Care and maintenance
This guide provides important information that will help keep wood, fiberglass and steel doors looking beautiful and operating smoothly for many years while maintaining warranty coverage. Regular inspections and minor maintenance are the best ways to keep these products in good condition.
For optimal performance, new sealed or unfinished products should be primed and finish painted with an even number of coats on all six sides as soon as possible after installation. Finishing is necessary because by nature, door construction materials are susceptible to the elements and changes in moisture levels can cause damage. Priming and painting finishing seals the surfaces, maintains, protects and enhances the beauty of the product by keeping it less susceptible to debris and easier to clean. Keeping doors properly finished is the first step in effective maintenance.
Precautions, Safety & Cleaning Recommendations
Precautions and safety
- Never mix cleaners or solvents. This may be dangerous as well as ineffective.
- If using commercial cleaning or finishing products or solvents, carefully read and follow safety instructions, warnings, cautions and disposal instructions on manufacturer’s labels. Wear appropriate safety gear (e. g. clothing, goggles, gloves) and provide plenty of ventilation.
- Immediately clean spills.
- Most solvents are flammable and/or toxic and must be handled with extreme care. Do not use near open flame, sparks, or electrical motors.
- Do not power-wash doors or use a garden hose; this can cause seal failure in glass units and allow water to enter the structure.
- Avoid using metal tools, razor blades, or other sharp objects and abrasive cleaners. They can damage door surfaces, scratch glass and remove coatings.
- Do not allow aggressive cleaners to come into contact with door surfaces. Immediately rinse and dry.
- Do not allow cleaners to puddle or collect at glass edges near glazing materials.
- Avoid cleaning in direct sunlight or in temperatures too hot or too cold.
- Avoid excessive rubbing and over-cleaning.
- Do not scour. Clean and rinse one area at a time.
- Clean twice a year (monthly in coastal areas) or when dirty.
- After-market tints and films are not recommended on glass, as they may cause damage to the glass and/or sealant.
Needed Materials & Tools
- Baby shampoo or mild soap, or vinegar, and water
- Several clean, soft, non-abrasive, absorbent lint-free dry cloths (cleaning)
- Commercial glass cleaning products or solvents
- High quality sealant (100% polyurethane if painted and 100% silicone if left exposed)
- Soft bristle brush
- Spray bottle
Basic Inspections & Maintenance
Gutters & Overhangs
Gutters and overhangs protect doors from excess exposure to water. Clear at least once a year or as necessary.
- Inspect annually (due to the corrosive environment of coastal areas, inspect monthly).
- Inspect stiles and rails for damage (excessive warp, cracks or splits in wood or fiberglass surfaces, dents or scratches in metal surfaces).
- Immediately repair scratches or cracks in painted or finished surfaces. Re-finish surfaces as necessary when finishes fade, crack, peel, split etc.
- Check glass for cracks. If cracked, call us for replacement.
Weatherstrip & Sweep Inspection
Inspecting and maintaining weatherstrip can help avoid costly structural damage from water leakage and energy loss due to air and/or water infiltration Replace weatherstrip, that has gaps or is missing, torn, cracked, brittle, discolored, gummy, or that has no “bounce back” when pressed down.
- Solvents such as mineral spirits or petroleum-based products may damage or dissolve weatherstrip.
- When using alcohol, always test small area first to avoid product damage.
- Do not allow solvents or silicone to touch surfaces around weatherstrip.
- Do not use abrasives, sanders, or anything sharp near weatherstrip.
- Clean with damp cloth or mild soap and water.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Repeat if necessary.
Non water-soluble cleaning
Clean with denatured alcohol on soft cloth. Test on inconspicuous area first. If denatured alcohol doesn’t work:
- Clean with small amount of lacquer thinner on soft cloth. Follow all instructions and do not get lacquer thinner on fiberglass.
- Repeat if necessary.
- Clean with mild soap and water, then rinse. If unsuccessful, consider replacing weatherstrip.
If weatherstrip is loose or falling out of the kerf:
- Carefully remove weatherstrip.
- Apply thin bead of silicone sealant into kerf.
- Reinstall weatherstrip.
- Hold in place with tape for 24 hours.
- Carefully remove tape.
Visually inspect the sweep for tears and missing components. If the sweep is damaged, consider replacing it. See our product guide for replacement instructions.
When the door is closed, the sweep should be compressed by the threshold by approximately 1 /8". If the threshold has screws visible on the top, it can be adjusted by turning the adjustment screws on the threshold clockwise to lower the threshold or counterclockwise to raise it. Adjust each screw until the threshold applies uniform compression on the sweep.
Exterior siding and product sealant joints
A proper seal of the joints in the door system and between the door and the exterior surface of the structure will provide a proper shield from the elements and will keep water and/or air from leaking into the house.
Inspect sealant in the joints for:
- Deteriorating areas (e.g. loss of adhesion)
Prepare cleaning solution (1 tsp. baby shampoo to one gallon of water or 1 ½ cups vinegar to one gallon of water).
- Rinse surface with clean water from top to bottom.
- Clean with mild soap and water and sponge or soft brush with uniform pressure horizontally, then vertically.
- Promptly rinse thoroughly with clean water (sponging while rinsing may be helpful; do not allow cleaning solution to dry on the surface or collect and puddle).
- Wipe dry with lint-free dry cloth.
- If necessary, repeat steps above until clean.
- Dry door with separate cloth.
- Soak dried latex paint drips with warm water and baby shampoo solution. For oil-based paint, consult a paint professional.
- Wipe with damp cloth or sponge If needed,
- Scrape gently with plastic putty knife. Repeat soak and scrape.
- Repeat if necessary.
Stubborn stain removal
Commercial glass cleaning products may be necessary.
- Apply small amount directly to the stain. Avoid spilling or dripping down the glass.
- Some persistent stains may need higher strength cleaning solutions that contain active ingredient chemicals such as denatured alcohol or acetone. Special care must be taken when using these types of cleaners.
- For oil and grease: try baking soda and water.
Door Surface Cleaning & Hardware Lubrication
Cleaning and lubrication help to maintain and restore smooth operation to movable parts such as hinges and locksets and, in most cases, offers some corrosion protection.
Clean door surface and maintain hardware any time doors are not opening or losing properly or at least biannually (monthly for coastal areas):
- Clean dirt/debris with mild soap and water and rinse clean
- Tighten loose screws
- Replace damaged hardware
The following substances may damage protective finishes. Do not use:
- Vinegar-based cleaners (use on glass only)
- Citrus-based cleaners (lemon, etc.)
- Paint removers
- Window cleaners
- Brick/siding washes
- Any other industrial or abrasive cleaners
- Lubricate hinges with light oil (3-In-One® oil or equivalent) annually or when noisy.
- Spray keyway lock with graphite lubricant.
Tracks and Bearings
Wipe visible track surfaces with a damp soft cloth and a mild detergent, then wipe dry with a clean cloth. Using a suitable applicator, spread a small amount of clear petroleum jelly or similar lubricant where the carrier wheels pass so that it is distributed evenly along the track.
Place additional lubrication around the bearings. The lubrication reduces wear, improves operation and protects against corrosion. In severe environments, apply a thin film of WD40®.
Hangers, Pivots and Brackets
Exposed surfaces should be wiped down with warm soapy water and a soft rag, and then rinsed clean before applying new surface protectant. A light spray application of WD40®, followed by a light wipe with a dry cloth to remove any excess.
Wipe down the visible surfaces with warm, soapy water and a soft rag, then rinse off and dry by wiping with a clean rag.
Application of a thin film of WD40® will help maintain the original luster of the metal finish, and lubricate the moving contact surfaces. Be careful not to get these compounds on any wood components as it may cause staining. For oil-rubbed bronze finish, care should be taken when cleaning or re-applying surface protectant.
Spray WD40® to the sliding pin inside the bolt and to the lock cylinder. There are access holes or slots on all drop bolts so that this can be completed without removing the locks from the doors.