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a guide to door maintenance

The summertime is a perfect time to spend a bit of time on your hardwood door and making the decision about whether or not it needs maintaining.

It's possible that your door has been in situ for five years or only one year yet you are unsure if maintenance is needed. It all depends on the following points:

1. Is your door covered by an overhang or porch?

Does it get a lot of rain/ sun/ weathering? A door with no overhang will undoubtedly get more rain and sun. However even with an overhang that shields only the top half of a door, there will be more weathering to the bottom of the door and that may need your attention. Some doors are so set back from any weathering under an overhang that they never get any weathering and could go years without needing any maintenance.

2. Where is the location of the door in the house?

For example, a south facing door will get more sun than a north facing door.

3. Is the door oiled, lacquered or painted?

Oiled doors can need re oiling anything from once every 6 months to once every year depending on how much weathering they get. Lacquered doors tend to last a lot longer mainly between 1-15yrs depending on location. Painted doors on the other hand can last from 5-15yrs+ depending on exposure.

4. Where is the location of the house itself?

Is the house by the sea or in a town? Doors on houses by the sea will be subjected to sea air which can cause erosion of the finish applied and more regular maintenance will be needed. Some doors in a harsh environment like Iceland will also be exposed to more rain and snow and therefore need a higher protection on their surface.

3 signs your door needs maintenance:

  • If you see bare wood then your door definitely needs a light sand and a coat of finish.
  • Any black lines, spots or degrading of the wood means that you have left your door too long without maintenance. However, this is still fixable and the door can be sanded back and refinished.
  • Thin splits in hardwood are usually a standard occurrence but large splits may mean that your door is getting too much sun or weathering. Considering an overhang if you don't have one could be a good solution.