Fitting Door Furniture Externally
We often get asked if particular door handles are suitable for external fixing. Although many handles are, manufacturers will not generally guarantee products which have corroded due to unreasonable external factors. It’s sometimes a tricky one to answer because there are too many variables, but we hope that these guidelines will help you in coming to a conclusion.
1) Your location: Do you live near the sea or a main road, or is your door furniture in an unsheltered location? Are there high levels of air pollution in your area? Is the door furniture exposed to rain and the weather, road salts and salty air, acidic rain or dirt deposits that will be particularly damaging to most door furniture? If so, any protective coatings will likely break down and lead to rapid deterioration of the product. You need to use corrosive resistant products if you live in this situation.
2) Maintenance: Are you prepared to regularly maintain your door furniture or do you have a busy lifestyle, with little time for this? All finishes, even the corrosion resistant ones, will need some sort of maintenance but others will need more regular maintenance.
3) Do a bit of local research: Have you fitted the same finish you are considering in the past? Were you satisfied with the life of the product? Generally speaking you will get the same performance from a new product in the same finish. What type of finish have your neighbours fitted and has it stood the test of time? This will likely give you an idea of what to expect from your chosen finish.
So now you are happy that your chosen finish will fare well, what can you do to preserve your door furniture? Check out the maintenance instructions for your chosen finish; these can vary, but here are a few generic tips.
1) Give the mechanism on an external handle a thorough grease before fitting. It will preserve both the mechanism and spring, preventing any internal corrosion that you cannot see.
2) Clean your door furniture from time to time, usually using soapy water, rinsing off and a buff dry on a regular basis (may not be appropriate for all finishes).
3) You can sometimes maintain the finish and reduce maintenance requirements by giving your door furniture an occasional coat of non-abrasive wax, just like you would a car. It should be noted that this may not be appropriate on all finishes.
4) Your door furniture is exposed to extreme weather, your last handles did not last long before they started to corrode and you are too busy for regular maintenance. You just want something better that is going to last a long time. Here are a few ideas.
5) Consider a product made from corrosion resistant material. PVD brass for a brass look or Marine grade 316 stainless steel in polished finish for a chrome look, or in a satin finish. Ensure it is 316 grade, Bernards Door furniture Direct sell this type. There are some lower grade stainless steels on the market. There are also some finishes with special hard lacquer protective coatings which the manufacturers will often guarantee, but PVD brass and marine grade stainless steel are considered the best.
6) Always grease the mechanism before fitting. The handle might be corrosion proof, but the spring and mechanism may not be.
You will still need to clean any corrosion resistant door furniture, since there are no products which can avoid the collection of dirt and the longer you leave it the harder it will be to clean. However the difference is that there should be no corrosion and the article will likely clean up like new.