DIY Door Maintenance Checklist You’ll Ever Need

If you’ve recently installed a new front or patio door, you’re probably interested in keeping it in good shape for as long as possible.

When we assist homeowners with getting new exterior doors in Raleigh, we always recommend some basic maintenance to keep them in top condition.

Regular maintenance helps

  • – Keep your door looking nice
  • – Ensure it works smoothly (no one wants a door that sticks or lets drafts in)
  • – Keep the home secure and the family safe

Read on to find out what routine maintenance you should do for your new exterior doors.

How Often Should I Maintain My Door?

We suggest doing yearly maintenance on all exterior doors, but there’s an important exception.

If you notice any weather damage or significant problems with your door’s appearance or function, don’t wait. It’s best to address these issues promptly to prevent potential long-term damage.

What Maintenance Does My New Exterior Door Need?

The maintenance required for your door depends on three factors:

– The door’s style (is it hinged or sliding?)

– Whether the door has glass panels

– The material the door is made from (wood or fiberglass)

Door Maintenance Checklist

If you’re short on time and want to quickly inspect and freshen up your doors, we’ve got you covered. Just choose the description that matches your door type and material, and download your free, one-page printable checklist.

For All Doors

No matter if your door swings or slides, or if it’s made of wood or fiberglass, there are some common maintenance tasks for all exterior doors that you should do annually.

Clean the Door

Before inspecting, give your door a good clean. Use a mild detergent and water for some doors, while others may not need soap. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.”

Check for Moisture Between Glass Panes

If you see fog between the glass panels of your door, it means the seal has failed. Most modern doors have two or three glass panels.

When the seal breaks, the gas between the panels escapes, and moisture can build up. This reduces the door’s energy efficiency. Contact a professional glass repair person to fix it.

Inspect Caulking

If you notice cracks or peeling in the caulk around your door, remove it completely and replace it. We recommend using flexible silicone-based caulk that can expand and contract with changing weather conditions.

Check Hardware

Inspect screws and tighten any loose ones. Replace worn or rusted screws with galvanized ones labeled for exterior use.

Additional Maintenance for Wood Doors

For wood doors, here are some extra tasks to do annually.

Important Note about Sticking Wood Doors

If your wood door is sticking and not opening or closing properly, don’t rush to sand it down right away.

There are several reasons why wood doors stick, like swelling from humidity or the door not being properly set in the frame.

Sanding down the door immediately may lead to gaps or expose unfinished wood, risking damage from moisture and heat.

Instead of sanding right away

– Contact a professional to check if the door is correctly installed in the frame. They can adjust screws or add shims if needed.

– If the problem persists, try applying wood wax to the sticking area for lubrication.”

This version breaks down the tasks and considerations for inspecting hardware and dealing with sticking wood doors in a more understandable manner.

General Maintenance for All Doors

No matter what type of exterior door you have – whether it swings or slides, and whether it’s made of wood or fiberglass – there are some routine tasks you should do each year.

1. Clean the Door

Before inspecting your door, give it a good clean. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, using a mild detergent and water if needed.

2. Check for Moisture Between Glass Panes

If you see fog between the glass panels, it means the seal has failed. This reduces energy efficiency. Contact a professional glass repair person to fix it.

3. Inspect Caulking

If the caulk around your door is cracking or peeling, remove it completely and replace it with a silicone-based, flexible caulk.

4. Check Hardware

Inspect screws and tighten any loose ones. Replace worn or rusted screws with galvanized ones labeled for exterior use.

Additional Maintenance for Wood Doors:

In addition to the general maintenance tasks, here are some extra things to consider for wood doors.

Dealing with Sticking Wood Doors

Before sanding down a sticking wood door, try these steps:

  1. Contact a professional to check if the door is installed properly in the frame.
  2. Apply wood wax to the sticking point for lubrication.
  3. If the issue persists, sand the door gently, testing after each swipe. Consider door replacement if necessary.

Evaluate Paint/Stain

Check for signs of excessive wear like peeling or cracking. Sand down worn areas and apply new paint or stain following product instructions.

Seal the Paint/Stain

Protect your wood door from sun damage by sealing it with a UV protective sealant every 12-18 months. PPG (formerly Sikkens) is a recommended brand for its durability and UV absorbency.”

This version breaks down the maintenance tasks for all doors and provides additional steps for wood doors in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.

General Maintenance for All Doors

Every year, regardless of your door type—whether it swings or slides, and whether it’s made of wood or fiberglass—there are some tasks to do.

1. Clean the Door

Before inspecting, clean your door using the recommended method by the manufacturer.

2. Check for Moisture Between Glass Panes

Fog between glass panes signals seal failure. Contact a professional for repair.

3. Inspect Caulking

Replace cracked or peeling caulk with silicone-based, flexible caulk.

4. Check Hardware

Tighten loose screws and replace worn or rusted ones with exterior-rated galvanized screws.

Additional Maintenance for Wood Doors

In addition to general maintenance, here are extra tasks for wood doors

  1. – Addressing Sticking Wood Doors
  2. Before sanding, try
  3. – Adjusting the door frame professionally.
  4. – Applying wood wax for lubrication.

If issues persist, sand gently and consider door replacement.

Evaluate Paint/Stain

Sand worn areas and repaint or restain following product instructions.

Seal the Paint/Stain

Apply a UV protective sealant every 12-18 months.

Additional Maintenance for Fiberglass Doors:

While fiberglass doors require less maintenance, yearly cleaning is essential. Follow manufacturer recommendations for weathered areas.

Additional Maintenance for Gliding Doors

Clear debris from the track and lubricate rollers and locking mechanisms if recommended by the manufacturer.

Summary

We hope these tips help you maintain your doors effectively. For replacements, trust professionals like Window Works for guidance and quality products.

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