Most cabinet bodies are made from medium density fibreboard (MDF) or melamine particleboard. The doors are often made of fine woods such as birch, cherry, oak, maple, alder or mahogany.
Cabinet door panels float inside a perimeter frame to reduce stress and protect the panel from cracking. These floating panels can shrink and expand in response to changing environmental elements common in Alberta. This movement is normal.
Follow your cabinet manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance products. Most manufacturers do not recommend wax-based furniture polishes because they tend to build-up on the surface of the wood. Ammonia-based cleaners should also be avoided as they can prematurely yellow the wood finish. Most fine cabinetry uses melamine on shelves and internal surfaces. Care for melamine is similar to laminate surfaces.
Over time, cabinet and drawer hardware may loosen and require tightening. This is considered normal maintenance. New hardware now incorporates nylon wear components that do not require lubrication.
Most entry doors are made of steel or fibreglass with a glued piece of foam core or injected foam core sandwiched between the door faces.
Why is my exterior door assembly not sealing?
Weatherstripping provides a flexible seal around doors to prevent unwanted air from moving in or out of your home.
Doors generally have two types of weatherstripping. The first is a compressible, moulded strip of foam or rubber set against the frame towards the outside. The opening part of the door rests against the weatherstripping when the door is closed, forming an air and water seal. The second type located at the bottom of the door is called a ‘sweep’ or a ‘threshold’ and is typically a metal or vinyl piece that holds a flexible fin or a row of thin fins that sweep across the door’s sill as the door closes. Door sweeps can be purchased in a variety of types and depths.
Weatherstripping will wear out with time. Each fall, you should check weatherstripping and sweeps around the perimeter of exterior doors and replace if necessary. Exterior door sills usually feature a series of adjustment screws so the level of the sill can be raised to the door sweep to provide an effective seal.
The door between the garage and the home should be carefully weather-stripped to prevent garage fumes from entering the home.
Exterior storm doors were traditionally used to protect wood doors from the elements. In most new homes, exterior doors are steel-clad with an insulated foam core, making aluminum storm doors unnecessary. However, storm doors do provide a great source of increased ventilation when the weather is warm.
Most screen doors are composed of anodized or enamelled aluminum or steel and only require an occasional cleaning and lubrication of hinges and sliding components.
Normal wear can cause rollers or slides to deteriorate, causing latches to become misaligned. Dirt in a threshold track can also interfere with the glide of a sliding door.
Why is my door not staying on the track or sliding smoothly?
To maintain a sliding door, clean the tracks and hardware and lubricate both periodically. If a screen door is loose on the track, check to see if it has been warped by impact and adjust or replace if necessary. If the door slides on wheels, it may have an adjustment screw in the frame of the screen.
Wood and wood composite doors are made of natural wood fibre veneers or wood composite panels over a frame. They are not as durable as exterior doors. Interior doors do not require weatherstripping. There is usually a generous gap below each interior door to facilitate air movement from room to room when a door is closed. Remember to re-establish this gap should you decide to install a thicker floor finish. Consider hiring a carpenter for this adjustment.
Why has my door panel split?
A home with very low or very high humidity may cause the veneer on an interior door to shrink or expand, causing the veneer to delaminate from the supporting frame or shrink and split. Once this happens, you will most likely have to replace the door.
Bi-fold doors are anchored by a pin that fits into a bracket attached at the floor to the closet frame. They also have a bracket at the top that moves in a track. As the sliding bracket wears, the door may start to stick and bind. Catching a coat sleeve between the doors as they close or merely bumping the doors, can loosen the top bracket or move the anchor pin in the bottom bracket. The top bracket comes with a screw to allow for adjustments. If the bracket’s slide or pin wears out, the bracket can be replaced.
What do I do if my bi-fold/sliding doors come off the tracks?
If the door height is not properly adjusted to raise the door firmly into the top track, the door may come off the track. Using a pair of pliers, unscrew the pin in the bottom bracket to push the door up and firmly anchor it into the track. The bottom pin can also be adjusted (both back and forth or up and down) to re-align the door gap.
Most garage doors are made with a polyurethane foam core wrapped with a steel or aluminum skin that is often painted. These door surfaces require only a light cleaning to maintain them.
Every few years, the hinges on your garage door should be lubricated. Perimeter weatherstripping should also be examined each fall and replaced if necessary.
Most overhead garage doors feature automatic door openers. These units require periodic maintenance specific to the make and model. Familiarize yourself with the functional and safety features of your unit.
In the event of a power outage, you must know how to disconnect the overhead door from the track. On most models, there is a red handle on a short rope that, when pulled, will dislodge a pin and allow manual opening and closing of the overhead door. Your service manual will detail exactly how to re-establish the connection. It’s a good idea to review this procedure before a power outage occurs.
Overhead garage doors often use weight compensation springs to offset the weight of the door. These springs store considerable force and can easily inflict critical injuries. Only an experienced installer should repair/install these springs.
If your garage is attached to your home, the interior door leading to the garage must be a fire-rated steel door with an automatic closer. Do not replace this door with a conventional interior wood door and do not disable the automatic door closer. Doing so will violate building code and increase the risk of Carbon Monoxide (CO) entering your home.