The finish on your door makes it look its best, but it also provides a degree of protection against the elements. A homeowner, however, will need to strike a balance between aesthetics and protection. Some of the most protective finishes change the look of a door considerably.
Why Bother with Maintenance?
Wood doors are very vulnerable to damage from the environment. Moisture, for example, can cause changes in the wood that could warp or otherwise damage it. Sunlight can fade the color out of doors. Varnishes and paint both provide some protection against these threats.
Paint provides a great degree of protection. Options such as polyurethane paint can provide a surface that is easily washed and that holds up against the elements very well. The drawback with this option, at least for those who have wood doors and want to show off the patterns in the wood, is that paint completely changes the appearance of the door.
Stain is the other option. It is oftentimes used in conjunction with varnish to provide more protection. Stain has the advantage of, in some cases, bringing out the beauty of the grain rather than covering it up, as is the case with paint. When a varnish is applied over it, the stain provides the look and the varnish the protection.
The aesthetic benefits of either option will diminish if they’re not maintained. Paint will crack and chip, stain will fade and doesn’t hold up quite as long as paint, in most cases. A professional will know how to protect your door against the particular threats that apply in your area. Some finishes, for example, may not offer adequate protection if you live in an area where moisture is a particular threat.
What if I Let it Go?
Doors that don’t have their finishes maintained are subject to the types of damage described above, and others. A simple refinishing job can prevent damage from happening at all. Door pros will be able to recommend a schedule if you want to have maintenance done on a regular basis or, conversely, you can choose to have it done whenever you notice the finish is wearing out.
Have issues fixed right away, however, if you do notice a problem. When you delay, it’s inevitable that the door will be damaged, and it won’t keep the beautiful look it had when you bought it.