Fiberglass doors look just like wood doors with their realistic color and grain. However, they don't need nearly as much maintenance since they don't warp or rot like natural wood. That doesn't mean they are totally maintenance free. By providing routine care, your door will look fresh and new for many years. Here are some care tips for your new fiberglass door.
Wash The Door Periodically
An exterior door is exposed to the elements and gets dirty over time. Rain splashes dirt against the bottom, the door picks up dust and pollutants from the air, or you may leave scuff marks from opening the door with your foot. To keep your door nice and clean, all you have to do is wash it occasionally with mild dish soap and water. Washing at the change of seasons is a good idea because you'll remove spring pollen and winter driveway salt before they have a chance to sit on your door too long.
If you encounter a stain when washing the door and rubbing with soapy water doesn't remove it, use a product made for fiberglass to clean it. Be sure to rinse off all cleaning and soap products before they dry so there is no film left behind. The only time you have to use specialty products to wash your door is when you'll be staining the door soon. Avoid using cleaning products and soap within several days of staining as this could interfere with how fiberglass stain goes on.
Stain The Door When Needed
Fiberglass doors look like wood and they need to be stained regularly just like wood. You can tell when it's time to apply stain when the door loses its luster and feels rough under your hand. Fiberglass stain is a gel that leaves a shiny coating on the door. It lasts for a few years depending on outdoor conditions, but it eventually wears off. The purpose is to enhance the appearance of the door and to protect it—the stain layer collects dirt and scuffs so the door remains unharmed.
Buy fiberglass stain at a home improvement store and follow the directions on the label since different brands vary in how you use them. Choose a brand based on recommendations by the door manufacturer or installer of your door. Applying the stain could be a multi-day process since it is applied in layers and each layer has to be dry before the next one is applied.
Staining should be done in dry conditions, but not too dry. For instance, you should protect the door from wind and direct sunlight while the stain dries or it could dry out too fast. You can put up a sun shade if there is no porch to protect your door. Clean the door before you stain it to get rid of dust and dirt so debris doesn't get gummed up in the stain and ruin the appearance of the door. Use a cleaning product in the stain kit or one that is recommended by the manufacturer of the kit so it is compatible with the stain.
Staining a fiberglass door takes some work, but fortunately, you don't have to do it very often. The effort is worth it though because fiberglass doors have a lustrous finish when cared for properly, and they have the classic look of real wood, which enhances the appearance of your home.