Keeping a Wooden Garage Door in Top Condition


A wooden garage door is a beautiful addition to your home. It can create a classic and rustic look that improves the design of your home and help raise its value.

Unlike steel or composite garage doors, wooden garage doors are more susceptible to damage from the elements, such as fading from the sun and cracking and warping from exposure to rain and condensation. Taking proper care of your wooden door is essential for keeping it in top shape and protecting the value of your home. Without proper maintenance, your garage door could fall into disrepair and require total replacement, which can be very costly.

Keeping your wooden garage door in top shape isn’t hard. It just requires consistency. Here’s what you can do to make sure your wooden garage door is always looking its best and is in top working condition:

Paint Every Couple of Years

The finish on your wooden garage door is essential to both its appearance and its structural health. When paint starts to chip or peel, not only does it look bad, but it also creates an opening for dirt, water and mold, which can decay the door from the inside.

You can keep the paint healthy and intact by repainting your wooden garage door every few years. Make sure you inspect the door regularly to look for signs of chipping, cracking and peeling. When you see that, it’s time to repaint the door, even if you only did it last year.

Reseal Every Year

The weather sealer or vanish on your wooden garage door protects the paint and the door itself, helping to propel water and other decaying agents. It is important to apply new sealer to the door every year to make sure the door is fully protected. By keeping up with this step, you won’t have to sand down and completely refinish the door, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Regularly inspect the door for signs that the sealer is thinning or has eroded in sections. When you see these signs, it is time to reseal the door.

Caulk any Cracks or Gaps

Just like peeling paint, cracks and gaps in the door can lead to major structural problems as they can allow in dirt and water, which will rot the door over time. Regularly inspect for cracks or gaps then fill them with caulk or wood putty. Sand the area and reapply paint and sealer. You’ll make sure the door looks beautiful and protect its structural integrity.

Tend the Door Tracks and Runners

Dirt, grime, rust and other corrosion can cause the door tracks and runners to look dull, as well as to impair their performance. Clean these out regularly with steel wool or a stiff, wire brush. If the tracks and runners have become especially corroded due to lack of attention over time, you can use a pressure washer to get them clean.

After cleaning, dry the area completely so that water does not lead to rust. When the area is dry, lubricate the tracks and runners with WD-40 or a similar product. Do not use grease, as this can attract dirt and grime that will clog the tracks.

Door Chain

The chain on your garage door is essential for smooth operation of the door. Just like with the door tracks and runners, it is important to keep the chain lubricated so that it doesn’t get clogged up or jam. The door chain, tracks and runners should be lubricated at least yearly – more if necessary.

Inspect the chain for rust, as well, and either treat it with a rust remover or replace it as necessary.

Springs and Hinges

Springs and hinges are also critical to the operation of your wooden door. Check the springs to look for any that are broken or appear stretched. Replace them as necessary, and lubricate those that are still structurally sound. Make sure the hinges are clean and lubricated.

Clean all springs, hinges and other hardware with a steel brush and some mineral spirits or turpentine. Remove any dirt before lubricating them.

Tighten Hardware

When inspecting the hardware and cleaning it, make sure you also look for any signs of looseness. Tighten all screws, springs and bolts around the chain, hinges, tracks, runners and other parts. Loose hardware can not only make it harder to operate the door, but it can also let in dirt and other debris, which can cause corrosion.

Other Maintenance

In addition to all of the above, make sure you check your wooden garage door regularly for signs of problems. Look for bent or broken cantilever arms, rusted or broken parts, corrosion, and other signs of wear such as cracks. Keep the door and all the parts wiped down and clear of dust and debris. Perform these inspections every couple of months or so, then perform maintenance including oiling every year.

By performing regular maintenance on your wooden garage door, you can discover problems before they become larger issues that require expensive repairs or replacement. By dealing with issues when they are small and easy to manage, you save yourself a lot of time and money. Maintaining your wooden garage door can also ensure that it looks its best, helping to protect the value of your home.

Follow these simple tips for making sure your wooden garage door is always in top operating condition and always looks great.


About Neb Aleksic

Neb grew up in the garage door business. Since joining Doorcare he has moved up in the ranks, and now oversees a team, in addition to Doorcare's marketing efforts. He is passionate about what he does, and enjoys the small things in life.
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