Front doors can last a very long time. Some heritage houses have the same solid timber doors that were installed when the house was first built. But the lasting power of a front door is as much a matter of chance as durability. A durable door can withstand the elements for decades and still close firmly after many years. But there are other things besides the weather that can damage a door beyond any repair or usefulness. Sometimes, damage can mean it's finally time to replace your old front door.
Today, we're here to talk about the types of damage that can make door replacement the most reasonable option for repair.
Impacts While Moving Furniture
By far the most common way to do serious damage to a door is with furniture. When someone moves into or out of a house, their furniture goes with them. But moving couches and bed-frames through your front door isn't always easy. Without the proper methods, measurements, and soft padding there's a good chance your door is going to get a nasty scrape from the legs of at least one piece of furniture.
Now, little scrapes a door can withstand. You can always use a little filler putty and repaint. But sometimes, furniture impacts are a lot more significant. A hard impact against the sharp corner of a furniture foot, for example, could actually puncture the surface of a sealed door. Or create an indent so deep that it compromises the integrity of the door's core. And once the core is damaged, a front door's days are numbered.
Foundation Problems Warped the Door Frame
One of the most interesting ways that doors take damage is a shifting foundation. This occurs when the soil expands or retracts beneath the foundation of a house, causing uneven floors and warping door frames. And, over time, a foundation problem can warp your door as well. If your door frame is no longer square and your door has been permanently changed by the problem, no amount of foundation repairs will quite make it right. That door will always close a little strangely or stick in an inconvenient way.
Unless you replace the door. Preferably after you enact foundation repairs and re-build a straight and even doorjamb.
Door Frame Broken During a Break-In
It's an unfortunate truth that sometimes, break-ins happen. There are many ways for a house thief to try and get into your house, but a crowbar to the door frame is one of the most traditional. This method circumvents the security of a sturdy door by attacking the less-secure frame around it. However, actually wrenching a door out of place with a crowbar is sure to damage it.
If you have recently suffered a break-in through the front door, there's a very high chance that your door frame and door were permanently damaged. Most people whose door frames are crow-bared open need to fully replace their front door. And do some serious thinking about security-level door frames as well.
The Door is Rotting from Moisture Exposure
Not all timber doors are the same high-quality as the kind that last for centuries. A timber door made of soft wood or not properly cured and sealed can begin to rot, like any wood, in a moist environment. If there are heavy rains, humidity, or simply gathered moisture inside your door, then rot is an inevitability. Just like a rotting old log in the forest.
The signs of a rotting door are unmistakable. The edges start to chip away and you an see the door crumbling at the corners or where the hardware is attached. And once a door starts to rot, it's only a matter of time before it becomes too soft to provide any security or insulation at all. If your door is visibly rotting, the only solution is a replacement with a new front door, but if the door is exposed to the elements it is best to replace the door with an Aluminium or Composite door.
Damage from Insect Infestation
Of course, moisture and rot aren't the only things that can degrade the integrity of a timber door. An unsealed wooden door can also attract insects that like to eat and live inside dead wood. Termites are one of the worst possibilities but your door can even become home to things like carpenter ants or bees. Insect infestation is a terrifying thing, especially inside your front door.
Signs of infestation are also a clear sign that it's time to replace anything invaded with modern cured and sealed materials that insects won't be able to penetrate.
Front Door Damage from Horse Play
But not all door damage is serious or scary. Sometimes, our homes get critically damaged as the result of good times. And perhaps a little too much horse play. Left unattended, children often find great use for a well-balanced door with oiled hinges: as a swing. There's an undeniable allure to hanging off the doorknob and swinging back and forth on the door. It's practically a ride, especially when there isn't anything else to do. But too much horseplay around the door can damage the hinges, warp the wood, or crack the frame with the weight of swinging children and possibly a few bored teenagers.
Inexplicable Door Cracks
And sometimes, we have no idea why the door takes critical damage. You could have sworn your door was whole when you moved in. But one day, you noticed a growing crack in your door, perhaps near the bottom or an upper corner. Perhaps right in the centre. Doors that are poorly built or old sometimes show signs that they're through by simply failing to 'hold it together' so to speak. If your door is developing cracks, it's time for a replacement. Even if you have no clue where those cracks are coming from.
Edges Worn Down Over Time
Another thing that can happen to old doors is simply wearing away. It doesn't take rot for an unsealed door to start decaying into uselessness. Sometimes, old timber doors simply scuff the door frame so often that the corners start to disappear. First rounding, then pulling back from the frame so that you lose important insulation and security. If your door is wearing away, there's only one solution. A new front door.
Badly Installed or Removed Door Hardware
Finally, there's the risk of mishandling your door hardware. Doors have to be cut to the exact size of a doorknob, deadbolt, and peep hole. Holes cut that are too large can be re-filled with putty, to a certain extent. But it's also very possible to accidentally butcher your own door with a bad installation or removal of door hardware. If your door is damaged beyond repair because overeager application of a bore, saw, or pry bar, that's okay. You can always try again with a new door and expert advice on hardware installation.
Has your Sydney front door experienced critical damage of one sort or another? If so, Parkwood can help you solve the problem! Come check out our wide selection of new front doors to turn this setback into an opportunity to personalise your home. For more front door insights or information, contact us today!