How to maintain your front door
Your front door is more than just the entrance to your house; it’s the first impression visitors have of your home. A recent survey by Dulux revealed that people make a judgement about a person just 10 seconds after seeing their front door.
So, maintaining your front door and keeping it in good condition will help to keep the outside of your home looking neat and tidy. Door maintenance is more than just cosmetic—a well-maintained door will also last much longer and be more secure than a door that has been neglected and ignored.
In this article, we will explore all aspects of door maintenance including how to clean your door and fix common problems.
In this guide:
Cleaning your front door
Maintaining a traditional timber door is very different from a door made of uPVC. Let’s look at the cleaning methods for each of the most popular front door materials.
Ideally, engineered and solid wood doors should be washed twice a year in spring and autumn. Wash the door down with a damp cotton cloth, using warm water mixed with a mild non-abrasive detergent. When finished, dry the door with a separate clean cotton cloth.
uPVC doors are popular because they require very little ongoing maintenance, but they still get dirty in the same way as doors made from other materials. To keep your door looking its best, clean it at least twice a year, preferably before winter sets in.
Washing your door with warm soapy water should be enough to remove the dirt and keep your door looking like new. You can also use a specialist uPVC cleaner if you wish. Make sure you avoid using anything abrasive because this will remove the door’s glossy finish. A microfiber cloth works best, but kitchen towels or an old t-shirt also work well.
Aluminium, like uPVC, doesn't require a huge amount of ongoing maintenance, but if an aluminium front door is left exposed to the elements it can become dull and lose its shine. To keep your aluminium front door looking fresh, it should be cleaned regularly.
Use a non-abrasive cloth and warm soapy water to wipe away marks and dirt. Then wash the door down with clean fresh water. The door should then be dried with a clean dry cloth or paper towels.
Composite doors are made from a combination of materials including wood, GRP and uPVC. They are extremely strong and hard-wearing and are finished in a range of effects and colours.
This type of door is easy to maintain as it only requires washing down every other month to keep it looking its best and to remove any build-up of dirt. Wash your door down with warm soapy water and dry with a soft microfibre cloth. Avoid using harsh soap or abrasive cloths which can damage the finish.
Steel doors are popular due to their inherent strength which makes them incredibly secure. But they still need to be regularly cleaned to prevent the paintwork from becoming dull.
Wash your steel door down with warm mild soapy water and a soft microfibre cloth. Then dry it with a separate clean cloth. Try to avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive scouring pads which will dull the finish.
Maintaining the finish on your front door
Along with regular cleaning, some door materials will also need painting to maintain their appearance. Solid wood doors will need to be painted every three to five years to keep them looking good.
You can also apply a woodcare milk to the outside of your wooden doors and frames after they are installed, and recoat every six months. Woodcare milk is a wax-enriched enhancer that protects your door set’s original finish.
Composite doors are extremely hard wearing and don’t need painting at all. But, contrary to popular belief, you can change the colour of the door if you wish. You will need to use the right materials and prepare the door properly to ensure a good finish. Due to the outer coating of the door being plastic, the paint can be prone to chipping or flaking if it’s not done properly.
uPVC doors are hard wearing and require very little maintenance. However, using a uPVC cleaner every year will keep your uPVC door and frames looking like new.
Maintaining the hardware on your front door
Along with the door and frame, you also need to ensure all door furniture is kept clean and in good working order. Here are some tips to keep your hinges, locks and handles in the best condition.
Door hinges need to be regularly lubricated to avoid squeaking. To keep them in good working order, just apply silicone spray or plumbers grease to the hinge every other year. Avoid using WD40 or graphite grease because this can attract dust and dirt.
Locks can seize up if they’re not cleaned or lubricated properly. Most locks can be lubricated with WD40.
Door handles should be lubricated with silicone spray once a year to prevent them from sticking. The best time to do this is before winter. Use a silicone spray to oil the handles and make sure you wipe away any excess spray with a damp cloth.
Letterboxes don’t require much maintenance, but you may want to apply a small amount of silicone oil to the hinges to prevent them from squeaking. Make sure you don’t apply too much and wipe away any excess oil before it stains.
Even with proper maintenance, your front door can show problems that can be frustrating. Here are some of the most common front door problems and how to rectify them.
Hinges sticking or squeaking
Squeaking door hinges can be easily fixed by applying a small amount of silicone spray or lithium-based grease. Spray liberally into the hinge and wipe away any excess with a damp cloth.
Sticking locks can be frustrating, but they can be fixed by applying a small amount of graphite powder. First, squirt a small amount of powder into the lock. Then apply powder to the key and then slide it in and out of the lock a few times.
Doors swelling or sticking
Wooden doors can sometimes swell or expand during warm months due to the humidity and moisture in the air, which can lead to them sticking in their frames. This can usually be slowed down by a good finish or treatment. Sticking can be prevented by making sure the door is sealed on all six sides with an appropriate paint or wax.
At Vufold, we provide a range of wooden front doors that are constructed using a unique CPLF core to prevent warping, splitting and twisting. These doors provide durability and excellent thermal performance as well as the beautiful appearance of natural wood.
If you’d like to know more about maintaining your front door or buying a new front door, please contact our expert team.