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Bi Fold Door Maintenance: Caring for Your Folding Doors

Protecting the look and finish and preserving the original design of your external bifold doors is a good enough reason to undertake regular maintenance. A routine of care and cleaning, as well as minor bifold door repairs will ensure the maximum lifespan for these high-quality doors. If you take good care of your concertina doors you can expect smooth operation every time.

Exterior Finish & Glazing

Exposed to the elements year in, year out, your doors are designed to withstand the worst the weather can throw at them. The seals operate at optimum efficiency when clean and the doors are correctly aligned, able to drain rainwater away and keep draughts at bay.

Regularly clean the glazing with appropriate products, taking care not to use abrasive cleaners on moisture-repelling and solar control windows. Cleaning the glazed panels is also the ideal time to check the condition of rubber seals for shrinking or damage from squeegees or frost.

During winter, it’s advisable to use an appropriate rubber treatment such as gummi pfledge to keep weather seals supple and prevent tearing or sticking during extreme frosts. If a door is reluctant to open in icy conditions, use an approved chemical de-icer - not hot water - to free the doors.

Locking Mechanism

door lock

For smooth operation and optimum security, clean bifold door locks regularly and check for obstructions before they become a problem. A crevice tool on a vacuum cleaner can be used to remove dust and grit.

As bifold doors have multipoint locks, it's important to keep each one in good working condition. If any of the moving parts feel stiff, add some WD40 to improve operation. You can also add a little to the key before turning it in the lock to keep hidden components lubricated.

Faulty locks are less common than they used to be, as security standards in the UK have improved over the years. Cleaning and lubrication should be enough to keep locking mechanisms in good working order.

Tracks & Runners

Check sill drain holes are clear before using water to rinse channels, also ensure the drains are clear routinely for correct protection against water ingress. Following any deep cleaning of the runners and latch mechanisms, re-lubricate all bearing surfaces and moving parts. Internal components should be lubricated for life, though maintaining the external mechanisms will naturally reduce wear on internal components.

In Autumn and Winter, check the runners, slides and frame for dirt, leaves and snow. Tracked in salt-laden snow can corrode fixing and components if left unattended, particularly if lubrication has been neglected, and dirt build-up can affect not only the smooth operation of the bi fold doors, it can place additional loading on bearings and internal mechanisms, resulting in additional wear shortening the life of door components.

Seasons present different challenges for door maintenance, and it’s particularly important to keep leaves and debris out of the runners in Autumn and Winter. In Spring, check for hibernating insects and clean any spider webs or dead insects from the frames and mechanism, as the organic material can attack plastic and rubber components if left unattended.

If you have climbers and similar plants growing near your bifolding doors, don’t forget to remove any invasive growth which can damage the finish if not cleaned in a timely manner. As with the glazing, cleaning with warm water and mild detergent will be sufficient.

Aluminium bifold doors generally require less maintenance than oak, where the final treatment is vital for protecting the underlying wood. However, for all materials, any damage to the finish should not be neglected, and on engineered wood doors it is vital to maintain the integrity of the external veneer.

Hinges & Folding Systems

Operate your folding sliding doors fully to check the hinges and runners are not sticking or reluctant at any point in their travel. Depending on the design of your bifold doors, hinges between panels may be accessible from outside or protected by gaskets.

As technology between door systems varies, ask about maintenance for your system on delivery or installation. In all cases, check that any additional struts move freely to ensure even operation of the door without uneven loading.

Frame & Surrounds

On installation, great care will have been taken to ensure the aperture for the door is flat, aligned and flush fitting. To preserve the long-term operation of bifold doors it is recommended to avoid dragging or rolling items over the sill and runners; if larger items of furniture or appliances need to be brought into the home through the conveniently large openings that bifold doors provide, then use load bearing ramps with appropriate clearance.

Check lintels and steps for distortion, as any warp or variation in the frame can be rectified without replacing major door components if caught in good time. Check around the building for the deterioration of plasterwork and brickwork that might lead to water ingress or distortion of the aperture. On new builds, pay particular attention for settling and subsidence, as again, catching any issues in time can reduce the cost of repair.

Engineered Wooden Doors

Our wooden bifold door systems use engineered wood for strength and stability in all weather conditions. Exterior doors should be checked periodically for damage to the finishing, and any weathered areas attended to with thoroughly cleaned and dry woodwork. We use high quality hi build exterior paints on finished doors, and if you are doing self-installation you may already have bought appropriate paints for touch up of any marks during installation. Allowing water to penetrate the doors long term will lead to warping and damage to the oak veneer.

Accidental Damage

broken glass door

Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash

Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable. Should the glazing of your bi folding doors be damaged, it’s vital to get professional advice for replacing the glass sealed units. Laminated panels will hold their
structure when broken, whereas toughened glass will shatter into compact pieces designed to avoid
forming dangerous shards. In all cases, after cleaning up the loose glass, applying a clear protective
adhesive film will prevent further movement of the glass until a replacement can be arranged.

Bi fold Door Repairs

Repairing bifold doors is entirely possible, from minor adjustments to major issues. Whether it's a window sticking or a dropped door, glazing or lock replacement, there's usually a solution to get your door working well again.

Bi folding door repairs are often best carried out by a professional who has access to the right tools and replacement parts, as well as the expertise to mend a faulty door on site.

If you have a minor bifold door problem you might be able to fix it yourself, but the bigger repairs are best left to a professional tradesperson. They will make sure your door correctly functions again and will usually give you a guarantee on the work.

Bifold Door Maintenance FAQs

Do bifold doors need maintenance?

Yes, bifold doors require regular maintenance. While they are low maintenance overall, it is important to clean the glass when it is dirty and conduct a yearly service. This service should include lubricating the locks and wiping down the frames to keep them in optimal condition.

How do you service a bifold door?

To properly service a bifold door, use a mild solution of warm water and washing-up liquid to clean the door frames, edges, and hinges. Avoid harsh cleaners or scouring pads to protect the door's coating. For optimal results, use a soft cloth or sponge to clean the door.

Are bifold doors high maintenance?

While uPVC and aluminium bifold doors are generally low maintenance, they still require some upkeep to extend their lifespan. This includes regular maintenance tips, operation advice, and troubleshooting common issues. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your bifold doors remain in top condition for many years to come.

Can bifold doors be repaired?

Yes, bifold doors can be repaired. It is common for bifold doors to require repairs, often due to misalignment or other issues. A professional bifold door repair service can realign and fix any problems, ensuring they function smoothly. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent the need for extensive repairs in the future.

How long is the guarantee on bifold doors?

All our bifold doors come with a 10-year guarantee against manufacturing defects. They are also guaranteed for 5 years against glass unit failure. These guarantees cover replacement of faulty parts or manufacturing defects only and do not cover incidental expenses.

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