Darker nights, shorter days, and falling temperatures: winter’s here and it’s time to face Mother Nature at her most challenging. While we can turn on the central heating, cook up our favourite comfort food and cocoon ourselves in cosy sweaters, we often overlook some of our best defences against the cold: our front doors. Window and door maintenance is one of the most effective and easiest ways to keep your house warm.
Top tips for door maintenance
Your door not only does a great job at giving a stylish first impression to visitors and protecting you and your loved ones from intruders but it also plays a key role in ensuring that your house stays warm and cosy through the season's wind, rain, snow and ice.
At this time of year, it’s an excellent idea to check your door - if you miss any minor issues now, they could rapidly worsen and you might find yourself facing higher energy bills or even needing a new door.
Your door’s first line of defence in the fight for energy efficiency is draught-proofing. Fixing draught excluders at the bottom of your doors is a simple step that will ensure that warm air stays in and cold air is kept out.
Common problems to look out for
Cold temperatures outside mean that the central heating is turned up indoors - and this represents a real challenge to any door. Central heating systems result in lower levels of humidity within your home: dry air takes up moisture from any potential source and that includes the humidity stored within wood doors and windows. Over time, this causes the wood to contract, split and warp.
While cracking is not as serious as warping and won’t necessarily affect your door’s functionality, it’s certainly detrimental to its appearance. Paint is also affected by changes in humidity and gradually becomes less flexible. As the wood beneath responds to atmospheric changes by expanding and contracting, the paint will start to flake and chip. These problems usually first become visible around the door frame and the edges of the door panels.
As the temperature gets cooler, timber or wood fibre doors will contract and when the weather warms up, they will expand. After a few seasons, this cycle of expansion and contraction can start to cause damage, causing changes to the shape and size of your doors. Most doors are constructed to fit specific door frames so any warping will cause the door to stick. This soon becomes obvious as the door becomes difficult to open and shut. Thanks to the force of gravity, you’ll usually notice the first signs of this problem at the bottom of the door.
If the problem goes unchecked, larger gaps will eventually develop leading to the door sticking more frequently. Eventually, it could even loosen the hinges, a problem that could result in having to replace a damaged door.
How to keep your doors in good shape
Whether or not “The Beast From The East” pays us a visit this year, a few simple window and door maintenance tips will help to keep your house warm and protect your doors from rain, wind, and frost.
Even if your door was recently installed, it’s a good idea to place sealing strips around the edges. Sealing strips don't change the appearance of the door but will block any tiny gaps between the frame and the door stopping cold air from getting in. They also have a soundproofing effect.
Particularly with large sliding doors, it’s essential to ensure that warm air isn’t being lost from inside your home. Installing a draught excluding strip at the bottom of entry doors and sliding doors improves insulation by creating a barrier that stops warm air escaping under the door through convection.
Central heating leads to a very dry atmosphere in the home and this is a major cause of damage to wood doors. A humidifier is a simple way to maintain the moisture in your home’s atmosphere at a suitable level. This will benefit not only your wooden doors but also any wood furniture.
• Check hinges
Hinges can work loose over time so check them periodically to make sure they’re still attached securely. Tighten any loose hinges carefully as overtightening can cause further damage.
Stylish replacement doors from Bergson & Eaton
If your doors are reaching the end of their lifespan, or if you simply want to refresh the appearance of your home, we have a great range of doors to keep your home cosy, secure and stylish at any season of the year. Call into our showroom and have a chat to our experts or click here to complete our online form and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.