As the summer comes to a close-sad but inevitable, school bells will begin to ring, children will line up for the bus and parents’ focus will shift from summer time activities to fall activities-namely Bears football here. As we transition from the heat of a drought this past summer to the cooling temperatures of the fall we will transition from the comforts of our air condition to heat to maintain comfortable temperatures within our home. It is hard to believe as we sit here on a beautiful 75 degree summer day but cooling temperatures are on the way whether you are prepared or not.
Winter is a beautiful season but it does come with its headaches as well, shoveling, salting and bundling up to fight the frigid temperatures we experience here in Chicago. As we turn on our furnaces and begin heating our homes the moisture content in our home will begin to fluctuate as well. This in turn can cause temporary warping of wood doors throughout your home. Summer humidity as most of us have seen causes the exterior doors to swell and often times the doors will stick as a result. Interior doors, bi-pass doors and bi-folds doors often stick or warp due to various weather conditions. Raw wood may be exposed on interior doors if the panels shrink more than the door frame. Exterior doors will flex, warp or even bow to some degree as a result of the differing temperatures between the outside and inside of your home. These conditions are to be expected so don’t be come too alarmed, just be aware of how your interior doors and exterior doors will react to the differing temperatures.
Door maintenance prolongs your investment
There are several things you can do to ensure the doors quality will not be hindered. If sticking is caused by swelling in damp weather, fold sandpaper around a wood block and sand the edge that binds. If the doors alignment is uneven, check to see that the door hinge screws are tight and holding the door properly. If the hinges are not the cause of the problem and the door is still seems out of alignment; sand or plane (no aviation license needed) the edge that binds. Make sure you put a fresh coat of paint or varnish on the areas that are freshly sanded or planned, this will ensure further protection of the door from absorbing moisture and prevent further problems. If you are like me and prefer not to get your hands dirty or simply there are not enough hours in the day to complete this task call in a professional in your area to remedy this problem.
Most all exterior doors should have weather stripping to prevent air from passing through the edges of the door. To maintain a good seal you will occasionally need to adjust the magnetic and compression weather stripping on your exterior door. In order to move this strip, carefully run a screwdriver firmly up and down the groove in the weather stripping. A properly sealed exterior door should be somewhat difficult to open and close. If you hear a howling noise that’s coming from your door and not the coyotes try adjusting the weather stripping, this should solve the problem.
Have you ever looked down and wondered what the wood strip with several screws in it at the threshold of the door is? Many exterior doors are equipped with adjustable thresholds. Adjust these thresholds as the seasons and temperatures change, here in Chicago tightening in the summer and loosening in the summer-these could differ depending on the temperatures and humidity where you live. When I was growing up there always seemed to be a pile of beach towels at the door to prevent the drafts-you can save the towels for the beach by adjusting the threshold. To prevent bi-fold doors and sliding doors from sticking keep the tracks free of dirt and debris-these areas always seem to build up dust and grit which is easily removable with a household cleaner (I prefer white vinegar-eco friendly). Occasional application of silicone spray will enable doors to slide easily and prolong the life of your doors and your investment. Furthermore, I personally prefer to lubricate my door hinges with silicone spray a few times a year or when I am reminded by an intolerable squeak when opening and shutting doors. With some regular maintenance and attention you should be able to enjoy your doors for years to come.