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How to maintain internal and external doors

Looking after internal doors and external doors will prolong their life and ensure they look at their best for longer. It’s important to look after doors before they’re installed, if you’re a tradesperson or working on a longer-term home renovation project. Whether they’re wooden, composite or uPVC doors, there’s a way of maintaining them after installation that takes little to no time and will benefit the overall look and lifespan immensely. Small details like ensuring the doors hinges are taking the weight of the door properly is just one way of upkeep that will prevent further damage and danger around the home. Use our short guide to door maintenance for a hassle-free home.

Table of Contents

  1. Keep doors in good, clean order
  2. Regularly inspect seals and hinges
  3. Check handles and locks
  4. Address damp problems immediately

Keep doors in good, clean order

Keeping your internal and external doors in a well-presented and clean order is a very easy thing to do. It takes just a minute as you walk through a door to inspect the face-value order, determining things like if the door could do with a wipe down, or if the letter plate is past it’s best.

Keep a keen eye on the paintwork of internal doors and external doors alike as this will often be an indication that something is wrong. For example, flaky paint on an external door could mean that paint isn’t up to scratch with the weatherproofing you need. Other things to look for are any signs of wear and tear around the edges of the doors. External wooden doors should be kept dry as much as feasibly possible so perhaps consider a door canopy to deter lots of rain from getting at the door. It’s a good idea to give all door handles, back plates, locks and other accessories a good clean with a damp cloth too.


Regularly inspect seals and hinges

Internal and external fire doors have fire seals that must be working to be compliant with the law, so inspecting these are your first port of call. The seals should be attached properly all along the door frame or the door itself without any breaks. Other door seals should be wiped clean regularly too to keep dirt or moss on external doors to a minimum. On a similar note, check the join of the door frame or architrave to the wall it’s set into. This join shouldn’t show any cracks or warps and if it does get these seen to immediately. If moisture penetrates these sorts of gaps then door frames or doors can swell and cause issues with fitting.

Inspecting hinges is easy to do visually. Is the hinge clean and screwed tight to the frame? If the hinge is slightly loose or looks as if it might be getting excessive wear, screw the hinge more tightly to the frame or add an additional hinge to the door set so there’s a more even spread of weight. Don’t be afraid to give hinges some WD40 if they’re squeaky!


Check handles and locks

To check a door handle in the first instance simply move it up and down as usual and watch the lock mechanism. Does the lock move like it’s supposed to? Does it stick? Does the handle creak and squeak? If so, use some WD40 to lubricate the mechanisms and try again. If this still happens then the lock and handle may be fitted incorrectly or not lined up properly, hence the sticking.

Top tip: Double check all the screws for tightness too, especially on external doors. Loose locks and handles can make an entryway more vulnerable!


Address any damp problems immediately

To address damp problems you have to know if you have any first! If your home is known for damp and you know it’s an issue, you should be sorting this as soon as you can. Damp areas let excess moisture into internal doors which leads them to swell and bloat. This can not only warp the wood so it never returns to normal, but it can mean doors won’t close properly, stay closed or the lock won’t line up correctly.

It’s important that you don’t trim the door down as once you address the damp issue then the door should return to its normal size. Get the issue under control by checking ventilation first, and avoid the problem entirely by getting wooden internal doors treated upon installation.


We’re here to help! For advice or best practice on door maintenance and how you can make your doors look and perform better for longer, contact us on 01752 422 501 or chat to us online using the box in the bottom right.

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