Spruce Up Your Exterior Doors
Care For This Important Focal Point Before Your Holiday Guests Arrive
Before guests arrive for the December holidays, homeowners should take stock of their home exterior doors to renew and beautify them to assure years of long-lasting beauty and service.
“Entry doors are like other key features of the home because they require routine maintenance,” says Chris Maulucci, a technical sales manager with Therma-Tru Corp. “Owners of fiberglass doors enjoy reduced yearly maintenance efforts, but there is still a checklist of items to inspect and adjust periodically on any door.”
To help homeowners in knowing what to look for to maintain their entry doors, Therma-Tru has created this checklist:
- Clean the exterior and interior of the door with a mild soap and water solution.
- Inspect the weatherstrip and door bottom sweep for wear, and replace as needed.
- Inspect the door’s corner sill pads for wear, and replace as needed.
- Check and maintain all the door’s sealants.
Inspect the finish of the door and frame.
- Reapply paint (for a painted door) or topcoat (for a stained door) as needed, which usually depends on the amount of outdoor exposure the door receives.
- If needed, adjust the sill cap on the door.
- Check and adjust the adjustable strike plate for the door as needed so that the weatherstrip is properly compressed when closed.
- Check the security of the door’s hardware and tighten screws as needed to prevent looseness.
- Seal the sill cap (the hardwood cap only) with a solvent based sealer, like linseed oil or an oil-based stain.
- Lubricate door hinges as needed.
Just as important as the checklist of “what to do” for yearly door maintenance is the list of items that homeowners should not do. Therma-Tru offers this list of “don’ts” related to door maintenance:
- Don’t leave the door unfinished. Doors must be finished (either painted or stained).
- Don’t paint over a stained woodgrain door without using a compatible primer first.
- Don’t use lacquer-based paints on doors.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean doors. A mild soap and water solution is all that’s needed.
- Don’t use a pressure washer on door exteriors to clean them.
- Don’t clean the brick around the door with muriatic acid as it will mar the finish if any splashes onto the door.
- Don’t use caulk to fill in worn weatherstrip. Instead, replace the weatherstrip.
- Don’t adjust the sill cap too tightly. This can cause the door’s bottom sweep to bind.
- Don’t change out a doorlite (the glass insert in the door) without using an adjustable torque screw gun placed on the proper setting for the size of the doorlite.
- Don’t drill holes or screws into the door to hang wreaths or holiday decorations.
What to Look for in a New Door
“If, while performing your annual inspection, it becomes apparent that you’re in the market for a new door, consider one made of fiberglass,” says Maulucci. “A solid fiberglass door is up to four times more energy efficient than a solid wood door, plus you get the benefits that fiberglass has to offer, including resistance to rot, rust, dents and weather.”
Another factor to consider is what’s on the inside of your door. The dense polyurethane foam used in the core of Therma-Tru fiberglass doors helps the doors achieve high thermal performance values.
According to Maulucci, homeowners choosing to add decorative glass to their Therma-Tru fiberglass doors can also count on energy-efficient features. The company’s triple-pane construction of most doorlites and sidelites creates both a strong thermal and acoustical barrier. And, factory-coated Low-E glass, available as an option for clear glass, also delivers exceptional energy efficiency. In cold weather, the Low-E glass helps reduce the loss of heat by reflecting the heat back inside the home. In warm weather, Low-E glass reflects the sun’s rays off of the glass, helping keep the interior of the home cool.
Benefits of Fiberglass Doors
According to the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), fiberglass products are known for their reliability, customization aspects for style design, and energy efficiency. Fiberglass doors have an abundance of features outlined by AAMA at aamanet.org; search for fiberglass product reliability.
Constructed as a complete system of components, Therma-Tru fiberglass doors are designed and engineered to work together for lasting performance, security and energy efficiency. Multi-point locking systems that engage a series of locks at several places on the frame, plus the adjustable security strike plate that can withstand up to three times the force of a standard strike plate, are key factors in creating a dependable Therma-Tru entry door system. Therma-Tru fiberglass doors are also available with the exclusive Tru-Defense door system. This system integrates specific components engineered and tested to deliver outstanding protection in all kinds of weather conditions.