moisture, humidity, or heat. Meanwhile, making sure rollers on a sliding door track are properly seated is important for smooth operation. Low-e glass also requires careful maintenance to ensure the best performance.
There are a few general maintenance practices you should follow, and some things you should avoid doing, to keep your door in good shape. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Regularly clean out the dirt and debris from tracks and hinges to keep the door opening and closing easily. You should also keep the floor beneath the entryway clear to prevent scratching and hindering operation.
- To clean the glass, use a soft dry cloth to wipe away loose dirt and grime before you apply the cleaning solution. Proceed to wipe the glass in a circular motion before removing or washing away the solution with a squeegee, or a clean lint-free cloth. Be sure to read the official maintenance guide or ask your door contractor for the detailed washing instructions.
- Lubricate all moving parts, such as locks, hinges, operators, and rollers as needed. Be sure to use a dry lubricant like silicone or Teflon® to avoid corrosion.
- Never use sharp or abrasive objects such as a putty knife or steelwool to remove dirt, stains, or stickers.
- Avoid cleaning in direct sunlight to minimize streaking and residue from the cleaning solution. Stay away from abrasive and acidic solutions as they will damage glass, fasteners, hardware, and metal flashing.
- In drying the glass surface, do not use newspaper. The ink can discolor the surrounding door material as well as leave stains on the glass.
- Never nail through your door material. This can cause irreparable damage to your door and also void your warranty. The same applies to driving nails or screws through the door sash or frame.
Addressing Specific Problems
Aside from the general cleaning and maintenance needs of your entry, patio, or interior doors, there may also be specific issues that occur over time that you’ll have to address. These issues can be a result of aging or an early sign of damage. Make sure to get them fixed as soon as you can; consult your contractor before they lead to bigger problems.
Drainage: Door designs often include simple drainage or “weep” systems in the frame and weather seal system. These pathways for should be kept clear, otherwise the water can back up into the framing and cause rot and leaks.
Color Fading: While some color variation is allowed for by industry standards due to aging, usage of chemicals or high solar exposure can cause premature color fading.
Condensation: Moisture build-up on the interior of your door’s glass panels is an indication of excess humidity in your home.
Be on the lookout for any of the telltale signs of disrepair and, as a general reminder, make sure to read and understand your manufacturer’s warranty and to follow the specific instructions provided when doing your routine maintenance.
Chelsea Rokusek is a Marketing Manager of Renewal by Andersen of Phoenix.