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How Does Your Door Age?
All wooden doors require attention on a regular basis. The cause is Ultra-Violet radiation (UV). Ultra-Violet radiation’s high-energy waves cause deterioration in any surface they strike.

UV radiation is the portion of sunlight that causes sunburn in people. So you can imagine the damage UV causes your door as the door is continuously exposed to this radiation. It takes only a couple of hours for a person to get seriously sunburned even on a cloudy day. Depending on season, your door is exposed to the same UV radiation for as much as 14 hours each and every day.

It does not matter if the UV rays are direct or reflected. Consider how a museum protects its valuable paintings and documents. These types of items are displayed in darkened rooms with specialized lighting and behind UV filtering glass. UV rays are so damaging that museums must protect against reflected UV rays and even UV rays generated from common fluorescent lighting.

Conveniently, the finishes that The Door Refinishing Company applies to your door are a lot tougher than human skin but they are not damage proof.

The Door Refinishing Company provides two different services. The first is a refinish of your door. The second is maintenance.

A refinish includes chemically and physically removing the existing finish, usually on the exterior side of your door. Then we sand, stain and apply 3 coats of exterior gloss finish. This will return the door to “like New” condition.

The surface of a new or refinished door consists of a layer of stain and multiple coats of finish. Once the door is hung and exposed to sunlight, the deterioration begins in earnest.

The UV rays strike the outer layer of finish and cause chemical and physical changes. The finish begins to yellow and it develops micro-cracks in its surface. The outer layer filters out a large portion of the UV rays, but some rays make it through to the second layer. A smaller amount makes it to the third layer and some rays even reach the stain layer. The effect is the same on the lower layers as it is on the surface layer. The finish yellows and cracks, the stain will fade in color. The deterioration just occurs at a slower rate.

As time goes on, the outer layer loses its ability to filter UV rays and a larger percentage of the UV rays reach the inner layers. This increases the rate of deterioration.
Eventually, the deterioration gets significant enough that the innermost layer of finish begins to breakdown and detaches from the door and chipping occurs. This exposes the wood of the door to increasing damage.

Compounding problems are water (rain & sprinklers), mold and mildew. Once the finish layers have developed cracks, water can get into the cracks and behind the top layer of finish. As the water gets behind this layer, changes in outside temperature cause expansion and contraction of the water and it speeds the chipping rate.

The cracks also allow molds and mildew to penetrate the surface of the finish rather than just laying on the surface of it. If the molds and mildews reach the actual wood surface of the door, they begin to grow into the pores of the wood and can cause permanent discoloration (dark lines along the grain of the wood).

Once a door is restored to “Like New” condition then regular maintenances should be performed to extend the life of the new finish. Maintenance includes sanding, cleaning, and the application of a new coat of finish to the surface of your door. The Door Refinishing Company provides maintenance services in the form of an automatic (pre-scheduled) and on-demand maintenance. Contact us for details.

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