Choosing an aluminum or steel garage door can help you better protect your home. The hard metal will act as a buffer during storms, bearing the brunt of fallen branches or even ice or hail.
Aluminum and steel garage doors are also more resistant to water damage than wood garage doors. Wood will warp, split and rot over time from exposure to water, whether it’s from rain, snow, or exterior cleaning. Even slight water damage can cause the wood to discolor, making it look older and in disrepair.
Though aluminum and steel doors are not as vulnerable to water as wooden doors, they are not impervious. Water exposure can still cause aluminum and steel doors to rust. However, the damage will appear slowly over time, so you may not realize that there is a problem until it is too late.
Taking proactive measures is the best way to protect your garage door and make sure that you don’t find yourself spending hours upon hours trying to remove rust and fix damage. You’ll also save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs and potential garage door replacement.
Here are a few simple things you can do to keep rust off your garage door:
Keep It Clean
It’s not just water that can break down your garage door and cause it to rust. Dust, dirt and exhaust can form a thick grime on your door that can degrade the surface elements and create an opportunity for rust to proliferate. This layer of grime can also capture moisture, keeping it closer to the surface of the garage door and causing rust.
Simply keeping your garage door clean is one of the best things you can do to keep it safe from rust. When you are watering your lawn, turn the hose on the garage and spray it down to remove surface dust and dirt. Make sure it’s a sunny day when you do this so the water will dry quickly.
Every couple of months, get out a bucket of water and soap and scrub the surface clean. If you are consistent in your cleaning schedule, you won’t have to put a lot of elbow grease into it. Whatever grime has accumulated should be easy to remove.
Lubricate the Hardware
Lubrication can help keep the rust from forming on hardware like the rollers, brackets, hinges and more. The lubrication helps to remove dirt and grime, and it provides a protective barrier against water. Lubrication also conditions the surface of the parts, helping to repel corrosive elements.
Spray a 3-in-1 oil like WD40 on all the moving hardware on your garage door every couple of months or as needed.
Just as wax can protect your car from salt and other corrosive elements, it can also protect your aluminum or steel garage door.
After you clean your garage door, apply a quality car wax or another wax designed for metal surfaces to your door. Make sure the door is completely dry, and apply the wax according to the package instructions.
Apply the wax at least twice a year to provide a protective coating. If you live in a coastal area or live near industrial manufacturing, you may need to wax more frequently to protect against salt and smog.
Re-Paint and Re-Seal
Your aluminum or steel garage door doesn’t require the same frequency of painting or sealing that a wooden door does, but it still needs this basic maintenance to keep it safe from rust.
After you have cleaned the door, you should strip any peeling paint to prepare the surface. Then repaint the entire surface either with the same color or with a new color if you want a new look. Once the paint is dry, seal it with the appropriate product.
How frequently you need to re-paint or re-seal will depend on the condition of your garage door and the conditions where you live. In general, you should re-paint and re-seal your garage door once a year. However, you should inspect it from time to time to see if it needs this maintenance more frequently.
Having a fresh layer of paint and sealant will keep your garage door safe from rust and other corrosive elements.
Rust is an invasive substance that can destroy your garage door if left unaddressed. When rust forms, it can be difficult to remove. The best defense is a good offense. Use these tips to keep rust from forming on your garage door at all.