Door Maintenance

How to Keep Your Interior and Exterior Doors Looking Great and Working Properly

By Mark J. Donovan

Periodically every door needs a little TLC for it to continue to function properly. Door maintenance is essential for keeping them leak proof, preventing annoying squeaks, and eliminating any unnecessary rubbing that could eventually lead to sticking and jamming problems. In many cases simply regularly cleaning the door and lubricating the door hardware is all that is required for door maintenance. In other cases the door may need to be re-aligned. If re-alignment is necessary simply tightening up the hinge screws may be all that is required.

In other cases, particularly if the home has settled, the entire door frame may need to be realigned and adjusted.

To lubricate the door hardware the best solution is to remove the door from its hinges. After removing the door the hinge plates and bolts can easily be cleaned and lubricated. Inspect the hinges in the process of cleaning them. If the hinges and/or hinge bolts have actually corroded due to moisture issues replace them.

Also, as part of the door maintenance inspect the weatherstripping around the door frame and replace it if it is worn out and permanently compressed. In addition, if the door has glass panes that are held in place by glazing inspect the glazing carefully to see if it needs to be replaced. Glazing can dry out and crack which can lead to lose glass panes, and air and water infiltration.

If the door is constructed out of aluminum inspect it for pitting and power coat chalking. If you rub your fingers on the aluminum door and a chalky film is observed on your fingers then apply a vinyl restoration solution on the door after cleaning it. Also consider repainting the door.

Lastly, carefully inspect the door frame as part of your door maintenance and inspections. If a door frame is rotting replace it, or at least the rotting section. Also figure out what is causing the door frame rot and eliminate the cause. Often it is water that is splashing up from the ground and continuously keeping the bottom of the door frame wet. The installation of gutters may be the possible solution in this type of situation.

For information on how to install interior door trim, see the “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook from  The “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook provides step-by-step instructions on how to install interior door trim. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

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