In order to choose the right maintenance methods, it is first necessary to understand what factors are the most damaging to the doors. Most of the threats are on the outside. Rain, snow, wind, hail, moisture, cold, heat and sunlight: any of these factors can and will damage the external surface of the front door.
But that is not all. Outside of weather conditions, we as the users cause a lot of damage to our doors ourselves. For example, through improper use or lack of adjustment and correct and timely maintenance.
The door material is very important for the maintenance schedule and choice. Before you start trying to even just clean the door, stop for a second to consider what it's made of. Wooden doors require a different range of products and maintenance than uPVCdoors. Each of these materials also requires suitable cleaning agents.
Wooden doors require maintenance at least once a year. It's particularly important to inspect them for damaged varnish, which provides the first protective layer. In the event of a breach in this layer, the door becomes susceptible to various weather damage. It's important to react promptly, as a small crack or bulge can very quickly turn into a much larger one.
The choice of varnish or paint is also very important. The ideal coating will be vapour permeable and resistant to sunlight. In order to mask the damage and the repaired patches, it is worth using a special renovation varnish, which is designed for such use.
It may happen that your door will require a complete rehaul. Then there is nothing left to do but to strip then sand down the old varnished or painted surface, clean the door and apply stain and a new coat of varnish, or suitable paint. Before you start, though, it is worth calculating the financial sense of such a job. In addition to materials, which could be quite expensive, as good quality varnishes or even chemical paint stripper can be; you will also spend time on the project. Probably more than you would initially allocate to it. Sometimes a new door might be a better solution.
Cleaning and maintenance of the entrance door made of aluminum is definitely an easier matter than in the case of a wooden door. This type of door is usually very well protected from the elements and damage and very durable. All dirt can be cleaned with water and mild detergents, and maintenance as such – according to many aluminum door manufacturers – is not necessary.
It's different if you want to change the colour of the door. Painting an aluminium door can be quite a demanding task as a DIY project, and might be better left to professionals. Typically, they offer powder coating with suitable paints and/or applying wood-look veneers.
It is not actually easy to maintain uPVC doors. The popular "plastic" doors are relatively easy to clean: just use water and detergent, definitely avoiding alcohol, acids or solvents. It is, however, much more difficult to change something about the look of a uPVC door.
It is not possible to paint uPVC doors, but in the case of minor damage, you can use a special correction pencil, similar to the ones we use when dealing with scratches in paintwork.
All types of doors have a common feature – seals. These are very important in how the doors work, and need regular maintenance. Remember to always allocate some time to properly prepare the seals before the arrival of winter. The strength and durability of the rubber from which the seals are made will increase significantly if we simply just clean the seals at least twice a year.
In addition, it is worth covering the seals with a special product. It costs a few pounds and isn't too difficult to apply, but will increase the performance and reduce the chance of parching. Importantly – it is also a universal product, suitable for window seals and car components.