Maintaining Wooden Doors
Wooden doors always give the home a warm and cosy feel. Being the point of entry for any room, they should look neat and welcoming. However, wood as a material over time may start to dull and even decay. And this may result in the metal hinges, door knobs getting loose; chipping near the edges; expansion of the door panel due to climatic conditions and so on.
Doors are subject to daily usage and also undergo a lot of wear & tear. So, maintaining your wooden doors is important. Whether it is of solid wood or painted to a different colour, upkeep of your doors is essential in keeping up with the overall ambience of your home.
Here are some tips to enable you to keep your doors in good condition –
- Open and close the door slowly a few times. Take note of door edges brushing against the frame or “jumps” in the door movement. Examine the surface for scuff mark or small scratches
- Tighten all hinge screws, both on the door and the frame. Check the screws on the door knobs, and adjust them if necessary
- Minor scuff and scratch marks can be sanded with a 240 grit sandpaper. Do not over-sand as the outer finish may be removed
- If your door is painted, remember to repaint after completing the sanding process. Optionally, painting can be done every 3 years or so depending on the usage
- An unscented soap bar or candle can be rubbed along the top and the latch side edge of the door. This provides a coating on the door which acts as a lubricant, sealing the rough edges against weathering
Fixing common problems related to wooden doors –
* Doors that stick to the frame is a common problem, especially during damp weather. However, they may fit perfectly well in dry weather. This may happen due to an unpainted top or bottom edge. To address this problem, you can –
- Sand the edges of the door with a fine sandpaper or
- Wait for dry weather and have it painted properly
* Wood rot in doors is regularly encountered by homeowners. To overcome this problem –
- Assess the damage – Rotten wood at the foot of door or around the frame is usually caused by wet rot
- Treat the cause – Before repairing damaged wood, try to find out why the wood has become damp. Check for a leaky pipe or blocked drain. Fix the cause of the dampness and let the wood dry
- Cut away damaged wood – Chisel out all the decaying material until you reach sound, solid wood. Coat the sound wood and surrounding woodwork with a chemical wet rot treatment
- Apply wood hardener – Brush a coat of wood hardener on to the exposed wood. This varnish like liquid binds the loose fibers of wood together and seals the surface, making it ready for replacement wood or filler
- Fill hole – For extensive damage, use new wood, treated with preservative, to fill the main gap. For smaller gaps, you can use a special wood filler. Rub it down with sandpaper until smooth, then paint, stain, or varnish
Carry out these tips to keep your doors in top form!