Furniture Tech, Furniture Repair & Refinish, Alameda, CA

Exterior Door Refinishing

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Why Exterior Doors Fail Prematurely

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All too frequently, exterior doors become a frustrating maintenance issue for homeowners because they become a high maintenance headache.

Many refinishing pros recommend that the way to “beat”  the maintenance conundrum is to apply multiple coats of their recommended product. We disagree.

Their approach is flawed because their methodology doesn’t recognize, acknowledge or accomodate the real reason why exterior door finishes fail prematurely.

The single biggest reason why exterior doors fail prematurely is door construction movement.

The single biggest reason for exterior door finishes failing prematurely is movement from the door construction itself.  Over the course of a door’s expected service life, the multiple components of the door – the exterior frames & interior frame parts move. The decorative inset panels, whether simple or ornate are engineered to float within these frames. So, controlling movement of the door construction will greatly add to the longevity of the exterior door’s service life – not multiple finish coats.

What aggravates door movement is vapor transmission.  All doors swell & shrink during the course of a year.  Ever notive tht your door can get “sticky” or “tight” during winter months, but swings open & closes easily during summer months?

Remedying the issue of vapor transmission in exterior doors will dramatically improve exterior door longevity.

Doors typically swell during the winter months in the presence of rain, fog, dew, and high humidity. Doors typically shrink during hot, dry weather with less exposure to moisture.

Finding a product that handles vapor transmission well is a key component to getting an exterior door to last a long time – not multiple coats of a product with poor vapor transmission characteristics.

Exposure to sunlight, in the form of UV (ultra violet) rays is important to control. Most manufacturers key in on UV resistance to advertise & promote their product(s). We believe that many manufacturer’s claims about their UV resistance is grossly misleading.

Reducing the effects of UV radiation is important – getting the right type of UV protection, and in the right amount is important.

There are several ways to address the issues of UV resistance in coating formulations – some are excellent – others are marketing glitz. Getting the right type of UV protection, in the highest amounts is a definite priority. However, the information needed to make an informed decision is difficult to obtain, and deciphering industry data requires the interpretation by an expert. Our conclusion is that commonly available commercial products aren’t formulated to optimize longevity.

Using an exterior grade coloring system only makes sense. Typically, where issues arise with premature color failure –  the culprit is almost always the inclusion of interior grade colorants in the color matching process.

Exterior door stain color options are more limited than interior stain colors which do not have to worry about color fade due to UV rays.

So, if you are interested in a custom color for your exterior door – make sure that only exterior grade colorants are used. You may also have to accept some compromise in exterior stain development, in comparison to interior stain  colors, because interior stains are offered in a large range using colorants that are only suitable for interior use.

We have taken all the above mentioned issues into consideration in developing an exterior door finish system. We have tested, evaluated, and analyzed our results so that we can provide our customers with optimal longevity when we refinish their exterior doors.

If you are in the market to have your exterior door refinished – and want to achieve optimatl rewsults – better give us a call.

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