While your wood door has been constructed and ﬁ nished for a long, trouble-free life, periodic maintenance may be required to keep it looking its best, and to maintain your warranty. This maintenance may include, but is not limited to, upkeep on the exterior ﬁnish of the wood, trimming any swelling of wood products, as well as oiling and polishing the hardware. The amount of required maintenance depends on environmental conditions, and degree of exposure to the environment. You can limit the amout of exposure to the environment by providing the required overhang for your area and door location.
To determine if your door has adequate overhang, measure up from the bottom of the door to the point where the overhang meets the wall and divide that distance by two. The resulting number will be the minimum allowable overhang. If you have a western or southern exposure, you may still receive direct sunlight on the door and a larger overhang will be required.
The following diagram shows how to determine the proper overhang for your door.
Periodic maintenance of the ﬁ nish, including waxing with a high quality furniture wax, prolongs the beauty and life of your door. How long the ﬁnish lasts varies, and depends on the amount of exposure to direct sunlight, moisture and soil. Finish on doors that are protected from sun and moisture can last for many years. However, regularly inspect your door for signs, such as a dull, dry or cracked ﬁ nish, indicating that the ﬁ nish might need restoring. Finishes that need restoring may also have a whitish cast to them. If any of these signs appear, restore the ﬁ nish as soon as possible. Failure to maintain the ﬁ nish will void your warranty.
To Restore the Finish
1. If you have waxed your door, use a cleaner that will strip the wax off of all surfaces of the door and trim before reﬁnishing.
2. Lightly, but thoroughly, sand all surfaces of the existing ﬁnish, and wipe with a clean cloth prior to reﬁ nishing. Using 220 grit works well. Depending on the condition of the existing ﬁnish, a more thorough sanding, with 180 grit and then 220 grit, may be necessary, especially if the ﬁnish is heavily weathered.
3. Apply at least two coats of high quality exterior grade polyurethane or spar varnish with a UV inhibitor, lightly sanding between coats. Do not use water based ﬁnishes.
4. It is advisable to test a small inconspicuous area to make sure the new ﬁnish adheres well. If you do perform a test, make sure that the test area is fully cured to the manufacturers recommendations before you continue reﬁnishing your door.
5. Finish all six sides of the door, which includes all edges.