How Do You Keep Wood Doors From Warping?

Wood DoorsSolid wood makes for great exterior doors, but there’s one problem many people face: How can you prevent wood doors from warping? If a door is made in a climate drier or wetter than where it eventually ends up spending its life, there’s a high risk the door will shrink and warp. This can affect the appearance, or lead to bigger problems, like the door scraping on the floor or not quite fitting the frame properly. The biggest factor that influences whether or not a door will warp is moisture. If your door is exposed to the elements, odds are at some point the door will end up drier or wetter than where it was made. Seasonal changes also have some influence over the state of the door. Many times, doors will experience problems during the winter months, when dry weather outside combined with a furnace drying air indoors will alter the moisture content of your door. Fortunately, you don’t just have to sit back and watch your door suffer at the hands of nature.

What Can I Do To Prevent Warping?

First, you’ll need to gather some materials.

  • A flat surface
  • Wood sealant
  • Paintbrushes

Ideally, your first step should be to store the door in the same room where it will be installed for 24 to 48 hours, though eHow recommends 48 at minimum. This allows the door adjust naturally to the moisture content where it’ll be hanging. If you can’t let it sit in the same room, try to find one as close/similar as possible. If you’re attempting to protect a door that has already been installed, waiting isn’t necessary, but you’ll still need to take it down to start the process.

Lay the door on a completely flat surface. It’s important the door isn’t leaning against anything and is fully supported. If the door isn’t entirely flat, the moisture from the sealant could cause the door to warp in whatever direction it’s angled toward, exactly what you’re trying to prevent.

Apply the sealant. Make sure to apply the sealant to all six sides, not just the main faces. Even if you can’t always see the sides normally, moistures can still get into the door.

Wait as long as the sealant demands, then apply a second coat. Generally one coat is not enough, and two coats will allow for longer lasting protection. Allow the sealer to dry overnight, or however long the product states.

Now you are able to re-install your door and enjoy your peace of mind that it’s safe from warping.

According to Juan Rodriguez, there are a few more tips to follow to protect your door from warping. Polishing your door at least twice a year can help keep the sealant in good condition. If your door is exposed to direct sunlight, building an eave over the doorway can keep your door like-new much longer. It’s also a good idea not to perform any adjustments around the changing of seasons, as the wood may reset itself and undo anything you accomplished.

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It’s as simple as that! Following these easy tips, in addition to recoating with sealant every two years, and you will prevent your wood door from warping and keep it looking good for years to come.