Aluminum garage doors are a popular choice because they are easy to maintain and last for many years. Though many may enjoy the rustic look of a wood door, wooden garage doors are prone to a number of problems, including cracking, fading, and rotting. Aluminum doors are protected against those problems, and they are more versatile in the types of styles and looks they offer.
Though aluminum garage doors are less prone to troubles than wooden doors, they still require ongoing and consistent maintenance to keep them in their best shape and looking great. Here’s what you need to do to care for your aluminum garage door and extend its life for many years:
Keep It Clean
Dirt, dust, pollen and other debris can accumulate over time and contribute to the corrosion of your aluminum garage door. The dirt and grime can create a thick layer on the door that can fade the paint or eat into the metal, creating rust or holes in the door.
The best way to keep your aluminum garage door protected is to keep it clean. Every month or so, get out the hose and a bucket of soapy water and wipe the whole thing down. When pollen is bad during the spring, you may need to hose the door down more often. When it’s snowing in the winter, you may also need to clean the door more frequently to keep it free of salts that you use to keep your driveway snow-free. The salt can accelerate the corrosion.
Keep It Oiled
Over time, the rollers, springs and other hardware can become harder to move. They may get clogged with dirt and debris, they may become rusted, or they may start to corrode. You can prevent this from happening and make your garage door easier to open and close by oiling it regularly. Oil the hinges, the tracks, the springs, the rollers and any other hardware on the door. This needs to get done at least every three months to keep the door moving smoothly and to prevent the formation of rust.
While you are oiling the hardware, you can check for any loose parts. Tighten up any screws or bolts that need it, and make sure all springs are tight. Replace any parts that need it instead of waiting for them to break.
Keep the Paint Fresh
One reason that aluminum garage doors are so popular is that they can easily be painted any color you choose, and a fresh coat of paint is usually all they need to look brand new. Over time, paint can fade, chip or crack, which can look unsightly and leave your door vulnerable to water damage like rust. Keeping the paint on your aluminum garage door fresh can help it to look its best and protect it from the elements.
You should repaint your aluminum garage door every three years on average, but you should do it sooner if you notice signs of trouble, like peeling paint. Take the time to scrub the door with a wire brush to remove any loose or flaking paint first. Apply a primer if necessary, or use a paint that has the primer blended in it. Apply two thin coats to get more even coverage and a harder cure. You’ll essentially create a shell that covers and protects your garage door from the elements.
Keep It Protected
A fresh coat of paint is just one way that you can keep your aluminum garage door protected against the elements, such as rain, salt and dirt. Weather stripping is another important protective element that you must maintain in order to keep your garage door in top condition.
If you are taking good care of your garage door, you should have an even space all the way around your garage door, and this gap can let water and other elements seep inside your garage. Weather stripping keeps out water and adds a layer of insulation to your garage. Weather stripping is typically made of rubber, and it can dry out over time, either cracking or crumbling and becoming less effective.
Check your weather stripping regularly for any signs of wear, and replace it as needed. You can easily replace the weather stripping yourself, and you can find an array of options at a local hardware store. You can even purchase the weather stripping in different colors to match your door. Pay special attention to the weather stripping located at the bottom of the garage door. Water and snow will accumulate there the most, so the weather stripping may age out more quickly. The weather stripping at the bottom of the door also plays a much bigger role in protecting your garage, so it is important that it is replaced at the earliest signs of a problem.
In general, an aluminum garage door is much simpler to maintain than other types of garage doors. It is less vulnerable to damage from rain or high temperatures, and it corrodes less quickly than wood. However, aluminum is not invincible. It is essential that you conduct regular maintenance on your aluminum garage door in order to prolong its life and keep it look great, helping to improve your home’s curb appeal. Follow these simple steps to keep your aluminum garage door in top condition and to protect your investment for many more years to come.