How to maintain your wooden front door so it lasts longer

Wooden/MDF front doors give a lot to your home in terms of tangible benefits. They are solid and for the most part – wear-resistant, and they look very good! There’s no denying that. However, it is important that the front door is properly maintained to ensure that it will not only continue to look good, but also protect your home!

In order to maintain the wooden front door well, it is important to do a somewhat thorough inspection, if possible every year. Now, the maintenance itself is not in anyone’s powers – it definitely requires a professional’s touch. But then again, what you can easily do on your own is keep an eye for some signs of wear. Spotting issue on time would make your job much easier and will cost you less in the long-run. And here is the list of issues to keep in mind.

#1 Are there any visible leaks?

Checking for leaks should not be difficult. Leakage is quote obvious or at least it is in most cases – if water comes through your front door, you will notice stains and feel dampness around. Another sign that the front door is leaking water is the swelling of the wood or the door trim. Water may not pass through the door, but you will feel the moisture. If this is the case, you must take immediate action.

#2 Is there a need for a new coat of paint?

Take a good look at the door frame and the door itself to make sure the paint is still in good condition. Paint is the first line of defense against the elements, so in order for your front door to look good and function properly, the layer of paint must be in a good condition. Worn paint is easy to notice. Just look for cracks and watch out for peeling. If you notice any, have the door repainted. There are specialized paints and varnishes that are easy to apply and have good enough instructions. In most cases, it is advisable to repaint the wooden door every 2-3 years.

#3 What is the condition of the hinges?

The “hanging” door – a door that does not fit properly in its frame – is often a problem that is caused by the faulty hinges. In some cases, the hinge screws may simply be loose, which can lead to the door sagging. Another tell-sign that there is an issue with how the door functions is it scraping the floor when you’re opening and closing the door. It is generally advisable to tighten the hinge screws by hand. That way, unlike using an electric screwdriver, you have much more control over the degree of tightening and therefore, there is no danger of overtightening the screws. This in turn might as well lead to more problems.

#4 Do the locks work?

This should not cause you much difficulty to spot as it is an easy one to notice. The front door is locked/unlocked every day and so if there’s an issue emerging, you’ll likely be quite quick to take note. So make sure that the locking/unlocking of the door is smooth and the key is easily inserted/removed without it “jamming” in the lock. If there’s something amiss here, don’t take the “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” approach – it will not go away on its own. On the contrary, that will only get worse. A possible difficulty in unlocking and locking the front door may be due to a mismatch of the door and the frame. To check if this is the case, try locking and unlocking the door while the door is open. If the locking mechanism works smoothly, then the problem is in the door itself or door frame.

#5 Does the door open / close properly?

This should be making an impression on you as the door is used daily. If the door scrapes the floor, the problem may be due to sagging (see above). In this case, check if everything is okay with the hinges. If this is not the cause, your front door might be twisted, which could be due to some moisture making its way in the door itself. If the problem is more serious in worse weather, the most likely cause is moisture. A twisted door is an issue you’ll find difficult to deal with on your own. So make sure to prevent that by doing these annual checks.

#6 Is there a gap around the door?

It is important to check around the door for larger clearances, as they may be a sign of worn seals. Worn seals are more likely to lead to moisture penetration. Make sure that all seals are in place and in good condition. If they are not, have them replaced as soon as possible, because it is much easier, faster and cheaper than changing the front door.

We hope that the annual inspections will help make your front door look and work still well, protecting your home for many years to come.

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