Plastpro Inc. is a leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry doors and has been in business since 1994. We’ve introduced the first fiberglass door with composite stiles and rails, HydroShield technology, and composite Polyfiber Frames to the industry.
Manufacturers, distributers and customers all appreciate a quality product performing well enough that it can be nearly forgotten. We would all prefer not to have dissatisfied customers, especially if it escalates into warranty coverage arguments. Proper maintenance will go a long way towards preventing these conversations by maximizing entry door performance over time. Check out this list of do’s and don’ts that distributors, installers and customers should be aware of to maximize efficiency for everyone involved.
Use a hard topcoat.
Fiberglass doors require a hard, polyurethane or acrylic topcoat finish. Otherwise in hot environments the weatherstripping may stick to softened paint and damage the door. The door’s topcoat should be reapplied often — every two years if not exposed to direct sunlight and up to every six months if there is no overhang and a lot of direct sunlight.
Protect the lock bore during installation.
Before the lock and hardware are installed, protect the open lock bore to prevent water damage inside the door.
Take extra care to protect outswing doors.
Beware of the additional exposure to the elements that outswing doors without an overhang face — these doors require extra protection during installation and more frequent weatherproofing.
Equip home owners.
Ultimately, the home owner is financially responsible for what happens to the product once it reaches them. But if manufacturers and distributors avoid educating them, arguments and expensive settlements can ensue even if the customer is at fault. The customer should seek maintenance instructions, and we should make them easily accessible — online and attached to the product when possible.
Keep open lines of communication.
After the sale, the best thing manufacturers can do to save everyone time, money and hassle is to keep open lines of communication. If manufacturers, distributors, and installers are accessible, owners are more likely to troubleshoot and take preventative steps before any big issue arises.
Bend to impractical trends.
For example, black doors are currently popular, but more prone to heat damage and less likely to age well. Be mindful of paint and stain colors generally. Particularly in hot climates or in entrances without an overhang, light colors perform better, as they are less likely to absorb damaging UV rays.
Power wash doors.
This is a popular chore, but doors with glass inserts should be hand washed; power washing can cause damage to the seal, leaks, and foggy glass.
Encourage customers to engage with maintenance information from Day 1. Set them up well with the correct topcoat and point them to the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions.
At Plastpro, we know people will be drawn to DIY projects, so we provide easily accessible maintenance instructions, approachable how-to guides and blog posts for guidance. If manufacturers aim to be go-to sources for this information, and distributers and installers point customers to our websites, these practices should go a long way to making everyone’s job easier.