Door Maintenance DIY: What You Need to Know Before You’re in Too Deep
Creaky, rusty or otherwise noisy hinges have to be among the top three most annoying and common issues with DIY door maintenance or even professional installs. What to do? It's so simple, it will blow your mind. All you need to do is begin by adding DW-40. If this fix-all doesn't solve your problems, kick it up a notch with all-season silicon. Simply take apart each hinge (only one at a time!) and lubricate each part of the hinge with a thin coating of silicone — you can also use silicone spray to ensure you get all the nooks and crannies like you do with WD-40.
Drafty doors are totally unacceptable, especially when weather is unforgiving... making your utility bills unforgiving, too! In order to stop a draft from coming into your home through your self-installed door, get an all-weather caulk for exterior doorways from your local hardware store as an important step of your DIY door maintenance. Once home, look for the places where you see breaks, cracks, or even open air in the seals around the frame of the door and trim. IMPORTANT NOTE: try to find a caulk in a natural color that most closely matches your doorframe area and/or door — no one wants to see a poorly executed caulking job around a door done with white-colored caulk! Other ways to keep the draft out and your cool or warm air in is to use weather stripping around the perimeter of the door as much as possible, as well as to install a weatherboard at the base of the door/frame to keep air from getting in and out through the bottom of the door — more on that next!
How to add a weatherboard: Drafty door bases that should be flush with the floor sometimes… just aren’t. In these cases, adding a weatherboard is the way to go. To do this, you should (depending on the door) measure the width from frame ends to stiles, and once you are certain you have measured correctly, cut the wood you have chosen (good options for this are mahogany, oak, and Adler, as all are resilient to the elements outdoors. Next, you're going to draw a line at the top of the weatherboard using a hands-free level — this will allow you to drill balanced holes through the weatherboard and into the door itself. If the weatherboard is nude, finish it to match the rest of the frame, door, or both, and you'll have a beautiful and practical new addition to your entryway!
An exterior or interior door that sticks has its reasons! If you did the door maintenance yourself on this/these doors, it could be the wood you used is not standing up to the elements: be sure to use a species that’s tried and true for not cracking, swelling, or rotting under the duress of outdoor weather. If you've determined the wood itself is fine, the next step is to do your best to repair the hinges by using canned air to remove dust that has settled there. If this doesn't work, you may try removing the door entirely, measuring from top to bottom and side to side, and comparing with the inside of the doorframe to see which part of the door is too large. By doing this, you will also most likely have to re-sand and refinish the door as part of your door maintenance DIY, so use this as a last resort.