Aluminum is a popular option for an exterior door. Not only do they look nearly indistinguishable from a painted wooden door, they are also much more durable and low maintenance. Low maintenance doesn't equal no maintenance, though. You still need to make sure you properly care for your doors so they last a long time. The following tips can help:
Tip #1: Wipe down the door monthly
Wiping down the door with a damp cloth or an all-purpose cleaner does more than keeping it looking nice, it also helps avoid damage. Pollen, for example, can stain the finish if left in place. Dirt, grime, and grit can lead to scratches. Even more concerning, the pollutants in the air can settle on the door and lead to corrosive damage over time. By carving out the time to wipe down your door monthly, you avoid all of these concerns.
Tip #2: Keep the threshold clean
Many exterior door thresholds are designed with grooves to catch dirt as you walk across. Even if yours isn't designed in this manner, you still need to make sure dirt and grime doesn't build up on the threshold. This also goes for the door jambs along the side of the door, although these don't typically attract as much dirt. Not only is the dirt unsightly, it can make it difficult to open and close the door properly. This puts unnecessary stress on the frame and hinges.
Tip #3: Oil the hinges
One common area on any door that can need a repair is the hinges. Problems are usually the result of poor lubrication. Adding a drop of household lubricant to the top of the hinge pin, then opening and closing the door a few times so the oil can work through the hinge, can prevent this issues. Once or twice yearly is usually sufficient for door hinge lubrication. Just make sure you dust the hinges when you clean house to help cut down on grit working its way into the hinge cover.
Tip #4: Maintain knobs and locks
Finally, don't overlook the knobs and locks. These should line up properly with the frame so you aren't having to force them to shut or lock the door. Keep them clean and check the screws regularly to make sure everything is properly tightened. Exterior locks, in particular, can get dirt in them. You can clean them with canned air. Then, add a drop of a lock lubricant to the opening and to the striker. Open and close the lock or turn the knob several times to work the lubricant through.
For more help, contact a company like Caplan Bros Inc that maintains and repairs aluminum doors.