When it comes to your business’ door installations it’s important to consider the materials used in the construction of the door. The quality of the installation should also be a point of focus.  Whether you require steel, fiberglass or wood for your exterior door installation, you want to be sure once it’s in place, it lasts you as long as it should. The company you have install the outer doors at your facility should perform a precise and quality installation, and they should also offer ongoing maintenance and repairs for your new commercial doors.


The best exterior door installers will also go through how the doors work, what commercial door hardware might benefit the wear on the door as well as the level of security the door provides. They’ll also let you know the right way to inspect and maintenance the door so that you can have the door installation company come mitigate damage at the earliest signs.


But eventually, your door installers are going to go home for the night. Their job is done, after all, and now your facility’s exterior doors are your responsibility. That means keeping them clean, and in some cases, polished, but it also means inspecting them regularly for damage. Just like your walls, floors or ceiling, your storefront’s doors and windows are subject to age and decline, as well as damage from accidents and the elements. Do you know how to inspect your commercial exterior doors?


We’d like to offer you some thoughts and tips from our professional storefront door installation technicians on how to properly care for your business’ commercial storefront doors.


For Wooden Storefront Doors


Wooden storefront doors can add a beautiful touch to the exterior of your business! But they also need regular maintenance to keep them looking their best and functioning properly. Here are some tips on how to care for wooden exterior doors:


    • Check the condition of the wood: Take a look at your wood door, including the frame around in, which is likely also wood. If your wood doors are exterior double doors, check the condition of the wood where the doors meet, as well as the mullion, if there is one. Is any of the framing soft, rotted, cracked, or chipped?
    • Examine out the wooden door’s finish: Is it faded, cracked, chipped or peeling? Outer wood doors are very susceptible to UV damage. Plan on refinishing it to spruce up the exterior of your business, and to help preserve the door. There are UV-resistant stains, varnishes and paints you can apply to exterior wood doors to combat the damage of constant weather exposure. After, occasional oiling will help preserve the finish and the door itself.
    • Check for signs of moisture intrusion in your wood storefront doors: Be on the lookout on both on the hinge side and the opening side. Moisture can damage exterior wooden doors, causing darker, slightly swollen, and softer areas. Signs of water damage include darker, slightly swollen, softer areas. They’ll likely be concentrated near the bottom corners – exterior storefront doors go through a lot, and wood is beautiful, but it isn’t the most water-resistant material for outer double doors on storefront systems.
    • Isolate the source of damage: If you notice water damage that hasn’t yet turned to rot, locating and stopping the cause of the water intrusion will save the door. Once the wood has fully dried out (over days or weeks, depending on the humidity where you live), you can then lightly sand and refinish the door and its frame to protect it from future water intrusion. Visible damage like this should be caught early on due to its visibility. You don’t want a storefront door looking rough to your clients.
    • Refinish to protect exterior door from UV damage: Does your wood storefront door seem darker, matte, and really easy to scrape on its outside face? UV damage doesn’t just affect our skin; it affects a wooden door’s “skin” as well. And if you fail to properly care for the finish of the door, the sun will eventually wreak its havoc. To refinish, sand everything moderately and coat with a heavy-duty, water and UV-resistant varnish.
    • Protect the external door with a kickboard: A great solution for protecting the bottom of exterior wood doors from damage and rot is to add a kick board and weather stripping, which separate the door from the moisture on the threshold and protects the door from wet boots and shoes bumping into it all the time.


When it comes to commercial wood doors, it is important to regularly inspect and maintain them to ensure their longevity. Sometimes a door just can’t be saved, especially a wooden one. If your commercial wood doors have rotting corners, are warped, or the frames are warped or damaged, it’s time to install new storefront doors. Replacing damaged wooden storefront doors with new ones not only ensures the safety and security of the building, but also improves the aesthetic appeal of the storefront. While you’re at it, consider switching the frame out to metal, or simply install aluminum capping over the door’s original frame to protect it from further damage.


For Exterior Steel Doors


Exterior steel doors are a popular choice for commercial buildings as they offer durability and security. Like any other door material, steel doors need maintenance (albeit less) to ensure their lifespan and functionality.


    • Inspect steel doors for dents: Storefront as well as security doors made of steel get a lot of abuse, and dents accumulate over time. For smaller ones, you can use a filler technique to relevel the face of the door, but then you have to paint the door so that the patch isn’t visible.
    • Evaluate the severity of the dents: Larger dents, including ones that have actually creased the steel, mean your storefront door needs replaced. With exterior steel doors, if you leave creased dents to sit, weather and wear and tear will further compromise the crease until it’s torn and/or corroded. Then your steel security doors are no longer at all secure.
    • Check the door for signs of corrosion or rust. Surface rust can easily be corrected on your own with some fine sandpaper and oil after. Corrosion that has eaten past the surface of the door, though, means you’re in the market for a new steel exterior door.
    • Consider buffing up your exterior steel doors: To further enhance the security of exterior steel doors, consider upgrading the door hardware. Reinforced commercial door hardware can improve the strength and security of the door. Automation is also a possibility whenever upgrading. When combined with proper care, you’ll create security doors that are virtually impenetrable.


For Fiberglass Storefront Doors


Fiberglass storefront doors are a popular choice for commercial buildings. They offer durability, low maintenance, and customizable finishes. While hardier than wooden doors, they do require more attention than a steel door.


    • Inspect the finish: Cracked or faded finishes on fiberglass doors may need to be stripped and reapplied. However, the great thing about fiberglass doors is that while surface damage happens, weather and use have a harder time compromising the structure of an exterior fiberglass door compared to wood or steel doors.
    • Inspect the integrity of the structure of the door itself: Exterior fiberglass doors measure up to steel in strength, but once they’re compromised, they’ll crack, which is cause for having a replacement door installed. Much like a torn steel door, cracked exterior fiberglass doors are a sign to vandals that a few kicks to the door can get them right into your facility.
    • Maybe time to spruce up the paintjob: The great thing about fiberglass doors is you can paint or refinish whenever you want to spruce up or change the vibe of your storefront, and they aren’t affected by moisture the way wood and steel storefront doors are.
    • Check and maintain the commercial hardware on your fiberglass doors: The door may be low-maintenance, but the hardware on the door like locks, hinges, keypads, etc., all need checked up on, too. Proper maintenance of the door hardware and fiberglass door can result in a long-lasting storefront door system. You can ensure your storefront door system is secure and reliable, without rotting, malfunctioning or corroding over time.


For Storefront Windows & Doors with Glass


When it comes to storefront windows and doors with glass, it’s important to keep an eye out for any cracks or damage that may compromise their security and efficiency.


    • Keep an eye out for scratches on the glass: Look for cracks in the door frame, glazing or glass. It’s unlikely you’ll find a crack in steel doors but the surrounding components could become cracked. Replace any cracked glass panes. Even with storefront doors and windows with safety glass that can’t shatter, a crack is still a crack, and you can bet it has compromised the security of your exterior double glass doors.
    • Look for signs of wear and tear on the hardware: Inspect the frame for signs of moisture damage and replace it if you find splits or otherwise damaged components. Most glass storefront doors are framed with aluminum. While aluminum is lightweight, low-maintenance and corrosion-resistant, bends, breaks and rust can all compromise those great features.
    • Look for condensation within the panel: Check for moisture and condensation between glass panels, which is a sign the seal between the panels is no longer intact.
    • Check your seal regularly: For all exterior commercial doors, but with glass especially, breaks in seals can ruin the energy efficiency of the door, so leaving defunct double glass doors be compromises not only your business’ appearance and security, but also your overhead costs.


Don’t Forget the Hardware on Your Commercial Doors


The hardware on commercial doors is just as important as the door itself in maintaining the security, function, and energy efficiency of your business.


    • Maintain and replace your weather stripping: One of the most overlooked pieces of door hardware on business storefronts is the weather stripping. Check the weather stripping for cracks, gaps or discoloration. Replace the weather stripping each year as needed.
    • Inspect the door sweep to make sure it’s intact: A properly fitted door sweep can make your business more energy efficient. It’s a simple and low-cost piece of door hardware to replace, and you can do it yourself. Do them as needed and if you’re ever unsure, contact your door installers for answers.
    • Regularly check and maintain heavy use hardware: Inspect the door’s lock and hinge hardware, including locksets, door latches, striker plates and deadbolts, as well as door hinges. Replace these as needed.
    • Inspect your door sill/threshold: While it’s technically not commercial door hardware, the door sill or threshold can pose risks to security, function and energy efficiency if it is damaged or not sitting in the proper place. Include it in your seasonal inspections and tune ups.
    • Check for level hanging and proper closing: Time, use and weather affect all storefront doors. If your door is in good condition but isn’t opening, closing or locking correctly, it may sometimes need to be taken off and rehung so it’s plumb and level. Exterior door installers can perform this easy repair quickly with virtually no downtime to your business.
    • Check for and replace compromised door hardware: This can include automated access hardware like keypads and card readers, can negate all the security features of even the best-cared-for storefront door system. Make sure you keep those pieces of tech up-to-date and well-maintained.


When you hire exterior door installers for the initial installation or replacement of your storefront doors and windows, be sure you discuss the best maintenance procedures with them so you can ensure your doors last as long as the guarantee promises. Wood is admittedly way higher maintenance than other materials for exterior commercial doors, so consider the time and cost of upkeep when deciding on a new storefront door. Everything is a balance between aesthetics, longevity, function, and, of course, meeting building codes, which is why hiring a professional in commercial door installation is key to an attractive, well-kept storefront.