August 22, 2010
Source: Door Smart
When purchasing exterior front doors you have to consider several environmental factors.
SUN EXPOSURE and Exterior Doors
Sun is the most brutal element that can cause damage to exterior front doors. Taking this into account, you need to consider which way your front entryway doors face. If they face the East or West, your exterior doors are going to take the brunt of morning sun or afternoon sun directly. If the doors face North or South you have to take into account summer sun hitting them all day as the sun moves in the sky. Didn’t think you were going to have to consider climatology when considering your exterior front doors, did you?
AWNING PROTECTION and Exterior Doors
Now that you have considered the sun effect, you now consider the awning that is over the exterior doors. The awning will provide protection for your doors and the depth your exterior front doors are recessed under the awning play a role in how much sun exposure your doors will experience. In most cases, an awning will provide 100% protection. Builders today understand the Wow! factor of a beautiful front entryway design. In older homes, however, front doors were simple and had little awning protection from the sun.
OLDER HOMES and Exterior Doors
If you have an older home you should consider the facing considerations discussed earlier. If you have a door that gets a tremendous amount of sun, the color can fade, the finish can cloud, the poly finish can peel. It can also get expensive if you are having to refinish your exterior front doors every year.
When considering replacement doors for an older home, consider different materials that work well in the environment you are facing. Manufactured steel doors and fiberglass doors are good alternatives to a solid wood door. The reason is, the baked on enamel and the tolerances of the finish are much higher than a hand finished solid wood door.
SOLID WOOD and Exterior Doors
If you choose to buy solid wood exterior doors, good for you – they are beautiful, but you must make sure that the finish is done correctly. Staining is not really a protective process, but they should be using a stain that has some sun/UV resistance. When it comes to final coat of varnish, make sure they are using a high quality varnish (Spar-Urethane) and that they are putting multiple coats.
They can spray the doors or hand paint them. Make sure the apply three coats, let the doors dry at least 24 hours in between each coat, and sand in between each coat. If your exterior doors are glass doors, make sure they seal the wood between the glass and the wood.
As always, if you have any questions, please drop me a line, I’ve had a lot of folks sending me requests, I usually try to get back to you within a day or so. Please be patient, and Door Smart.