Knowing how to maintain your doors is the best way to ensure they remain durable and secure for as long as possible. When properly maintained, a steel door can last for over 30 years, saving you money by not needing to be replaced as often as other doors. Thankfully, they’re also relatively easy to maintain! With some easy cleaning and basic repairs, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a long-lasting door. This guide will teach you all the basics of how to maintain steel doors.
How to Prevent and Remove Rust from Your Steel Door
Steel door maintenance begins with rust prevention, as the most common issue with steel doors is corrosion. However, you can take some simple steps to prevent your door from rusting. If you do ever find your door has rusted, that’s also something you can quickly take care of on your own.
Because metal doors of any kind have the potential to rust, your steel door is more likely to last longer if you take some actions to prevent rust from setting in. Taking any or all of the following precautions will help keep your door in good shape for many years to come:
Clean your door.
Regularly cleaning your door is the best way to ensure it stays rust-free. How often you need to clean it will depend on where you live. For many Texas residents, you only need to worry about cleaning your steel doors once a month. However, those of you who live up to 50 miles from the coastline should clean your doors at least twice each month. This is because the air closer to the coast is saltier and reacts with the steel to cause corrosion. You can find instructions for cleaning your door below.
Grease your hinges.
Not only will greasing your hinges prevent them from rusting, but it will also make them quieter.
Apply car wax or linseed oil.
Just like with your car, the wax will make the water roll right off your door. You can apply it the same way you would to your vehicle, with a lint-free cloth, which you would only need to reapply every six months or so. If you don’t have car wax, linseed oil can also provide a protective coating, but it will need reapplying more often than the wax.
Prime and paint your door.
This can also help protect your door from rust, but it isn’t necessary if you prefer the look of your door unpainted. If you do want to paint your door, there are instructions on how to do that below.
If you do find some rust on your door, you don’t need to worry. You can quickly fix most rust at home with minimal effort. The first step is to clean your door, as cleaning it can remove rust on its own. If there’s still rust when you finish cleaning, there are a couple of other steps you can take. Try using a wire brush or some sandpaper to scrape the rust off. If that doesn’t work, dab some kerosene on the rust using a cotton pad. The kerosene will soften the rust and make it easier to scrape off.
How to Clean Your Steel Door
If you want to make sure your steel door lasts as long as possible, you need to clean it regularly. Follow these steps to clean your door properly:
- Find a cleaning solution. Most multi-purpose household cleaners and alcohol-based solutions will work. Generally, it will be acceptable to use on your door if you can clean light switches and remote controls with it.
- Wet a cloth or microfiber pad with water.
- Apply some cleaning solution to your wet cloth or pad.
- Wipe down your steel door.
- Rinse your door with water.
- Dry your door with a dry sponge.
To ensure you don’t damage your door while you’re cleaning it, avoid any of the following:
- Bleach solutions in high concentration
- High alkaline cleaners
- Cleaners typically used on bathroom fixtures
- Abrasive products for applying the cleaner
- Applying cleaner directly to the door
Doing any of the above could damage your steel door by causing it to rust, damaging the door’s protective coating, or damaging the steel directly.
How to Paint Your Steel Door
If you want to change the way your door looks or add an extra layer of rust protection, you may want to consider painting your steel door. To paint your steel door, the first thing you’ll want to do is take it off the hinges. This will make the rest of the process much easier. Just make sure you have two people to remove the door for proper safety. After that, remove any rust from the door. If you don’t and paint over the rust, it will spread under the paint without your knowledge, causing problems in the future. Also, remove any old paint from the door, which you can do with the same tools you’d use to get rid of rust. Finally, you need to give your door a good cleaning before you can paint it.
Once you’ve completed all those steps, you can prime and paint the door. Make sure you’re using a primer and paint made for use on steel. If you don’t, the color may not stick to the door very well or may end up chipping easily.
How to Maintain Your Handles and Locks
Just like with your door, the best way to take care of your handles and locks is to clean them often. They can be cleaned using the same solution as the rest of your door, so it would make sense for you to include them in your monthly or bi-monthly cleaning.
Because they have many small moving parts, it’s also crucial to keep them well lubricated. Make sure you get lubricant on all the moving parts, including the inside of the lock. There are plenty of spray lubricants available, so this should be easy. You only need to lubricate your lock and handle once every year.
Finally, just being careful with your locks and handles is an excellent way to ensure you’re not damaging them. Excessive force over a long time is enough to break your hardware, so just being gentle when using your door will help maintain them.
Learn More from Bighorn Iron Doors
Check out our blog to find out more about steel and wrought iron doors, including design and maintenance tips. To learn more about us and our products, get in touch with our helpful team either online or by calling us at (833) 811-7199. We’re always happy to help!
Bighorn Iron Doors designs and sells high-quality wrought iron and steel doors. The doors come in a wide variety of sizes and designs to match plenty of popular architectural styles, so you’ll be able to find one to fit your home easily. If you’re looking for something specific that we don’t have, we also offer custom-made doors that will be sure to suit your preferences. Custom orders are easily made through our online form, so check it out today!