It can be difficult to find time to clean your garage door and maintain your home. Keeping your garage door looking great, however, is important for a number of reasons. Proper cleaning not only makes the surface of the door look good but it can prevent more serious structural issues from occurring. Additionally, curb appeal, warranty, and other things that you may not even consider can also provide tremendous benefits. Here are some things you can do to keep your garage door in the best shape possible.
What You’ll Need to Give It a Thorough Wash
Over time, your garage door will collect dirt, dust, and other debris. Giving it a proper wash with the right cleaning supplies is crucial for best results. Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done the right way.
Even for an excellent clean, fancy soaps aren’t necessary. In fact, dishwasher soap or another mild detergent is usually perfect for the job. Once you get your hands on the soap, combine one cup of it with two gallons of warm water in a bucket for an ideal solution.
Non-Abrasive Sponges and Cloths
Your garage door can be sensitive to abrasive tools, so it’s imperative that you use a more gentle cleaning utensil like a soft sponge or bath cloth. You want to avoid accidentally scratching or damaging the door at all costs. You’ll also need some dry cloths to dry the door with after the cleaning process.
Finally, you’ll need a step ladder so you can reach the highest parts of the door. Being at that height will also help you thoroughly inspect the job you’ve done before drying.
Once your supplies are in order, you’re ready to get to work. Although the scrubbing process is fairly self-explanatory, there are some things you should keep in mind to do the best job possible.
First, since you’re using a non-abrasive cleaning utensil, don’t be afraid to scrub the surface hard. If this is the first time you’re cleaning your garage door in several years, there’s probably a good amount of grime stuck on it. It’s worth taking some extra time and doing a good job.
You might encounter a spot with dirt that’s extremely caked on the door. When some extra elbow grease can’t get the job done, you can resort to a bleach and water mixture instead. For the optimal solution, mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water. Bleach solutions should be used sparingly and carefully, as overdoing it can cause damage to the garage.
The weatherstripping and trim around the door are important to touch upon, too. In order for the door to look and function at its best, clean weatherstripping and trim are vital. Additionally, both the interior and exterior of the door should be scrubbed for the best results.
If you have a wood garage door, a thorough cleaning may result in minor erosions in your finish. If this happens, it may be necessary to give it a fresh coat of paint or stain to your existing finish or even refinish the door completely.
Things to Strictly Avoid While Washing Your Garage Door
You may be tempted to experiment with different methods of washing your garage door that is more convenient and take less time. While it’s great to think creatively, here are some practices that should be avoided.
Don’t Mix a Cleaning Solution With Bleach
As stated previously, bleach should be used solely for the toughest stains. When bleach mixes with your cleaning solution, either in the bucket or on the door itself, it can ruin the effectiveness of the solution and even diminish your door’s quality. The cleaning solution should be wiped off before bleach is applied. Furthermore, mixing bleach with other chemicals can be unsafe.
Pressure Washers Should Never Be Used
Even though grime could be stuck to the door, using a pressure washer to apply more power should never be considered. The integrity of your door should be of the utmost importance, and the process of washing it should never pose any risk of harming it. It is safe to use a hose with relatively gentle water pressure to wash off your garage door.
Don’t Call it a Day Until You’re Satisfied With the Result
When the cleaning process is complete, you should be happy with what you see. Making sure all parts of the garage door are clean, especially the bottom, is worth the necessary time. Also, take the time to use cloths to dry off the door to prevent water spots.
Waxing Your Garage Door
If your garage door is made of steel, it’s necessary to wax it as the last step in the cleaning process. A layer of wax to finish it off won’t only prevent wear and tear but will promote resistance to dirt and grime. If you live in an area that frequently experiences harsh weather, this is particularly important. You should aim to wax your steel garage door twice a year. It’s best to wax immediately after cleaning.
Only liquid waxes should be used on your door. A typical automotive wax is usually sufficient, and paste wax should never be applied. If you’re not sure how to properly apply wax, it’s worth doing some research before attempting to apply wax.
Restoring an Oxidized Garage Door
Oxidation of your garage door, which can make it rust, is caused by the build-up of dirt, salt, and moisture. Here’s how you can restore your door if oxidation has seized control.
Start by washing and drying the door by using the process described above. Dealing with oxidized parts of the door can only work when the door is free of grime and completely dried off.
Next, pour white vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the rusted areas and use steel wool to scrub the area. Since steel wool is a somewhat abrasive cleaning utensil, be extra careful while scrubbing, making sure to only remove the rust without damaging the door.
You’ll now want to roughen the entire door with medium-grit sandpaper. This will prepare the door for a coat of primer.
Once the entire door is thoroughly sanded, paint it with a coat of primer that contains zinc chromate. This will help stop oxidation from happening in the future. A paint roller works well for flat parts of the door, but a paintbrush may be needed as well.
Finally, to ensure your door’s protection from future oxidation, you’ll want to apply a coat or two of rust-resistant paint. This will also help to hide the primer.
When your garage door needs cleaning, you can count on us at Garage Door Doctor to offer top-notch service in Indianapolis, IN, and the surrounding areas. We also offer garage door repair, garage door spring repair and replacement, and commercial garage door services. As members of the International Door Association, we offer 24/7 emergency services for whatever issues you may be dealing with. Being upfront with our customers about every aspect of what we do is at the heart of who we are. Give us a call today and we’ll give your garage door the makeover it’s been needing.