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I recently built a home in Mexico on the beach and am having a hard time keeping 3 of my exterior wood doors (all street facing doors) from constantly splitting, cracking & swelling due to the sun exposure. These doors are made of 1.5”-2” thick horizontally constructed African Teak wood panels attached to an inner metal frame. We have done the typical fill, sand & stain(oiled) multiple times but they keep on splitting & swelling. These doors DO NOT have a sealant coat, we opt to use natural teak oil which will ally’s to oil the doors without having to constantly sand them before applying. These doors are not installed on the beachside face of the house. The street entrance door should be able to swing open both ways but constantly gets caught on the edge of the side wood fixed panel only allowing it to open inward roughly 1.5’… no problems with the door opening outward towards the street. This door was installed in Nov 2021 and the carpenter said it will swell & crack until end of Jan but then it will settle down and he will fix everything and shouldn’t have any more issues, but so far… that doesn’t seem to be happening on the other doors.

As for The main house double doors & laundry door which have constantly split and been fixed multiple times since August. The laundry door was actually just replaced in November and is already splitting. Any thoughts or suggestions as to what/how we can eliminate the over all issues would be awesome! FYI.. the original local carpenter does excellent work but since they do things so differently in Mexico, maybe I can suggest him trying something new. Also, we plan to oil the wood doors every months. Tks- enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here


Solar Mike- all but the laundry door have some sort of overhead shade but by 2pm sun starts to hit front doors & entrance door until sun goes down. Unfortunately there is no other way to shade for now. But, Eventually landscaping will grow to shade the front & laundry doors! enter image description here


Willk- no, the metal would not cause this issues. Of fact, it’s the metal frame inside that actually keeps the overall door from completely warping. (They forgot to put one inside an interior door and it’s exactly what ended up happening.

Lee Sam - yes! In two different places. One… wherever the African teak is originally first cut and then it’s shipped over and two… most carpentry is actually done outside so there is definitely moisture, dust, wind, etc that would definitely be a factor to consider. Maybe that’s why he said to give it a few months for the door to accumulate to the sun/ moisture and then he will fix everything. The front doors construction actually used too thin of wood planks so it will definitely need to be replaced but we were hoping over time the wood would eventually stop splitting. enter image description here

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    Could it be that the metal frame is changing size with the temperature and stressing the panels?
    – Willk
    Jan 5, 2022 at 1:17
  • Give the doors some shading.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 5, 2022 at 5:30
  • Are the doors made in a different environment and they are not being accumulated before prep and installation?
    – Lee Sam
    Jan 5, 2022 at 6:58
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    Strongly related.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 5, 2022 at 14:16
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    @FreeMan I like your answer regarding the differences between indoor wood working and wood exposed to the elements at various times of the year. We go to great lengths to provide expansion and contraction spaces for hardwood flooring, which stays in a fairly constant environment. Why shouldn’t this door provide similar protection and expansion considerations? Even lap siding is designed to expand and contract and it has a higher moisture content than that door, I bet.
    – Lee Sam
    Jan 5, 2022 at 18:42

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