Your front door is where guests are welcomed into the home and the first thing neighbors will notice about the home, so it is only natural to want this focal point to give a great first impression. However, given the high traffic of front doors, this means they’re subject to wear and tear, dirt, grime, and other issues that might not leave the door as neat and tidy as desired. However, there are plenty of ways to maintain your front door and keep it looking great all the time, and it only takes a little bit of regular attention.
Let’s take a look at a few door maintenance tips to keep your entryway looking great all year long. Please note that you should always check with your door’s manufacturer for official care and maintenance tips as well, to be sure you stay within the terms of your warranty.
Your front door is used so often that it’s rarely given much thought, but constant use will put pressure on and wear out the hardware. Screws, doorknobs, hinges, handles, or door plates can loosen—or even break—and locks and hinges can stick. Tightening, lubricating, and replacing hardware as needed is crucial to the safety and structural integrity of your door.
Door maintenance doesn’t only mean the door itself; it includes the surrounding hardware. Weatherstripping is important to ensure your door is properly sealed against the elements. As it generally runs alongside the sides of your frame and the bottom of the door, it’s highly prone to wear and tear. Running your hand along the sides of the door when it’s closed to feel for drafts is a great way to inspect your weatherstripping on a regular basis, as well as checking for cracking and peeling, or damage in general.
While significant wear and tear might be something that requires a larger solution, minor wear and tear can be easily addressed when it comes to door maintenance. Depending on your door’s material, this might be scuffs, loose paint, scratches, or dents. To keep your door looking great, buff away scuffs and scratches with sandpaper and take a stiff brush to loose paint chips.
As your front door is in constant use, it’s certainly not immune to dirt, dust, and other elements that might plague your door’s appearance. When cleaning steel, fiberglass, and wood doors, use a gentle cleaner like diluted dish soap or baby shampoo mixed with water. You’ll want to avoid anything abrasive so as to not damage the door; sponges or lint-free towels are the best choice. Once you’ve finished cleaning the entire door, rinse and wipe dry. If your door has glass, vinegar and water is a great cleaning solution for your glass inserts.
Please note that we emphasize gentle cleaning and highly recommend you avoid power washing windows and doors, as this can lead to damage and foggy glass. Check with your door manufacturer for recommended cleaning methods that won’t void your warranty, as well as with the manufacturer of your paint or stain.
To go the extra mile with door maintenance, give your front door a face-lift with a fresh coat of paint. This is a great time to change your door’s color to give it that pop of color you’ve been mulling over to renew the look of your home. Applying a fresh coat of paint will also renew your door’s protection against the harshness of the elements. If you are looking to keep the same color, a simple top coat will also protect your door from color fading or weather damages.
Plastpro has specific guides for painting our Smooth Skin and Woodgrain fiberglass doors- again, we recommend you check with your door’s manufacturer for similar guidance.
While the door slab is usually top of mind for door maintenance, inspecting the door jamb is equally important. Exposure to the elements can lead to damage, warping, or rotting over time that can be easily missed. Regular inspections make it easier to spot these issues and take action quickly—and potentially avoid the need for a full replacement.
How often door maintenance is required will depend on the material of your front door, especially if you live in a climate subject to harsh elements. Fiberglass exterior doors are a great option for reducing the overall amount of door maintenance needed, especially when compared with wood or steel doors.
Plastpro’s fiberglass doors resist rotting, warping, denting, and other common issues found in wood and steel doors. Not only does this mean less yearly maintenance, but it also leads to a longer lifespan overall. Fiberglass doors are also highly weather resistant, ensuring that you are protected from damage in climates prone to severe weather. Our exclusive HydroShield Technology encases the door with composite, weatherproof material on all 6 sides to reduce warping, rotting, and the buildup of mold and mildew that will create a need for more intensive maintenance.
Pair this technology with our fully composite, Polyfiber (PF) Door Frames to allow your door frame to have the same durable benefits and create a fully impenetrable entryway.
If you want to keep your yearly door maintenance to a minimum, check out Plastpro’s Where to Buy page for more information.