How you can maintain the exterior door by yourself?
What happens after years of use when your exterior door is starting to show signs of wear and tear? The life expectancy of exterior doors is also influenced by regular and meticulous maintenance. Continue reading to find out how to maintain your entrance without hassle.
An exterior door is our window into the world, and at the same time shields us from unwanted views of passers-by as well as from unwanted visitors. It also gives a first impression of the people living inside. Our personal style is reflected in the exterior door that we choose. Of course, there is no accounting for taste, so doors come in various shapes, sizes and styles. Specifically, they are available in various materials, colours and designs, and incorporate various modern technological solutions.
An entrance gives the home a special character that reflects the owner’s style. As a rule, the exterior door will blend into the general appearance of the house. That means that a modern door is hardly the best choice for a Baroque-style mansion while a traditional door in a super-modern building would stand out like a sore thumb.
But what happens after years of use, when your exterior doors is starting to show signs of wear and tear? The life expectancy of an exterior door is influenced primarily by regular and meticulous maintenance. Apartments doors have a higher life expectancy since they are protected from the impacts of weather, making maintenance easier. Exterior doors in houses, however, are exposed to cold, heat, hail and other environmental impacts, and as a result require more maintenance and have a shorter life expectancy.
Here, a number of questions need to be answered. Does the state of our exterior door allow for renovation? Will we be able to find a reliable professional who will do a proper job renovating our door? Can we tackle the renovation ourselves? Or should we just go for a new exterior door? Unfortunately, there is no correct answer.
Regardless, with regular maintenance, an exterior door’s life expectancy can be maximized.
Just like any other element in your home, a well-maintained front door will improve the general appearance of your house or even increase your home’s value.
But which are the most vital aspects when it comes to maintaining your exterior door?
Maintaining an exterior door – cleaning
Exterior door maintenance is always composed of three elements: regular cleaning, routine inspections and the application of protective finishes.
Both the inside and outside of the door require regular cleaning. Regular cleaning is even more important if you live by the sea. That is because seawater and moisture will deteriorate your door even more quickly.
Front door cleaning is not necessarily time consuming and arduous. In most cases, household detergents can be used, i.e. washing-up liquid or mild shampoo. Dilute either in plenty of warm water, grab a cloth and start scrubbing. It is imperative to avoid cleaning using hard and abrasive materials that could damage your entry door.
A wood door requires the most care. It should be cleaned at least every other week of even weekly. Aluminium front doors will only require a monthly scrubbing.
Alongside cleaning, an exterior door also requires routine inspections. This way, you will be able to identify any possible issues at an early stage. Look particularly for the following:
- Unusual dark or light spots. Light spots may be the result of moisture. Eventually, moisture may destroy your wooden entry door. It is important to tackle any possible issues as early as possible before irreparable damage occurs.
- Inspect the condition of the door hinges. Have you discovered cracks or other damage? When examining exterior door hinges, don’t forget to check whether the door is safely attached or if it requires reinforcing.
Door renovation and protective finishes
Many believe that this is the most important step in maintaining and renovating an exterior door. The regular use of protective finishes can drastically improve the appearance of your exterior door and will also provide protection from environmental impacts. When applying protective finishes, do not forget about the details, e.g. areas near door hinges or around the handles.
Do not forget that selecting an incorrect finish may result in more harm than good. Namely, it can damage or even destroy the door. Before buying a new protective finish for your exterior door, carefully check if it is actually suitable for your door type.
Maintaining and overhauling a metal exterior door
Because an exterior door is subjected to weather, it will usually deteriorate more quickly than an interior door. First, the door is removed from the hinges and laid on a stand. The latches and other hardware are removed. Any glass sections are protected with masking tape. Prep can now be started. First, remove any dirt and grime as well as any possible rusty spots. Remove any rust with a grinding tool, sandpaper or a chemical rust remover. After a thorough cleaning, again sand the metal exterior door, then apply a primer before a fresh coat of paint. Closely observe the instructions provided by the paint manufacturer.
Maintaining and overhauling a wooden exterior door
When buying a wooden exterior door, you should take into account that wood is a living material that breathes, expands and contracts. As a result, a wooden front door requires more care. It is recommended that, before renovation, the wooden door is removed from the hinges and all hardware is uninstalled and that any possible glass surfaces are protected. Only then should you begin the prep and painting. In theory, minor repairs could be completed with the door mounted. However, in case of more complex repairs, it is best to remove the door and lay it horizontally.
Remove all grime and dirt as well as any previous coats of paint from the wooden door. Remove them mechanically using grinders or chemically with solvents. A wooden front door is first coated with a primer before applying a coat of paint. Before painting, carefully read the packaging instructions and closely observe them. It is imperative to apply a very thin coat and wait until it has completely dried.
Maintaining your exterior door is simple and not at all time consuming. All that you need is a basic detergent and a cloth. During cleaning, be mindful of potential damage to your exterior door such as cracks, spots or moisture issues. A complete overhaul will require fresh coats of primer and paint. If you’re selecting a new exterior door and are worried about maintenance, opt for an aluminium exterior door, instead. This will make caring for the exterior door even simpler.