Timber doors provide a beautiful addition to any building or home which can add value and a more natural feel. As with any natural product, however, they require the appropriate care and maintenance if you are to retain their beautiful appearance and trouble free operation. The principal enemy of timber doors is excess exposure to moisture or dryness. We ensure the timber has been prepared correctly at the time of door manufacture, however, we cannot control how the product is stored once it leaves our warehouse and to avoid any subsequent cause for disappointment, we strongly advise the following advice is heeded. If suitable care and treatment is not taken, stresses within the wood may be released, resulting in movement or distortion such as swelling, warping, splitting or even discolouration. This advice applies equally to both external AND internal doors as internal heating and cooling appliances can have adverse effects on internal doors.
Immediately upon receipt of your doors, inspect them for warp, broken glass, damaged mouldings or any other manufacturing defect or freight damage. In case of freight damage, it is your responsibility to refuse the shipment or to file a claim with the freight company at once. Please also advise your supplier / retailer within 24 hours - photographs of the damaged freight are always a good idea to ensure a proper claim. Do not hang or finish a defective door, if you plan to return it.
Doors must be kept in the plastic bag and stored flat in a dry area pending installation. Do not store in damp, moist or freshly plastered areas or directly on concrete. Doors should not be exposed to excessive heat, dryness, humidity or direct sunlight prior to finishing. The very hot dry summers experienced in southern Australia can be a particularly difficult time of year due to the very low humidity which accelerates the reduction of the timbers normal moisture content and can result in splitting and warping of the door. Doors should be handled with clean hands or gloves and should not be dragged across one another. Make sure that everyone involved with your doors read and understand this information, and remember that most problems with doors are due to improper handling, installation and/or finishing.
Doors should be fitted square, true and plumb. Three hinges should be fitted to all external doors, doors weighing more than 20 kilograms and internal doors where large differences of temperature and/or humidity on opposing faces may be expected eg bathrooms and laundries. All glazed external doors should be hung with the fixed glazing bead to the outside.
If the door needs to be trimmed to fit an existing opening then it should be less than 5 mm on the stiles and 10 mm on the top and bottom rails. The mortice lock cavity should be kept to minimum size and not fitted at a rail joint. Mortice locks fitted at a rail joint can result in removal of one or more dowels weakening the joint. If in doubt, please seek advice from your retailer.
Continual exposure to direct sun or rain or changes in humidity can have detrimental effects on any timber door. We do not recommend the hanging of our external/entrance doors in positions where direct exposure to the elements can occur. It is necessary to protect the door overhead with eaves or veranda. The degree of protection required will depend on your location and aspect but we recommend they are set back from the front face of the building or covered by a canopy or porch way projecting not less than about 1.5m Failure to provide adequate protection will void the warranty.
It is of paramount importance that all doors are completely sealed BEFORE exposure to the elements. Once the door has been fitted it should be removed from the hinges IMMEDIATELY and MUST be sealed with a high quality paint or timber stain finish on all 6 sides without delay (including any 'cut outs' for letter boxes, locks and hinges). Oil products such as Tung Oil, Danish Oil, Decking Oil or Linseed Oil do not seal the timber adequately and are not suitable products. Be sure to pay particular attention to ‘internal’ vs ‘external’ paint systems and use one that is appropriate to where you are hanging the door. Always follow the paint manufacturers instructions regarding the preparation and number of coats required. Note: the instructions provided by manufacturers usually give you a minimum number of coats required, however, it is usually advisable to apply more coats than the minimum requirement, as long as the manufacturer doesn’t warn against it for any reason. This is particularly important if your door is in an exposed location and receives a lot of direct sun or rain.
The application of a base coat stain or a paint primer/sealer/undercoat alone is not deemed to form an adequate seal and moisture barrier.
Each finishing coat must be applied to all four edges, to both faces and inside all cut outs for locks, letter plates and hinges.
Never use automotive or two pack paints on doors.
External doors with any exposure to the sun must be painted in a light reflecting colour. Dark colours should be avoided to prevent heat damage.
Pay careful attention to all exposed end grain including tops and bottom of stiles and the fielding of raised and fielded panels.
Regular inspection of your door is recommended to look for signs of paint or stain breakdown. Pay particular attention to the joins between the stiles and rails, the areas around glass openings and the top and bottom edges of the door. Required maintenance may vary depending upon frequency of usage, environmental conditions in your area and other factors. If the finish is not maintained, it will begin to fail, and your door may require a complete refinishing. Failure to maintain the finish will void the warranty. The 'end grain’ on the top and bottom of the door is where moisture can most easily penetrate, causing swelling, splitting and warping. When signs of breakdown occur you should re-finish the door in accordance with the paint suppliers instructions to protect the timber from deterioration.