Door Maintenance

Exterior Door Maintenance

Like any other component of your home, exterior doors should be checked often for their condition, operation, and functionality. A well-maintained door will last longer and be more appealing to the eyes.

Inspecting Exterior Doors

There are several types of doors to include hinged, single and double doors, wood, steel, plastic/vinyl, and aluminum. Doors made of wood and plastic may need extra attention to protect them from the weather. You should routinely inspect your doors for any damage on the door slab, weather stripping, and hardware. Additionally, door frames and sills should be monitored. If a door isn’t protected from the weather, be sure to check for the presence of essential flashing at the head. Here are other items to look for when inspecting your doors:

  • Cracks in the door slab or glass. If you notice a cracked glass panel, order and install a replacement panel to ensure no air leaks in or out of your home and to improve the safety/integrity of the window.
  • Paint maintenance is recommended when the door begins to appear faded, cracked, chipped, or the finish is peeling away.
  • Checking the windows thermal seal by visually inspecting the window for moisture and/or fog between glass panels. This moisture indicates that the thermal seal between the glass is no longer intact.
  • Moisture damage in the door jamb should be repaired and the source of the moisture will need to be found and corrected.
  • The most common maintenance item is the weatherstripping. Its good to replace the weather stripping when you notice damage to it strip such as cracks, gaps, discoloration, or deterioration.
  • Look for any missing pieces, tears and gaps in the sweep, damage or looseness to the sill plate.

Cleaning Exterior Doors

A couple times a year you will want to take some extra time to thoroughly clean both sides of your exterior days. For us, we do our major home maintenance and cleaning twice a year when the clocks change an hour for daylight savings. How you clean your door depends on the type of door you have:

  • For steel, fiberglass and wood doors use a gentle cleaner such as diluted dish soap or baby shampoo.
  • Use an oil soap and water mixture when cleaning a wrought iron door.

When cleaning your door be sure to only use cloths or sponges as abrasive tools will scratch the surface leaving, leave marks, or peel the protective coating. Only clean a section of the door at a time using a small amount of water, don’t use a garden hose or pressure washer as water can enter the home through the seams.


For more details and informational videos, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America

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