Doncaster Upvc Door Repairs
Hello there, and happy July to you. I’ve just had a garbled voicemail asking me to pen a short blog about the USP of The Doors. Ever obedient, I’ve done a bit of research into the band, led by frontman Jim Morrison, and formed in 1965 in Los Angeles. Their major hits included Light my Fire, Riders on the Storm, and The End, with their brand of music best described as… ah, hang on a minute. I’ve just listened to the voicemail again. The blog requested was on the subject of UPVC doors, not the USP of The Doors. This is slightly embarrassing, but I’ve written over 100 words now, so we’ll just leave them there and move on.
For generations, timber doors were the norm in residential buildings. But then, just as The Seekers became the New Seekers, and the Likely Lads became Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, the transformation to UPVC doors occurred. UPVC then became the behemoth, monopolising the industry when it came to new builds and replacements. There were a few reasons for this change – UPVC doors became lower cost, there was convenience in their ubiquity, they were hard wearing and easy to maintain and clean, and crucially they came with their own internal locking mechanism. This mechanism was multi-point, meaning the bolts would be secured at up to 5 different points on the door, which gave the system the edge over the single point of locking which had previously been found on timber doors of the past.
Despite their ubiquity, there are still drawbacks with UPVC doors. I’ll don the hat of a pessimist here and touch on a couple of these, before giving a few tips on how it’s possibly to reduce the chances of problems occurring, leading to your door staying in tip top condition for as long as possible.
The complexity of the locks in UPVC doors are a positive in that they provide security at different points between the door and the frame, but they can also be a negative in that the more complex something is, the more things can go wrong. Look at a spoon for instance – they rarely break down, yet a computer…always having something wrong with it. But it’s more difficult to use Excel or get the internet on a phone, so we have to deal with it. Anyway, due to more moving parts in the lock, there is the added risk with UPVC doors that parts will malfunction or break off, jamming the mechanism. When this happens, I’d recommend calling a locksmith asap. They will be used to these sorts of problems and be able to identify the issue. 9 times out of 10 when people try to fix it themselves, the problem becomes worse, leading to the whole mechanism failing and the door being unable to either open or shut.
You’ll probably have noticed here in Yorkshire that the temperatures been fluctuating quite a bit – one day you’re sweating buckets and the next day you’re reaching for the duffel coat. The joys of living in a country such as ours. These differences in temperatures can affect the performance of your UPVC door. Basic high school science has taught us what variations of temperature does to materials – expansion and contraction - and this is definitely the case with the combination of UPVC doors and metal locking mechanisms. When the door has 5 locking points, these have to exactly match from the door to the frame so that they can slide in and out. When there are major temperature changes, misalignment can occur. Door manufacturers should account for these variations, but if you find this happening after a typically British period of weather, it may be that something has expanded or contracted just a touch too much, and will need the attention of your local locksmith.
Pressure can take its toll on the locks of UPVC doors too, especially on those doors that get a lot of use. Pushing the handles up on a UPVC door means all the bolts work in unison to slot into place. Repeated use results in friction and over time this can lead to the mechanism breaking down. It’s thought that UPVC doors have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years on average – sadly nothing lasts forever, except perhaps the ongoing Tory leadership election.
I don’t want this to be all doom and gloom, so what can we do to help preserve our UPVC doors? First, always be gentle when lifting the handle to activate the lock mechanism. Using too much force or wrenching it out of place will cause excess grinding on the bolts, increasing the pressure on the centre case. Should the mechanism feel stiff, it may be worth spraying some WD40 on the bolts within the door – this should help them move smoothly, and assist with keeping the mechanism clean. Even without WD40, do try and keep the internal mechanism clean as dirt can build up and cause the bolts to jam.
It wouldn’t be one of my blogs without me mentioning lock snapping. UPVC doors usually work in conjunction with cylinder locks and these are the type that are most susceptible to lock-snapping. Fortunately, there are now many cylinder locks on the market that are anti-snap, meaning an end to the awful scenario whereby a burglar could snap the lock in a matter of seconds. If you have an old UPVC door it may be that the lock on it is of the old variety – please do check with a locksmith if this is the case, as they will be best placed to advise, and can also look over the rest of your property’s entry points to give advice on what can be improved. They could also tell you if indeed a UPVC door is your best bet – although they are by far the most popular, there are still instances where a timber or composite door may suit you better. Who better to ask than someone who works with locks and doors day in day out throughout the year?
For any advice on UPVC doors or any other lock or security-related matters, please call me on 01302 378067.