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Exterior Doors – Part 2

In Part 1 of this post, I discussed how to maintain exterior doors to avoid repair. You can read that here! Sometimes, despite our best efforts or a lack there of, we need to make repairs. In this post, I’ll break it down by repair size and replacement amount.

  1. Small repairs:   If the damage is only just starting with minimal wood rot, then wood repair is a good option.  With a sharp chisel carefully remove damaged wood until you see only clean solid wood. Purchase a two-part epoxy wood filler for best results. Using the wood filler, fill the depression and if possible, with first application, overfill so that the filler is higher than the surrounding surface. (If you still have a depression in the surface after it dries then you need to apply more wood epoxy). It will dry in less than 30 minutes at which point you can begin to shape and smooth with a putty knife. When it hardens too much for the shaping (and it won’t take long), then switch to 120 grit sandpaper and sand the surface flush with the original wood surface.  When you have it ready, then paint to match.
  2. Larger repairs:  Sometimes too much of the brickmold is damaged to repair. With the brickmold you can cut out the damaged part and splice a short piece of PVC brickmold in its place.
  3. Replace the door frame: Sometimes the door frame has rotted all the way through to the inside of the door. This is a bigger problem which requires a bigger solution.  If you have the correct door frame side to match, then you can cut out and replace the damaged piece much like replacing the brickmold piece.  If too much it rotten then you can also replace the whole side(leg) of the rotten door frame. That makes for the neatest looking job. It however, requires a higher skill set and more specialized tools and, in most cases, best left to the professional.
  4. Replace the whole door:  Sometimes things are so far gone, that the best solution is to start over with a new door. If that is the case, then consider getting a new door with the composite frame. There is no wood in the frame nor the trim. It is all composite construction. There is now no worry of it rotting…ever.  Typically, these doors are more expensive but may warrant the extra cost in saved time and maintenance over the long term.

When maintained properly, exterior doors help keep your house warm in the cool months, cool in the warm months and your energy bills in check. It can be a project that fits into the DIY category, but sometimes requires some a professional. Contact us at DCI if you need help!

The links to external sites in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links.

Exterior Doors – Part 1

Exterior doors can last a lifetime if properly maintained. They can also be a big problem if they are not maintained. Newer construction over the years has trended towards more narrow eaves to reduce wind damage in case of hurricanes and tornadoes. The side effect, unfortunately, is that it leaves the exterior doors more exposed to rain and snow especially on the north side of the home. Without the sun drying those doors, more maintenance will be required to keep those door frames from rotting. I see a lot of wooden door frames rotting down at the threshold. I have recently added an apartment complex as a customer and at this point the bulk of my business has been repairing door frames.

Part 1 of this post will address how to avoid rotting door frames. Part 2 addresses how to repair it them if you need to.

How to avoid rotting door frames:

  1. Paint:  You must keep those door frames sealed from the elements. I installed new exterior doors on my own home 2 years ago and at the time painted the door frames. Recently, I painted them again. I didn’t want to paint them again. I had other more fun things I could have been doing. I painted them again though because it was time and I wanted to avoid a larger repair job in the future. You know it is time to paint when you see dark spots forming on your wood near the thresh hold. Those dark spots are indicators that mold is starting to penetrate your paint. When the mold penetrates your paint, it starts eating your wood next. That is when you have a problem. It is time to clean with bleach water and repaint.
  2.  Replace what wood you can with PVC trim: Problem areas like the north-side of your house or a shaded side of your house due to trees, may need extra measures. Using PVC brick moulding to trim around your exterior door is a cost-effective way to shield your door frame from rot. In effect you will be replacing the wood trim with rot free PVC trim. By doing this you need to realize that the door frame is still wooden, but at least you won’t have to worry about the trim rotting and it gives the mold less of a place to start.

By far the best solution to rotting door frames, is to be proactive and to keep an eye on them. Clean the mold off and keep them sealed with a quality paint. If they do start to rot and you catch it early, you can make the repairs yourself. Part 2 of this post will address DIY repairs. This will extend the lifespan of your door beyond your own…and save you time,  money and stress in the long haul.

The links to external sites in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links.