More often than not, your front door provides the first impression of your home to visitors. However, despite this, many homeowners don’t have an established maintenance routine to keep their exterior doors in the best shape possible.
The exterior doors to your home face additional challenges that your interior doors don’t — like adverse weather, more traffic and fluctuating temperatures. All of these challenges can impact the long-term health of your door if you aren’t taking proper precautions.
So, how can you establish a maintenance routine that will help your exterior doors look better and last longer? We have a few ideas.
Don’t panic with weather changes
Wooden doors are susceptible to shrinkage in cold weather and swelling in hot weather, which can make for a frustrating open and shut experience. Some homeowners panic when doors swell and opt to shave down the sides. Unfortunately, this just leads to an ill filling door when the weather changes back to colder temperatures. Instead, ensuring your door is properly sealed with high quality exterior paint to combat moisture is the best course of action. If you aren’t sure about the paint on your door, it might be a good idea to sand the door down to bare wood and start fresh. You can also apply weather stripping to the doorframe to help with sealing.
Plan for bi-yearly cleaning
Cleaning your doors isn’t likely to be a high-priority task, so pair this twice annual to-do with another more common bi-yearly task, such as cleaning out your closet, changing the batteries on your smoke detectors or washing your windows.
For wooden doors, choose a gentle cleaning agent — like diluted dish soap or even baby shampoo — and use a soft tool, like a microfiber cloth or sponge. You should also take care to use minimal water and ensure your door is dried completely when you’re done.
Inspect for wear and tear
Along with regular cleaning, you should also check your doors for any damages or updating needs. Since sun damage can lead to peeling paint and a dulled finish, it’s a good idea to plan to repaint or refinish your exterior doors about once every five years, depending on exposure. You should also check for damages to the frame and any glass panels, both of which can be replaced in the event of moisture damage.
With these tips and a little extra care, you can extend the life of your exterior doors and ensure the entrances to your home are always looking their best.
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