Care & Maintenance

Making the best choice

In selecting exterior doors for your home, there are a few factors you should consider. Think about where you live, your home’s style, local building regulations and other things that may affect the level of required maintenance (for example, the placement of you exterior doors). After you review these criteria, you’ll be able to choose doors that are most suitable for you.

Appropriate Exposure

Which direction will your exterior door face? When choosing a wooden exterior door it is imperative to consider exposure. To adequately protect the door and extend its life, you”ll have to take into account your climate and direction the door will be facing. We do not recommend that doors are exposed to full sun, especially in the Highveld where the climate is extremely dry and UV rays harsh to exterior wooden products. Without the correct overhangs, wooden doors will require frequent maintenance. They are also susceptible to performance problems, such as warping, expansion, water penetration and finish deterioration. We do not recommend painting or staining doors black, due to the fact that dark colours are more susceptible to large temperature differences (for example, the surface temperature of black livery dark doors is up to 10 degrees higher than ambient temperature). This can cause the door to warp and crack. Please note that doors used in any of the above applications will not be covered under our warranty.

Treatment & Storage

Treatment is of utmost importance to keep wood protected and aesthetically beautiful, especially in South Africa where harsh conditions prevail. Neglecting to treat or incorrect treatment of a wooden product will result in and assist with rapid deterioration. Prior to installation, doors should be stored flat on a level surface in a dry ventilated area. Van Acht does not recommend varnish for any exterior wooden products. Varnish does not penetrate the timber but only forms a surface layer, prolonged exposure to sun causes resin in varnish to harden and crack, allowing moisture to penetrate into the timber causing decay, discoloration and ultimately wood rot. If doors are prepared for painting a universal sealer should be applied to all six sides prior to painting the door. Painted timber swells and shrinks as seasons change. This might lead to cracking of paint and exposing of unpainted areas. If a Van Acht doors is not sealed properly on all six sides immediately after delivery and before installation, this will affect the warranty.

We Recommend V-COAT

V-coat is a penetrating oil specially formulated to protect wood from rain, sun and UV damage. V-Coat can be used on any exterior wooden product.

On Delivery And Installation

Products are to be sealed with a penetrating wood sealer (for example V-COAT), immediately after delivery, prior to installation. The sealing of timber is essential to limit the periodic movement of moisture in and out of wood. Moisture causes the cell walls to swell and shrink and ultimately, without the correct protection and maintenance, the timber will crack, split and warp. It is therefore of utmost importance to seal the end grains at the top and bottom of the door, where most absorption and loss of moisture takes place. Ensure that your carpenter seals the tops and bottoms of your doors after cutting and planeing them for fitment. Also ensure that all cutouts made by your carpenter are sealed. This includes, but is not limited to, cutouts for hinges, locks and flush bolts.

Builders Section

Step 1: Checking Your Brickwork

To verify that the frame will fit, measure the width at the top, bottom and center. Measure the height at the far right side and in the center. Measure diagonally to ensure that the opening is square and level, ensure that all sides have a flat level surface, especially the bottom of the opening should be 100% level. The top lintel should have been propped for at least 14 days to prevent it from sagging.

Step 2: Treatment Of The Frame And Doors

Once that you are sure that the frame will fit into the opening, you should treat both the frame and doors before commencing with any installation.

  1. Lightly sand timber with fine sand paper
  2. Apply first coat of V-COAT as a base coat, allow to dry.
  3. Apply 2nd coat to seal timber
  4. Ensure that you seal all six sides of the door, as well as cut out for hinges and locks.

Step 3: Fitting The Frame

Check the direction of the sliding or sliding folding doors, make sure that it is fitted the right way around and that the guide is at the top and track/wheels at the bottom. On the sliding folding door frame the adjustable style has to be on the side you wish the doors to stack towards. Please note that the doors always stack to the outside. If the rebate strips are on the outside they can be moved to the inside of the frame, this can be checked by the glazing beads, wich have to always be on the outside. Fit the frame according to the brickwork opening on all four sides with equal fixing distances of ±500mm apart. Ensure that all sides are fixed level and plumb. Measure frame diagonally from both sides to ensure the frame is square. It is very important to check that the top rail does not sag in the center (it must be level)