Steel Door Repair
Repairs are a Must to Keep Steel Doors Functioning Properly
Steel doors are a valuable asset to a home or business, as they are virtually indestructible and offer excellent fire protection. They are, however, susceptible to dents and scratches which are detrimental in several ways. Continue reading to find out why steel doors often need repairing, what these repairs entail and the associated costs of the repairs.
Why Should I Repair My Steel Door?
Steel doors have one major enemy: rust. They protect a home or office from severe weather, flying debris, forced entry and fire damage but a small scratch or dent can chip or crack the paint layer protecting the steel from moisture and the elements, paving the way for rust to form. If left unchecked, rust can severely diminish the structural integrity of the door and necessitate a complete replacement.
Repairing a steel door immediately after damage is inflicted (or noticed) ensures that the door will continue to perform as advertised for years to come. The longer you wait to complete a repair, the more expensive the repair will be as well as getting closer to that tipping point to where a repair would cost more than the door itself.
How is a Steel Door Repaired?
Repairing a dented or scratched steel door is similar to how other metal objects are repaired. This can be a DIY project if you have the proper tools available and a decent background in construction or auto body repair. The process is explained below:
The door is removed from the hinges and placed on a level, flat surface. Any warped, peeling, or cracked paint is removed by scraping and sanding or by using a wire wheel brush on a drill. If using sandpaper, start with a coarse paper and work up to a fine 220 grit paper. The final pass should smooth the paint layer out until your fingers can't feel a ridge. After all affected paint is properly removed, clean the area with a damp cloth.
After cleaning, an auto body filler (Bondo is an excellent choice) is mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions and applied to the affected area. For deep dents, don't try to fill the entire area at once - the filler should set up within minutes and it is perfectly acceptable to apply 2 or even 3 layers. The final layer should be slightly above the surrounding door surface to allow for sanding.
Once the filler is properly dried, several passes with an orbital sander will bring the filler to the desired level. Clean the area and prime it with appropriate metal primer paint. Do not immediately use finish paint - primer is extremely important.
Unless you happen to have an exact-match paint and the original door color hasn't faded, expect the entire door surface to need a fresh coat of paint to blend the repaired area with the rest of the door.
Steel Door Repair Costs
The following prices are based on national averages - expect actual costs to be influenced by the area of the country you live in and the company hired to perform the work.
- Hiring a professional to repair a small scratch or dent in a steel door costs $25-$50. Large dents or multiple repair areas can bring the total closer to $100.
- Most repairs that require the removal of paint requires a coat of paint applied over the entire surface to assure adequate blending. Expect a professional to charge $50-$100 for this service, bringing the total cost of a repair to $75-$200.