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Storing Doors: Best Practices

Post by on March 12th, 2021

When it comes to storage, doors have different requirements than other building materials. Like furniture, doors are vulnerable to the elements and quick to show damage. By storing your doors properly, you can prolong their product life cycle and prevent warping.

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How Do You Store a New Door Before Hanging It?

All doors, regardless of type, should be stored with even pressure across the surface. Avoid leaning them at an angle or storing them on unsteady ground. Because of their large surface area, doors stored with uneven pressure across their surface areas can develop issues like bowing, especially if they are made of a soft material like wood.

When you are moving a door, it is best to wear gloves to prevent dirt and oil from transferring from your hands to the door slab or frame. Certain materials absorb oil more easily than others, and the handprints can show permanently on wood. No matter the material, always have two people handle a door when moving it to storage. With two people, the pressure is distributed evenly throughout the door and there is no unnecessary stress on the body.

How Do You Store Wooden Doors?

The safest way to store wooden doors is by placing them horizontally at least 4 inches off the ground. This distance is necessary to protect them from moisture. Create a foundation beneath the door that supports the whole length of the door and discourages bowing. There should still be space between the door and the supports. It is important for air to be able to flow between them and prevent moisture from creating mold and mildew.

Like all wood, doors should be stored in a cool, completely dry area away from the elements and moisture. Hot air and dry, cool air can both warp wood and make it brittle and more likely to splinter. Conversely, high humidity levels can cause water to seep into the wood and make it soft and breakable. Always store wooden interior doors at room temperature. Rooms that have just been plastered also have excess moisture and should not have doors prematurely installed.

Doors should not be transported to a construction site until the walls, flooring and roof are complete. Storing doors on concrete can transfer moisture into the wood. Keep doors at room temperature for most of their product life cycle, if possible.

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How to Store Prehung Doors

Storing prehung doors requires specific precautions. Since prehung doors are already attached to a frame, you should check that the door slab is properly installed before it is stored. If the door is at an angle or not flush inside the frame, the frame and slab can further warp. Be careful not to put added stress on the frame’s corners and joints, as it could change the shape and cause it not to fit in the opening when installed.

Unlike wooden door slabs, pre-hung doors should not be stored horizontally. They should only be stored vertically. When storing doors upright, take care to leave enough room for air to flow between them. Airflow will ensure that the moisture in the air does not get trapped between the doors. Like door slabs, prehung doors should never be stored on concrete. The material can store excess moisture, which becomes absorbed by the frame.

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Why Do New Doors Need to Be Stored?

Proper door storage is crucial to ensuring doors look and operate correctly once you need to hang them. The process helps prevent several issues, including warping and shrinkage.

Different materials react differently to their environments. Wooden doors, for example, are susceptible to external elements. Heat and moisture entering the materials and fibers can cause expansion and contraction.

Another benefit of correctly storing doors is that it can help prevent chips and stains. Moisture damage is less of a concern when doors are stored properly. Additionally, moving and storing doors in a suitable location helps preserve their life span and appearance.

Finally, door storage helps stop corrosion and blistering in materials like steel and other metals.

How Long Can Internal Doors Be Stored?

You can store your doors before you hang them on your next project. While you can keep doors for a relatively long period, it is best to store them for as little time as possible to ensure they retain their proper function, shape and appearance. It helps if you follow best practices for door storage to ensure they remain in peak condition for installation.

For example, store wood doors for at least 36 hours before installation. This storage time helps the wood acclimate to the new environment, which can help prevent warping. No matter what type of door you store, it is vital to periodically check on it to ensure nothing is wrong, such as warping, damage, moisture or corrosion.

Door Storage by Material

When possible, store most doors horizontally and off the floor on an item like a pallet or rack. Keep the original packaging intact if you can. If you cannot, cover the doors with a vented material, like vented plastic. In most cases, you should remove hardware and accessories from the door before you store them.

Another area where you can store doors is beneath scaffolding. Scaffolding helps ensure the doors receive adequate airflow while protecting them from falling objects and preventing people from stepping on them. All doors should be stored in a different area until cement, paint, drywall and plaster are dry.

Additional recommendations for storing doors by material type include:

  • Wood: Store in a cool and dry area, away from light, radiators and water sources. You should also keep these doors in a place with good ventilation. Store them horizontally in a flat area, preferably a few inches off the floor if possible. Doors stored for longer than a week should be sealed on all sides with a non-water-based sealer. Store doors in a climate-controlled location.
  • Metal: Keep doors in a dry area away from any water source and cover them with vented plastic. Steel doors can be stored in an upright position on top of blocking at least 4 inches from the ground. Keep no more than five together, and ensure they have at least ¼ of an inch of space between them.
  • Glass: Store glass doors horizontally, but do not stack them — store them at an angle of 3 to 6 degrees on their edge. You might want to invest in an A-frame storage trolley for glass door panels. They should be stored in a dry and ventilated area away from direct heat and sunlight. Glass has fewer corrosion concerns, but it is still crucial to keep it as dry as possible and let the panels dry out before use if they do become moist. You should also have a technique to avoid scratches, such as carpet or wood slats in the storage area.

No matter the materials your doors are made from, following best practices helps ensure they will be ready to use as soon as you can safely remove them from storage and begin the installation process.

Find the Right Doors With Manhattan Door

At Manhattan Door, we have over 80 years of experience in manufacturing doors and working with our clients. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility can produce and ship doors to you in a few short weeks. Our lead times are only two to three weeks with our streamlined manufacturing processes, and we can meet even the tightest timelines when you opt to rush order your purchase. With our commercial warranties, we guarantee long-term product performance.

We have perfected our work for generations to provide high-quality products that last for years to come. Contact us for a free door quote today.

One response to “Storing Doors: Best Practices”

  • John Carston
    Location: Los Angeles
    14 Sep, 2022 2 years ago

    Very interesting that you can maintain the wooden doors by placing them horizontally in proper storage

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