How To Maintain Your Wooden Exterior Doors This Winter

October 25, 2022

Nothing lasts forever, including your external doors. To get the best out of your wooden exterior door, you need to show it some tender love and care by doing maintenance. Wood is particularly needy when it comes to wanting protection, but it also repays your kindness with many years of gleaming, classic wooden looks that make the entrance to your home look warm and inviting. 

Hardwood Door in Winter

Winter season is very hard on your hardwood front door. Wood is a natural material that reacts to environmental conditions. The wood fibers contract when the temperature outside gets chilly; they also expand when it gets warm. The door will expand when there is a lot of moisture from the rain and snow, and small cracks can develop within wood fibers when the door is exposed to dry air from the home heating system. 

All this contraction and expansion of fibers will cause the wooden door to warp, and it will no longer fit properly into its frame. It may become difficult to open and close the door as it catches on the frame. Besides sticking, the door may develop a cracked, worn appearance which will not give a good impression of your home.

Winter Wooden Door Maintenance

Every autumn is a good time to look at your front door to assess what type of maintenance it requires to ensure it survives the winter months. 

A good place to start is by inspecting the door’s hardware. Examine your hinges to see if they squeak, are rusty, or have loosened somewhat while accommodating the warped door panels. It is a good idea to clean your hinges and spray them with some silicone lubricant. That will protect the metal parts from accumulating rust in wet and cold winter weather.

The hinges may also need a little tightening, so you will need to break out that screwdriver and tighten them as necessary. Remember to check your locks and metal letter slots to make sure they work properly. 

Now, look at your door panels. If you see any signs of cracking, peeling of the varnish, or splintering, you will need to fix these imperfections before winter’s moisture seeps into those cracks and results in full-blown rot. To do that, you will need to sand the door first to get to a nice, smooth surface that can be sealed to bring out the warm natural glow of a well-cared-for wood surface. Make sure that the door is dry before you paint on the sealer to prevent trapping moisture inside your door. 

Once the door is sealed and the hinges no longer squeak, turn your attention to the weather stripping. It should be nice and smooth along all sides of the door. To check if it is sound, close the door and place your hand along the opening between the door and the frame. If you feel a draft, the weather stripping needs replacing. A good weather stripping seal means lower utility costs because an airtight door prevents heat loss from your home.

A good quality wooden door will stay in perfect condition for many years. Still, it is good to carry out yearly maintenance to extend its life. 


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Architectural Windows & Doors, Inc.