Door, window and cupboard maintenance

Internal and external doors are usually wood and require regular maintenance. Doors also have other parts that need attention from time to time. Normal wear-and-tear due to door use can also cause some screws to loosen.

External door maintenance

Properly maintaining your wooden doors is crucial to their longevity. When external wooden doors, like those in the lounge and kitchen, are not well protected with a water and UV protectant, the wood can swell, crack, split, and discolour. Your exterior doors’ greatest weakness is the sun’s intense UV rays. When wood is continuously exposed to sunlight, the lining, which keeps it strong and durable, is eventually damaged.

Doors facing direct sunlight should be varnished every four to six months, whereas doors not facing direct sunlight must be varnished every six to eight months. When properly maintained, your exterior wood doors can realistically last forever. Plascon WoodCare is an example of a premium quality varnish for external wood. It is a UV-resistant varnish and is also water-repellent. You can find it at any Builders Warehouse, Chamberlain or Cashbuild.

You will also notice that your doors might not close properly in the rainy summer months. This is because the wood expands when it absorbs moisture from the air. On the other hand, your doors might seem to have shrunk a bit in the drier winter months, which may cause your doors to rattle. This is entirely normal.

Internal and external door adjustments

Doors are made up of four key parts that need some maintenance from time to time:

  • Lever lock set – This is the part of the door with the handle. Should the screws on either side of the lever or handle be loose, use a star or flat screwdriver to fasten these screws to prevent the lever from wearing out.
  • Door faceplate – This is the metal strip on the side of the door that protects the lock from wear and tear. Should the screws on the faceplate be loose, use a star or flat screwdriver to fasten these screws.
  • Striker plate – The metal strip on the door frame locks when the key is used. Loosen the screws on the striker plate, adjust the plate into position, and fasten the screws again to keep the striker plate in place. You must do this if the door is too tight or loose (rattles).
  • Hinges –This is what attaches your door to the wall and lets it swing open and shut. Lubricate hinges to prevent squeaks and ensure doors open and close smoothly. Also, ensure that all screws are tightened often.

Follow these tips for a quick solution for both your internal and external doors:

  • If the wind is pushing your closed door open, or you struggle to lock the door, this may be because the lock is not seating correctly in the striker plate – turn the screw to the left.
  • If your door has a gap or rattles in the wind when closed – turn the screw to the right.

Cupboard maintenance

Your kitchen and bedrooms have built-in cupboards (where applicable). These may also need occasional maintenance:

  • Check that the doors close properly and are aligned with each other. If they do not, fasten the screws on the hinges to secure and realign them again.
  • Cupboard door handles can also become loose over time. Fasten the screws on the inside of the doors to secure them again.


We often take windows for granted and don’t pay much attention to them unless they are damaged and should be repaired urgently. Follow these tips to ensure that your windows are always in proper working condition:

  • Inspect your windows once a year for the following and make repairs:
  • Leaks.
  • Cracked glass.
  • Cracks or chips in the paint or window frame.
  • Sealant cracks.
  • Broken hinges or other fittings.
  • Replace any broken or cracking putty around the window frame (if putty was used).
  • Clean and lubricate window tracks or hinges by using Q20.
  • When adding burglar bars to your windows, be mindful when welding these bars. The hot slag from welding can damage floor tiles, basins, toilet cisterns and bowls.
  • When you hang heavy designer curtains, replace the standard curtain rails with more durable ones that can handle the extra weight.


The recommendations herein are given in good faith and are meant to guide the user. The recommendations imply no guarantee since the conditions of use and method of application are beyond our control.