An interior hollow metal door should last the lifetime of a facility, while an exterior hollow metal door’s lifespan will be determined by how well the door is taken care of before and after installation. If the door is not properly taken care of it can have a serious impact on the door’s lifespan, for both interior and exterior doors. Here are a few tips to make sure your door lives a long and healthy life:
- Once the door arrives on the jobsite, follow the manufacturer’s storage and handling recommendations, keeping hollow metal doors off the ground, stored vertically and undercover with at least 1/4″ between each door to allow for airflow. This will help prevent rust or damage prior to hanging.
- If your door does not come painted, paint it as soon as it arrives. Hollow metal doors are typically supplied with a shop primer, which provides minimal protection from rust and corrosion, it is vital that the doors are top-coated with finishing paint. Follow the door manufacturer’s paint instructions to reduce the risk of corrosion and achieve proper paint adhesion.
- Paint the exterior hollow metal door a lighter color or install an awning over it to prevent thermal bowing, avoid painting the door a dark color.
- Make sure the frame is installed correctly, this is crucial for ensuring proper door perimeter clearance. If the frame is installed incorrectly, the door will not open and close as intended and could cause damage. Frames should be set plumb, level, and square.
- Have protection plates installed to protect from daily traffic and any possible abuse.
- For exterior doors, be sure to have proper weather protection, such as weatherstrips/gaskets, in place.
- Review and follow the Steel Door Institute’s Installation and Troubleshooting guidelines, (Technical Data Series SDI 122-15) for proper methods to shim or adjust doors.
To keep a door strong and in good condition, it is recommended that once a year you or a professional tighten the fasteners on the door and check all the hinges for loose screws, pin wear or any other defects. When cleaning your door you can use a mild detergent, but always check the cleaning recommendations based on the type of paint used on the door.