PM Mendes

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General Information

Care & Installation Guide


Preparing your timber product for Installation

Uneven expansion or contraction of component parts within a timber product is the most common reason for it to ‘fail’ or not perform satisfactorily. These movements are caused by a change in moisture level within the product and to protect against this, the timber must be fully sealed before installation as detailed in the finishing sections below. In addition please be aware of the following:

  1. If a door needs to be trimmed it must be reduced equally from both sides. Each side of a door may be trimmed up to a maximum of 6mm for doors with a lipping 10mm or more, and 3mm for doors with a 6mm lipping. Further reductions may be possible on non fire-rated doors but please remember that this may result in exposing the engineered core which will then need to be sealed or re-lipped.
  2. Avoid cutting / fitting locks or latches at a rail or glazing bar joint as this will cause weakening of the door.
  3. We recommend the use of 3 hinges to offer more rigidity and strength.
  4. FD30 fire rated doors must be installed in accordance with the relevant fire certificate – it is the responsibility of the person fitting the door to ensure that the intumescent strips or seals are fitted in door, frame or lining as stipulated.

Finishing & Sealing

  1. Untreated products must be fully sealed prior to hanging – this applies to all surfaces including tops, bottoms and all recesses cut for hinges, locks, handles and letter plates etc. Waxes and oils are not considered suitable for sealing our timber products and if used will invalidate any guarantee should the timber product subsequently fail.
  2. Please do not use a water based sealant as if applied too liberally it may penetrate the veneer and may cause bubbling to occur.
  3. Pre finished products must be re-sealed as above in areas where timber has been exposed during alterations. White primed products should be sealed with a final top coat with particular attention paid to any areas where the priming has been removed.
  4. To obtain the best finish lightly sand, de-nib and wipe clean all surfaces before initial sealing and before final coat is applied.

External Products - Additional Information

Our engineered external timber products must be protected from direct sun and rain. This is achieved by a porch, canopy or recess of ideally 1.5 metres. If this precaution is not observed the performance of the timber product will not be satisfactory and any guarantee will be surrendered. In addition to finishing and sealing as above please be aware of the following:

  1. These External products are not suitable for coastal locations. Any property within 5 miles of a sea front is defined as being in a ‘marine environment’ and is therefore under the same kind of atmosphere and harsh environments as those directly on sea fronts. Those properties are situated in atmospheres with much higher than average organic chemical contents – higher levels of alkaline, moisture, salt and corrosive deposits from the sea – on top of that, the strong winds that the house is exposed to. All of this significantly affects the performance and lifespan of the doors in this area.
  2. Please note that we also cannot guarantee timber doors (both internal & external) if fitted in a location where there is a lot of heat/sunlight i.e. a glass porch. These types of locations create a greenhouse effect and puts timber doors under extreme pressure. This can cause shrinking and/or cracking.
  3. We recommend a minimum of 3 coats of a suitable finishing product be applied to fully seal a door or frame.
  4. We recommend the fitting (externally) of a weather bar at the bottom of the door.
  5. Try to avoid painting any external timber product black (or very dark) as dark colours absorb heat making the product very hot which can lead to cracking or excessive shrinkage.
  6. With external oak timber products please ensure that the sealant contains a UV protection element.

WARNING - If what you are applying is clear it will probably not contain UV protection.
Check with your finishing supplier before purchasing.

Future Maintenance

With external timber products it is impossible to advise how long the applied finish will offer protection. Much depends on the finishing product used, the facing of the timber (N, S, E or W), and how forcefully a door is opened and closed. The general rule is to ensure the product remains sealed, preventing moisture movement. If lacquer becomes cracked, scuffed or scratched, re-seal the offending part of the timber product immediately. If shrinkage lines appear around panels re-seal exposed timber immediately. Sealant around external glazing apertures can become brittle and crack if subjected to periods of high temperature; if this becomes evident re-seal with suitable clear waterproof mastic for external use. Finally, we recommend that you wash the timber product with warm water and detergent at minimum every two years, and apply a further coat of finish.

Treatment of Doors

  1. All our timber products must be kept and stored dry and flat.
  2. All our timber products must be correctly treated without delay and prior fitting. It is most important that all timber products are completely and fully treated before fitting, including all faces, edges and any ‘cut outs’ such as letter boxes, locks etc. It is vital that the ‘end’ grain is completely protected as this is where moisture can most easily penetrate causing swelling, splitting and warping.
  3. If the door requires trimming to fit, it should be reduced in size equally from both sides when fitting. Mortice locks fitted at rail joints can result in removal of one or more dowels or cause serious damage to a mortice, so weakening the joint. Mortice lock cavity should be kept to a minimum size and not fitted at a rail joint.
  4. Usually 3 coats of a proprietary branded finish should be satisfactory but you should treat the door in accordance with instruction of the manufacturer of your chosen finish. Please note that waxing and/or oiling do not properly seal and are not recommended. It is also not recommended to use a waterbased system on our timber products.
  5. As timber is a naturally grown product subject to change due to variations of humidity and temperature, we try to ensure that the timber has been prepared to make it suitable. It is obvious that we cannot know all the circumstances surrounding every situation in which our products are stored and installed, and we therefore cannot give any guarantee against shrinkage, warping or splitting.
  6. All external timber products but particularly oak, must be protected from exposure to direct sun and rain. This is usually achieved by a porch, recess or overhang of a minimum of 1.5 metres. If this precaution is not observed, the performance and appearance of the door will not be satisfactory. Our external engineered doors are not suitable for coastal locations.
  7. Regular maintenance of our timber products should be observed to prevent breakdown of paint film and to protect the fibre from deterioration. Please remember—the ‘finishing’ seals the timber and prevents moisture movement, the main cause of swelling and shrinkage resulting in splitting and bowing. If the ‘finish’ is not complete, or breaks down due to poor maintenance, the timber product performance will deteriorate.
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