It’s hard to believe that summer is already slipping away. While many of us are still dealing with record high temperatures and drought conditions, we are all seeing the days getting shorter and in many cases the kiddos are already heading back to school. Fall and winter are right around the corner and will be here before we know it. Every year we usually see an uptick in replacement flap sales when cold weather arrives. Why not beat the rush and spruce up your Hale Pet Door to be ready before Old Man Winter starts blowing and snowing?! Here are a few tips you can use to keep your pet door in tip-top condition.
Clean the flaps regularly (and other parts too)
We all love cold, wet puppy and kitty noses giving us kisses but they can leave a residue on your pet door flaps that can make them virtually opaque over time. Regular cleaning is the best way to prevent this buildup and extend the life of your flaps. We recommend cleaning your flaps once every month or two to help keep them looking your best.
We clean our flaps with Simple Green and paper towels. If you don’t have Simple Green, you can use a mild detergent like dish soap and lukewarm water and any soft cloth. You may have to use a little more elbow grease but never ever use an ammonia based cleaner (like Windex or most other glass cleaners) to clean the flaps as this will cause the vinyl to dry out and actually shorten the life of your flaps.
If desired you can also occasionally apply a vinyl protectant (such as Armor-all) or Turtle Wax to your flaps to help prolong their life.
Clean and Maintain All Parts of Your Pet Door No Matter What Model It Is
- You can use this same method to wipe down the pet door frame and the security cover on any of our models to help keep them looking their best.
- Check the magnets and weatherstripping around the edge of your pet door flaps. Make sure the magnets are touching the strikes on the flaps and the flap is still sealing well. Adjust or replace any as needed.
- If you have a wall model pet door, vacuum the carpet in the tunnel using the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This helps prevent your fur baby from tracking in dirt or snow from outdoors. If the carpet gets stained you can use any carpet spot cleaner to remove the stains. If the carpet is coming loose from the sides or bottom of your pet door, you can reattach it using a cheap caulking found at any hardware store. Do not use anything with silicone as the odor can get trapped between the flaps of the pet door.
- If you have a screen model pet door, make sure the screen material around the pet door is still nice and taut and the spline is firmly in the spline frame channels on both the pet door and your people door.
- If you have any of our window, panel, or storm window replacement models, in addition to caring for the pet door itself, take the time to clean the glass with any glass cleaner of your choice. Make sure all weatherstripping around the unit itself or on your window or door is in good condition and replace if needed.
- If you have one of our pet ramps, make sure to vacuum and spot clean the carpet regularly to keep it in the best possible condition.
Replace Your Flaps or Any Other Parts If Needed
As with all movable parts our flaps do eventually wear out and need replacing. The time frame for this can vary greatly depending on the size of your pet door, the installation location, the number and size of pets using the doors, the weather in your area, and many other factors. If cleaning and regular maintenance aren’t enough anymore and it is time to replace the flaps on your pet door here are some tips to make it easier.
- Measure carefully for the correct size. Flaps can shrink or expand over time. The best way to measure your pet door is to measure the metal frame at the outside edges. We call this the tip to tip measurement. Measure across the top of the frame from corner to corner and down one side from corner to corner. Use the chart on our website to find the size that corresponds to your tip to tip measurement.
- Make sure whether you need an interior or exterior flap especially on our single flap models. Although the flap sizes for both sides of the pet door are the same, the magnet and strikes locations are different depending on the side and the model of pet door. Use our handy graphic to determine which pet flap you need to order. Look under the “Additional Info” tab on any of our Replacement Flap Product Pages to determine which flap you need. You can also click on “more info” under the “Which Side” question when placing an order to see a chart listing which pet door flap is used for each model.
- We offer replacements for virtually all parts of your pet door: flaps, carpet, flashing, magnets, raincaps, stabilizer bars, covers, tunnels, and more. If you need to replace a part of your pet door, visit our website and see what parts work best for you. Please feel free to give us a call at 800-646-4773 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance in purchasing the correct parts.
Following these simple steps will help keep your Hale Pet Door looking its best and ensure its reliability for years to come.