French doors add an elegant touch to any home, and they can have a very long lifespan if they are properly maintained. Knowing how to repair common problems with french doors can save you hundreds in professional repairs and replacement doors. Here are three step-by-step french door repair tips.
French doors will inevitably begin to sag over the years, most often due to stress on the hinges. Eventually, the hinge screws will start to work loose or the hinges themselves will become fatigued and slope downward. In some cases, the hinges may not be the problem and your french doors may be sagging as a result of the surrounding wall settling. This type of door sagging requires a professional to re-square the door frame.
The first step to repair sagging that has resulted from hinge stress is to examine the hinges for any screws that are visibly loose. In rare cases, you may be able to remedy the problem by simply tightening the screws, but the screw holes will often be worn to the point that the screws can't be tightened enough or will loosen again quickly.
The best way to repair both loose hinge screws and warped hinges is to replace the hinges entirely. Look for a new hinge that has a different screw pattern so that you can drill new holes for the screws. You should also look for ball-bearing hinges, as these are more capable of handling the weight of french doors.
Scrapes and Gouges
While they are not necessarily a structural problem, scrapes and gouges can greatly detract from the aesthetics of your french doors. Repairing these blemishes is a relatively easy task, but it can be time-consuming depending on the size of the damage.
To repair scrapes and gouges, remove your doors from the hinges and set them on sawhorses or another flat space where you can work. Sand away the paint around the damaged area so that the wood is completely exposed, and use a putty knife to fill the gouges with wood putty. Make sure the putty is flush with the surface of the door and allow it to dry completely. You can now repaint the putty and it will look identical to the rest of the door.
Even french doors that are protected with a metal skin are at risk of rot around the edges where the wood is exposed. This problem is especially prevalent in exterior french doors, where moisture from rain and high humidity can become trapped around the edges.
Rot around the edges of french doors is usually accompanied by deterioration of the weatherstripping. To repair this problem, remove the doors from their hinges and place them flat on your work space. Pull the weatherstripping off the edges of the door, using pliers if necessary. Use a wire brush to scrape out all the loose, rotten pieces of wood, and then use a paint brush to remove any remaining fine particles.
Use another paint brush to apply a thick layer of resin glue to the edges of the doors. The resin will soak deep into the pores of the wood, killing fungal spores that caused the rot and preventing rot from reoccurring. After the glue has dried, use a screwdriver or other flat tool to scrape all of the glue off of the door. You can now sand and stain the edges of the door and reinstall it rot-free.
French door repair is an excellent money-saving skill to add to your DIY repertoire. Use these tips to keep your french doors in good condition for years to come. For more information on french doors, go to a site like http://www.shopthedoorstore.com/.
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