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When is it time to replace my door? 3 common signs

June 1st, 2021 | 6 min. read

When is it time to replace my door? 3 common signs

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After years of going out the door for work, sending the kids off to school, and friends and family coming in and out of your home, you begin to notice some wear and tear on your front door.

It’s creaking when you open and close it, and now you have to push all your weight against it to get it closed all the way. 

You’ve never given that door the time of day and suddenly it’s failing you. 

Can you just get it repaired? Do you have to replace the entire door?

When your door doesn’t operate right, there are minimal repairs that can be done to get it functioning as it should. A door can be constantly adjusted at the hinges if it does not open or close properly, however, it can only be adjusted so much.

Repairing a door is like putting a bandaid where you need stitches. It might cover the wound temporarily, but it’s not going to heal and function correctly for long. 

Southwest Exteriors has been a door replacement contractor for over 30 years. We’ve replaced many doors and have seen what goes wrong with them that shows you need a replacement. 

In this article, we will outline the top three common signs it is time to replace your door: if it doesn’t function properly, rotting, and environmental impact. 

If you’ve experienced problems with your doors before, this article will help you determine whether or not you need a full replacement or not. 

1. If the door doesn’t function properly

The most obvious sign that your door needs replacing is if it does not function properly. 

If outdoor light is visible around the edges of the door frame, it is time for a replacement

During the lifetime of your home, the foundation continuously shifts and moves with the earth. This is why every replacement door must be custom-sized and fit to your home because the shape of your home is ever-changing. 

If you have adjusted your door many times and it still does not open and close smoothly or light seeps through the edges, you need a full replacement

Doors are adjusted by the hinges to help them fit back into place, but there is only so much adjusting you can do. 

A full door replacement should consist of replacing the entire system, not just the slab, or piece that swings open and closed. 

The jambs, threshold, hardware, interior and exterior trim, and slab should all be replaced for a quality door replacement. Staining and painting should also be included from the same contractor. 

Another common cause of a door not functioning properly is poor installation. If the door is not installed properly, it is going to fail you sooner than expected.

To sum all that up, if your door is not functioning the way it should, light is seeping around the edges, and you’ve adjusted it multiple times but continues to fail, it is time for a replacement. 

2. If there is rotting on or around the door

Even if you do not have a wooden door, rotting around the jamb which is the inside border of the door is common.

Rot occurs when excess water and moisture build-up in and around wood. When the water gets into the wood, it allows a fungus to grow and deteriorate the wood.

This is common around the jambs of a door because they are typically made of wood and are exposed to outside elements. 

If the weather sealing around the door is damaged, this will allow water to get in. Weather sealing can be replaced, but when rot gets in the mix, a full replacement is generally necessary. 

Wood doors are susceptible to rot all around but most commonly at the bottom near the trim and around the jambs. Some products repair patches of rot to a degree, but rot tends to be a problem below the surface. 

If you notice rot in the door jambs, this means your door is not sealed as tightly as it should be, and a replacement is in your near future. 

3. If there is general damage due to environmental impact

Like anything on the exterior of your home, a door is constantly exposed to the sun, rain, hail, wind, and any other gift from Mother Nature.

While some extreme weather can cause severe damage to your door, you will commonly notice wear and tear that comes with time.

The most common visible signs of weather wear are fading and chipping paint or stain caused by the sun and water. 

Repainting or restaining your door seems like the simple option to avoid a full replacement which is true. However, if chipped paint or stain goes unaddressed, this is how more serious issues that lead to a full replacement come about.

Paint helps to add a protective seal to the door. When that layer becomes damaged or worn down, the door is more exposed to the environmental elements and can lead to rot and functionality issues. 

Specific signs in different types of doors that warrant a replacement 

There are many different types of materials used for doors. Each one comes with problems and wears that tell you it’s time for a replacement. 

We’ve talked about how wood doors can rot, but what are some other issues with other types of doors?


Steel doors are not made of solid steel. They are typically made as steel shells filled with an insulating material. If the door is sealed improperly or becomes damaged around the seal, moisture can get to that insulation and cause it to rot.


Vinyl is one of the less expensive materials used for doors, and low-quality vinyl is not very durable. The doors can misshapen with the natural movement of a house and also the changing from warm to cool temperatures, causing the door to warp and not fit the frame properly.

However, with all of these types of doors, a high-quality manufacturer and installation should deter these potential problems and keep your door intact. 

Can I do anything to make my door last?

Like anything, you can check your door for any damages and care for it to ensure it will last, but it all comes down to the quality of the door and installation. 

Oiling hinges, regularly cleaning the tracks on a sliding door, and making sure all parts are working is the best thing you can do to care for your door.

For entry doors, make sure no sprinkler systems are facing the door that could wear from water continuously spraying. 

Do I need to replace my door?

If your door is not operating properly, you notice rot around the edges or see any other damages from exterior forces, you should look into replacing your door. 

A high-quality door that was installed properly can last your entire lifetime in your home, but that same door can fail you within a few years if not installed properly. 

Through our decades of door replacements, Southwest Exteriors has seen all of these types of damages that require an entire replacement. Our design consultants will educate you about what causes are behind the issues you are having with your door and want to help provide the best solution for you.

Do you think you need a door replacement? Schedule a free in-home consultation with us by filling out the form on our website. Virtual consultations are available for your comfort and safety.