How Bifold Doors Work
One you’ve had bifold doors installed it’s important to make sure you use and maintain them correctly, as this will extend their life and promote product performance. Regardless of whether you choose PVCU, timber or aluminium for the frames, you should always go to a reputable supplier to ensure only the highest quality materials are used.
Normally, aluminium doors are expected to last the longest; with their lifespan measured in decades, rather than years. PVCU is a popular choice with householders and is the easiest to maintain, with timber requiring the most maintenance out of the three. All frame types should last for many years, with bifold doors adding to the value of your home.
Operating bifold doors
It’s important that bifold doors are operated correctly to prolong their lifespan and to avoid damage.
There are two types of system: one has a lead door and the other doesn’t. The lead door contains the locking system and provides access to the outside of your property; opening and closing without having to fold back the other panels, it can be used like an ordinary door.
Systems with a lead door
To open all the doors, unlock the lead door: open it fully and attach it to the adjacent door using the magnetic keep. Then, rotate the slave handles to release the remaining doors. To close the doors, put your hand between the first two doors and guide all the doors along the track, locking them by rotating the slave handles.
Systems without a lead door
Systems without a lead door can be split into two halves in the middle; so that both sets open outwards from the centre – the middle set of doors acts as an access point. To open the doors, unlock them first and rotate all the slave handles until they’re in a horizontal position. If the doors open outwards, push the frame above the slave handle. If they open inwards, pull the handle.
To close them, guide the doors along the track by gripping them between the first and second doors. Put all the slave handles in the locked position and secure them in place with the key.
To enjoy the panoramic views offered by bifold doors it is imperative that you keep them clean. Soap and water is a popular cleaning choice but you can also buy a window cleaning product. Whatever product you choose, by using the correct tools you will avoid streaky windows.
Microfibre cloths and squeegees will provide a streak-free finish – another option is to use scrunched-up paper. Don’t let the cleaning solution run on to the frames if possible and always remove rings and watches before cleaning, as they can leave scratches.
Cleaning the frames
Your bifold door frames will seldom require anything more than a quick wipe with a sponge or a non-abrasive cloth that has been dampened with a mild detergent solution. Don’t use heavy duty household cleaning products, as these could damage the finish. Non-abrasive liquid cream cleaners or paraffin-based cleaning products are usually okay for cleaning stubborn stains.
Keeping the tracks clean
Always make sure the tracks at the bottom are free from any large stones and other debris – these can impede the smooth running of your doors, potentially causing damage. Run the vacuum cleaner nozzle attachment along the tracks to remove debris and dust. You can also lubricate the tracks and mechanism using a silicon spray.
Maintaining the locks
Keep the locks dust-free and stop them from sticking by applying a small amount of lubricating oil to the lock and the key. Insert and remove the key several times to ensure smooth operation.