Exterior Millwork Care
Doors, shutters, garden gates, pergola, trellis and other millwork
It is important to maintain your exterior millwork to sustain its beauty. Wood is an organic material that has a tendency to absorb moisture from the surrounding air. Wood will not move unless the moisture content in the wood changes. When humidity levels are high wood will draw moisture and expand in width. When the humidity drops wood will lose moisture and shrink in width. Maintaining a good finish will help to seal the wood and keep an even level of moisture, thus reducing its movement. Every few years or possibly every few months, depending on exposure to the elements, exterior millwork should be repainted or a coat of varnish or oil should be applied. Ultimately, the determining factor in how much care your millwork will require is location. In Coastal areas, we advise cleaning hinges and surface areas on a monthly basis. For other areas with milder weather conditions, bi-annual cleanings are usually sufficient. If applicable, hinges and hardware should be cleaned and lightly oiled annually.
Exterior Door Care
Over time you may notice that your entry door sticks, creaks, or does not close as easily as it did when it was first installed. Homes tend to settle and shift over time, and the wood expands and contracts through changes in humidity and exposure to the elements. Therefore your door may need a few simple adjustments to make sure it is still plumb in the doorway and can easily open and shut.
Repairing nicks, scratches or scuffs on a stained door
A well lived-in home means there will be a few scuffs along the way. There are a few simple solutions to help maintain the beauty of your door. First you will need to clean the damaged area with mineral spirits or an all-purpose cleaner to remove dirt and oils. Then, use a small artist brush or cotton swab to apply stain to the nicks or scratches. Carefully wipe or brush off excess stain, let dry, and then apply a thin coat of the topcoat (Usually a Spar varnish) over the repaired area. Also, there are varieties of “touch-up markers” or repair pencils available that easily cover scratches or nicks in finishes.
Whether natural wood or painted, they add beauty and character to any home. However, if neglected, your shutters will become dingy and dirty, and their beauty can easily be lost. In order to keep your shutters looking their best, routine cleaning and painting is essential. Spring is a good time to clean shutters. A thorough spray down with the garden hose will remove dirt and any trapped leaves from the previous winter. If your home is close to a road or highway, dirt and dust will tend to build up sooner and may require more frequent cleanings and refinishing.