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Start by cleaning the interior and exterior of your entry door. Use only a mild soap and water mixture. In some cases, warm (not hot) water will even do the trick without any soap. Do not scrub or use harsh abrasive cleaning chemicals or materials. Don't forget to clean inside the door frame as well. Dirt loves to hide in small spaces so you might find a soft toothbrush handy as well.
Once your door is clean, you can then take a look at the weatherstrip all the way around the door. If you notice any damage or excessive wear, you should replace the parts of the weatherstrip or all weatherstripping if needed.
Check the sealants on the door and perform any necessary maintenance. Inspect the door and frame finish. If needed, you can touch up the finish. Painted doors might need to have the paint job retouched. Stained doors might need a new topcoat from time to time.
If necessary, adjust the sill cap and the strike plate if necessary. The weatherstrip needs to be properly compressed when the door is closed. Another important part of your door that needs regular inspection is the security hardware. Tighten any screws but take care not to overdo it. If required, use a solvent based sealer to seal the sill cap. Door hinges also need to be lubricated regularly to ensure smooth operation and to minimize wear and tear.
As important as these maintenance tips are, it's also important to remember that there are certain things that should never be done. Firstly, you should always make sure that your door has the appropriate finish. Staining and painting helps protect the door, but the type of finish will depend on the type of door. You should also follow the instructions of the door manufacturer when applying or touching up the finish.
When cleaning your front door, you should never use harsh chemicals or a pressure washer to clean the exterior of any door. Pressure cleaners are extremely powerful, and they can actually remove the top layer of the finish or even damage layers beneath the finish. If you need to clean the walls around your door, you should also be careful not to use strong substances because it can spill on the door and cause damage. Don't try to refill worn weatherstrips with caulk. It's best to replace the weatherstrip instead. Be careful when adjusting the sill cap. If it's too tight, it can cause more harm than good. Finally, as tempting as it might be, you should avoid making any kind of hole (for a nail or screw) in your door. Over the holidays, many people love the idea of hanging a wreath on their front door, but this can actually result in further damage. Plus, once you remove the wreath, you'll be stuck with an eyesore for the rest of the year.
If your entry door is in bad shape or you simply need a change of style, call NorthShield Windows and doors on (204) 272-3725 Winnipeg / (905) 326-3444 Toronto for your free in-home estimate and professional advice.