A light patina of rust can add plenty of rustic appeal to an old barn or an antique car. However, that might not be the aesthetic you want for your garage door. Whether it's installed on a home or a business, a clean, rust-free garage door is important for maintaining good curb appeal. Rust spots can make an otherwise well-kept building look older and unattractive.
Minor rust buildup can also affect how your garage door operates, leading to constant jamming and lots of noise as it opens and closes. Rust can even affect your door's structural integrity, making it more vulnerable to serious and expensive damage. Here are a few tips you can use to keep your garage door rustfree.
Keep Your Garage Door Clean
A dirty garage door can be a magnet for grime and salt buildup, especially in areas where salts are constantly used for road or driveway de-icing. These highly corrosive salts can quickly do a number on your garage door if left unchecked. Washing your garage door on a regular basis helps remove grime and salts, keeping your door free of contaminants that could lead to rust buildup later on.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while cleaning your garage door:
- Avoid abrasive detergents. Harsh or abrasive detergents can strip away your garage door's finish, leaving it more susceptible to rust buildup. Stick with mild detergents when washing your garage door.
- Take care when pressure washing garage doors. Too much pressure can strip paint finishes and even damage door panels.
- Avoid electrical and mechanical components. Be careful not to get your garage door opener, photo-eye sensor or push button controls wet while washing your garage door.
Don't forget to clean the weatherstripping along the bottom of the door, preferably after you've cleaned the rest of the garage door. Grime and salts can collect along the weatherstripping.
Use Wax to Create a Protective Barrier
Just as a coat of high-quality wax can protect your car's paint finish, it can also keep salt-laden moisture away from your garage door's finish. Wax provides a protective barrier that prevents salt and other corrosive elements from coming into direct contact with your garage door. Wax is also effective at repelling grime buildup, making it easier to keep your garage door clean.
Choosing the proper wax is important for maintaining your garage door's good looks. Using liquid car wax will prevent the chalky residue that appears when using solid waxes. Don't forget that some garage door materials and finishes, including anodized aluminum, aren't compatible with most waxes.
For the best results, apply a high-quality liquid car wax to your garage door once a year.
Lubricate Garage Door Hardware
Lubrication is also crucial for preventing rust buildup, especially on components that see heavy amounts of wear and tear. These include hinges, springs and other hardware that regularly experience metal-on-metal contact.
Like wax, garage door lubricants provide a protective film that repels moisture and other potentially corrosive elements. That same protective film also minimizes friction, allowing moving parts to last longer with less wear. A lack of lubrication not only makes your garage door noisier and harder to open, but it can also invite serious rust buildup.
Most experts recommend lubricating your garage door hardware on a yearly basis. You may need to lubricate your garage door more frequently if severe weather conditions cause problems for your garage door lubricant.
Whenever you need exceptional garage door service, you can count on the seasoned professionals at Zumwalt Corporation to help. Following the above tips and advice can help you keep your garage door looking like new for years to come.