Door Maintenance Tips

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Like all features in your house, even the best doors — interior, exterior, or storm doors — require maintenance in order to last for years to come. When doors aren’t maintained, paint can begin to fade or peel and you might have issues with wooden doors rotting or swelling. Your door might weaken in terms of durability and energy efficiency over time. 


But what exactly does door maintenance entail? And how often should you perform door maintenance? The truth is it can vary based on the door and your climate. In today’s blog, let’s discuss everything you need to know about door maintenance…and what can happen if you fail to maintain your doors. 

Why You Need Door Maintenance

Why is door maintenance so important, anyway? If you have a sturdy door, does it really need to be maintained? It’s true that some doors are lower maintenance than others, but that does not mean they should be utterly neglected. You use your doors day-in and day-out, little thinking about the toll it can take on the material. Even when you’re not opening and closing the door multiple times a day, your exterior doors are exposed to the elements: rain, sleet, snow, and heavy winds. 


Door materials like fiberglass and steel are strong enough to withstand most effects of weather, but not completely invulnerable. Over time, steel can rust or paint can begin to peel. Doors can become dented or scraped, all of which weaken the surface of the door. This can, eventually, make it more susceptible to pests, heat loss and air leaks, or home invasion. Hinges and door knobs, too, can become rusted, making your door less secure.


If you want a door that is energy efficient, durable, secure, and beautiful, you can’t sluff door maintenance. That said, here are a few of our tips to make door maintenance clearer and easier. 

#1 – Lubricate the Hardware

Your door is more than just the wood, steel, or fiberglass surface. Though this might be what draws the eye, your door really relies on the hardware — door knobs, hinges, locks, etc. And these materials are exposed to the elements, as well. Since hinges and door knobs are typically made of metal, these materials can quickly begin to rust if neglected. Make sure to lubricate any stiff knobs and hinges and to check to make sure nothing is broken. If any screws are loose, tighten them before moving on to the rest of the door.

#2 – Know What Cleaning Materials To Use

You’ll still need to clean your exterior doors sometimes, but the material you use depends on the material of the door itself. For fiberglass, wood, and steel doors, for instance, you’ll want to use a gentle cleaning solution like dish soap or baby shampoo, as well as a soft cloth. If you have any wrought iron on the door, you should use Murphy’s Oil soap and water. Before you do a thorough wash, use the solution on just a small part of the door to make sure the paint or stain doesn’t react negatively to it. 


If the door has sidelights or windows, use window cleaner, but be careful not to let the chemical material reach the surface of the door. Never powerwash your doors, whatever the material. You can also remove dust, debris, and dirt from the windows with a feather duster.

#3 – Inspect Regularly

It’s also a good idea to do an inspection of your entry doors occasionally, especially after particularly adverse weather like snow or a storm. Check the surface of the door for any scratches, dents, or warping. Check the weatherstripping to ensure that it’s all secure, as well as the hinges, knobs, and locks. If you have a wood door, make sure that it’s not beginning to swell.

#4 – Weatherstripping for Winter

Winter can be quite harsh in the Northeast, and it can be harsher if your doors let in any unwanted cold air…or allow heated indoor air to escape your home. You can help to boost the energy efficiency of your door by weatherstripping in the winter. Weatherstripping is a type of material — often foam, rubber, or silicone, that wraps around your door to help seal the edges, keep heat in, and keep cold out. It will also help to keep pests out, though you’ll want to check it from time to time to be sure it’s not becoming worn down.

#5 – Know If It Needs a New Paint Job

Wood doors need to be stained or painted fairly regularly, as they are the most impacted by the outdoor weather. Steel doors are painted and can be repainted when they begin to fade and peel. Fiberglass entry doors tend to be the best in terms of paint longevity. They come in a vibrant color from the get-go and that color lasts for longer without fading or peeling, because fiberglass doors tend to better withstand the weather. 

#6 – Make it Habitual

The question is: how often should you do all of this? Fortunately, if you have a durable, well-manufactured door, it won’t require much maintenance. A light cleaning once a month should keep it looking fresh. Every season, you’ll want to check for any breaks in the weatherstripping, as well as checking the hardware like locks and hinges. You should not need to paint your door more than once every few years. If you find that the paint is fading or peeling after just one year, you likely need to replace your door with a better model. Do an inspection of the door’s operations every season or twice a year. 


It helps to keep a finger on the maintenance of your doors, but it’s important to have a long-lasting door to begin with. With over 80 years in the business, Jancewicz & Son can help with that. Contact us today to learn more about door maintenance or the doors we have available. 

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