Stained steel Door .. HELP

This is a letter from a client any thoughts . Thanks Roy.

We purchased (for us) a very expensive front door from F M Industries.It is only 2 years old. It is a steel door with a wood grain look and a beautiful cut glass insert. It cost nearly $3000. This summer we started to notice a black stain creeping up from the bottom. It has now spread to over a foot up the door. We had FM Ind. come and they took a picture of it and were supposed to be conferring with their head office about it. They are trying to tell us that it is something that we did to the door that made it like it is. We are two retired people, no children at home and are extremely careful of this door. There is just no way that we harmed it. The salesman suggested that we put a brass plate on it, however, since the stain is steadily creeping upward, the brass plate would just look wrong. Do you have any suggestions as to what this might be . There is supposed to be a life long guarantee with the door but they are trying to get out of doing anything for us. What do you think? Thank you again . XXXX XXXXX
Roy Cooke .

Was this wood grain finish factory applied or was it done by the home owner or contractor?

To many factors not provided here to hazard a guess. Such as: Location, Weather exposure, overhang, etc.

They need to reestablish contact with the supplier for certain.


If you can ask these people… What does the warranty state? They did get a warranty of some kind, I hope?

This may help

I was already there. Very little useful information as far as I’m concerned. IMO


Yes, and in particular I noted there was no info on warranties any where on their site. Bummer.

Also Roy…, are you sure its stainless steel? Stainless steel is pretty resistant stuff to staining. Maybe its inferior stainless steel?

I wonder if this is a surface stain or an underlying problem (i.e. within/beneath the primer coat, woodgrain base material and/or urethane coat). You might want to ask the customer if they can “feel” the stain on the surface, or if it’s simply discoloration with no different feel (i.e. to the touch) than the rest of the door.

The fact that your customer talks about it “steadlily creeping upward” (along with the manufacturer not being able - or willing - to give a straight answer) is definitely not a good sign, especially for a door that’s only two years old. Be that as it may, isn’t a “lifetime guarantee” supposed to be just that - for a lifetime?

Then again, I’ll bet the weasels at FM included some fine print in their “guarantee” that excludes staining. :-x

Any chance of posting a pic of the stain here on the forum, Roy?


Tell them to file a complaint with the BBB, it should get the wheel turning…

Is the stain only on the outside, only on the inside, or both?

Hi. Roy;
I tried to give you as many resource as I could find, and I think that a few of these might help or guide you in the right direction. Ironically, I have never heard of or stumbled across any metal door Manufacturer that would warranty a metal door for life. Personally, I don’t think it exists.
Some of the links might help you deal with that also.

Hope this helps a little and good luck. If I find anything else I will post it for you.

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Sounds like the weather strip at the bottom of the door has torn or been compromised in someway as to allow water to absorb into the door. Does this door see alot of water of the roof during rain storms? do they have gutters. I’ve seen this happen to steel doors on top, everyone finishes the door but don’t open the top and seal where the wood is sandwiched between the inside and outside.

Thanks all For the information and thoughts .
I am waiting till I hear back for the lady .
This was an email from my Radio Program today.
Went well had 21 people phone in with questions and there was 8 emails waiting for me when I got home .
Feed back from the callers was great and the emails were also positive got 7 more for my Hints flyer .
Had a client say the two best shows on the call in is the Auto mechanic.
He is good and the other is that Home Inspector Show (I think he meant ME?)
I gave my usuall NACHI push and how much they are doing for the industry and their Home inspectors .
Unfortunatly the tape ran out before the show ended so No copy of that.
Roy Cooke …

Salt or a de-icer used on the porch. Doug

In Canada ? No way :smiley:

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