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How to inspect and
maintain a wood door

   

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At least every 6 months you should take the time to inspect your doors and windows from the outside of your home. We consider washing and waxing our car a standard part of automobile ownership. But nothing receives more abuse than your doors and windows. After all, many people trade their automobile every 18 to 36 months, but they may plan on living in their home for 15 to 20 years. Why would you assume the exterior of your home requires no attention?

Cleaning your windows and doors exterior is every bit as easy as washing your car, assuming you do not always just take your car through a car wash (if you need tips on washing your car, we can give you those as well.) Just like a car, get a bucket and clean water. Using an automobile or car wash detergent, follow the directions as though you are washing a big car. A truck brush is handy because it has a telescoping handle and soft synthetic bristles. Washing your window or door one by one, just as a car, hose the window or door down with a garden hose. Do not use a pressure washer as this can damage finishes and other parts of your home. Do not worry if a bit of water leaks in your window or door. Why, because this is as good test to find out if you have a cavity in your window or door. Anywhere water is leaking, more air is leaking and, you can address those leaks to better prepare your home for harsh weather.


After fully rinsing your door or window, give it a good cleaning with a sponge or truck brush and immediately rinse the soap away. ***This is the important part of examining the finish of your wood door. When rinsing the door, the water should bead and run quickly down the door, leaving a dry finish above the water beads. If the water drags down the door and just hangs onto the wood, your finish has ultra violet damage and needs a new top coat. If you see blackened areas in the wood, typically at the bottom of the door, you have likely let your finish go too long. Regardless, if your finish shows wear, follow our simple steps for lightly sanding and applying a new top coat to your door using Sikkens Cetol door and window.  Learn how to properly refinish your wood door.  Hopefully this is the product your door had on it from the outset of its life. The tips above apply to a painted door as well.

Drying your windows and doors will minimize spotting. You can use a soft dry terry cloth bath towel our favorite method is to get out your leaf blower and blow dry each door and window after you wash the opening. Blow drying forces water, gook and hiding bugs out of the crevices and , this procedure assists you in looking for areas of disrepair that might require maintenance.

If you have aluminum clad exterior windows like most upper end homes do today, you can also treat those windows as you would your car when it gets a dull finish. Use a high quality polish which will bring your aluminum back to life (if you have Andersen or other vinyl windows, oh well.) Never use a rubbing compound or abrasive car wax because these compounds will remove finish from your aluminum cladding advancing the aging of your finish instead of helping the finish.

Do not be afraid to clean your home’s exterior, do not be afraid of getting a little water in your home when washing, after all , you want to know where your home’s weaknesses are so that you can repair them. Too many people today go to sell their home, and through the findings of a buyer’s home inspector, discover they have many issues to repair which can not only be costly, but can possibly deter a prospective home buyer. Be a good detective! Know your home’s weaknesses and correct them.

A clean home is a happy home!

Exterior wood door finishing tips  |  More How-to

 

 

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