Picking the best type of door for your home requires you to consider other factors around you. Fiberglass doors can adapt to varied conditions without getting heavily damaged. But you may be wondering if they ever warp. And if they do, what causes this to happen, and how do you keep it from happening? We looked into these questions and summed up what you need to learn about fiberglass doors in this post.
Fiberglass doors can warp when installed incorrectly, when they have poorly structured internal frames, or when they get in direct contact with extreme heat. It's crucial to make sure you install each door properly, especially when your door's inner frame isn't sturdy enough. Usually, fiberglass doors can withstand varied conditions. Keeping them away from direct heat sources and using protection, such as marine wax, lowers the chances of them warping unintentionally.
A fiberglass door is a recommended option when it's properly maintained and installed. Now that you know how the warping takes place, keep reading to get insight into their durability, maintenance, and overall costs.
Can You Bend A Fiberglass Door?
Yes, a fiberglass door can be bent. Incorrect installation is one of the main reasons they warp. Inaccurate measurements cause this problem: the door won't have a snug fit on the door frame. As a result, it tends to bend. Further damage to the structure also occurs with weaker fiberglass frames.
Bending a fiberglass door is also possible because of its composition. Fiberglass has a flexible nature that creates a bouncing back motion. They curve when you apply pressure on them but go back to their original shape when the pressure is released.
Applying heat makes the curves keep their shape permanently. Thermoset resin is commonly used in fiberglass doors, meaning they will set when heat is applied the first time. The material cannot be remelted or reheated, and so you cannot reshape the door.
How To Prevent A Fiberglass Door From Warping
Warping in fiberglass doors is a problem best solved with the help of a professional. Prevention and maintenance are important while the door is new. There are several ways for you to stop a fiberglass door from bending.
Below are a few points for you to keep in mind to prevent warping:
Know What You're Working With
Before anything, you should gather the basics about the door's quality and material. Every fiberglass door is made with the same strong material but differs in manufacturing. Take these into consideration to know what to avoid. For instance, a lower-quality fiberglass door may not have the sturdiest structure, so you will have to be careful with heavy objects hitting it.
Ensure They Are Installed Properly
It's crucial to check twice if the door is in the right place with the proper measurements. Problems that come up during the installation may require you to have it reinstalled. Otherwise, it could also cause the door to bend or become unusable.
Consider The Door's Placement
Heat exposure, such as from the sun, can cause your door to warp. Consider installing your door away from spots with extreme heat exposure. If you can't adjust the position, you can opt for a lighter-colored door. That way, it absorbs less heat.
Add Extra Protection
Don't hesitate to give your door some added protection from outside environments. Applying marine wax or adding an overhang shelters it from the sun and UV exposure. You can also add storm doors, allowing ventilation while shielding the main entry door from extreme weather conditions.
How Long Do Fiberglass Doors Last?
A fiberglass door lasts for about 15 to 20 years, given there are no issues. Sometimes, they can go for even longer depending on how you maintain it or where you had it made. One of the benefits you get from their lifespan is a lengthy warranty period.
Most fiberglass doors are capable of withstanding harsh climates compared to wooden options. The framing used in them is sturdier than what you find in other doors. The core consists of materials that increase its durability and stability. Read our post on what kind of core is used on fiberglass to get a deeper insight on the topic.
Do Fiberglass Doors Need Maintenance?
Like any other door type, fiberglass needs proper care to keep it in top condition. The benefit of a fiberglass door is that it requires less maintenance than other doors.
Here are simple tips on how to maintain a fiberglass door:
Staining And Finishing
Refinishing or staining a fiberglass door is similar to how you would treat it with the usual wooden door. Most fiberglass doors come with a warranty that covers refinishing. But you can also do it yourself by following the instructions below:
- Prepare your stain, brushes, polyurethane, and masking tape. Gel stains are the best kind to use for fiberglass doors.
- Cover up the areas that you will not stain, including hardware, rims, and other parts around the door.
- Stir your gel stain well and thoroughly apply the stain to your brush.
- Cover the door with an ample amount of stain. Make sure to brush going with the grain.
- Start with the raised panels. Next, do the horizontal rails. Lastly, the vertical rails.
- Use a rapid back and forth brushing motion to advance the drying and keep the stain from sliding off.
- When the stain is completely dry, apply two or more coats of polyurethane in the same order as your stain.
Cleaning Them Regularly
The finish on fiberglass doors wears off when they encounter elements around them like snow, storms, and high winds. Regularly cleaning the door and its surroundings help in maintaining their quality. To do this, you can use a soap and water mixture.
Some soaps leave oily residues behind. The gel stain is harder to work with when there's oil. It's advisable not to clean your door if you're looking to refinish it after a few days.
Updating And Repairing Hardware
It's common for door hardware and fixtures to wear over time. Replacing or repairing these when needed allows you to keep your fiberglass door just like new. You can change them out or oil them if they are still in good shape.
Consider adding door guards at the corners and edges of the door to prevent it from wearing due to daily use. These are inexpensive and helpful in protecting your door.
Is Fiberglass Good For A Front Door?
Fiberglass is good to use for a front door. It is known for its sturdiness and security while being a low-cost and energy-efficient option. Although it doesn't require much maintenance, it has high resistance against denting and scratching.
Therma-Tru describes fiberglass doors as tough and long-lasting as opposed to wood doors. The material used for this type of door does not cause rotting or rusting. There's a chance of minor cracking and splitting due to heavy impacts, but these are usually easily repairable.
Fiberglass doors of a higher quality offer higher security and durability comparable to that of a steel door. One of the best advantages when using fiberglass for your front door is the added insulation. It protects you from the cold and heat by reducing thermal transfer from outside temperatures.
How Much Does A Standard Fiberglass Door Cost?
A standard fiberglass door will cost you as low as $150 up to approximately $500. This price changes depending on the sizing, frame material, hinge type, and other customizations available. For higher quality fiberglass doors, it could cost around $1,000 and higher.
Door installation will be separate costs, so get in touch with the company you'll be purchasing from to get a complete estimate on your expenses. Most companies selling the doors offer installation services along with them.
You can also check for estimates on the current fiberglass doors pricing in your area through the help of this expense calculator.
Fiberglass doors warp when exposed to certain conditions, but these are preventable and repairable. As long as the door gets proper care, it can stand for extended periods. Regardless, a fiberglass door comes with several advantages in terms of aesthetics and practicality.