Your steel garage door is your home’s main entrance, so caring for it is important for the safety, aesthetics and security of your investment. Your garage door should not be ignored until problems arise. However, if problems do start to appear then following these guidelines and what Industrial Door Company says can help you know when and how to regularly maintain its surface and functioning mechanisms.
Every garage door should have its springs, track and lift system oiled twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall. A synthetic motor oil is ideal for this task. The only areas that should be excluded from oiling are nylon rollers and extension springs.
Wash Your Door
If you live close to the seashore, wash your garage doors once every season to prevent rust and corrosion from the salt air. For all other environments, washing the doors twice a year is sufficient. Never use industrial-strength cleaners on your steel garage doors — they may ruin the finish. The ideal cleaning solution for paint on steel is a diluted combination of trisodium phosphate and water. Trisodium phosphate is an effective mildew remover, but a simple household cleaning detergent could also be substituted. Scrub the door lightly with a super-fine gray steel wool pad and rinse the door with water afterward.
Sand Away Rust Spots and Scratches
Rusting should be remedied immediately. A coat of paint will not adhere to a garage door with rust spots, so removal through sanding is necessary. First, complete a thorough washing of the entire door. Next, sand the rust spot and at least two inches around the area with medium-grit sandpaper. Using a wire brush, sweep away all traces of flakes and debris. If there are any scratches on the doors or areas where the paint has begun to bubble and chip off, sand down these areas as well. Once complete, re-wash the door following the same process.
Restore the Paint Finish
After your steel garage doors are grime- and rust-free, apply a protective primer to the previously rusted and sanded areas before painting. Give the primer enough time to dry before applying the first coat of paint. Before painting the entire door, test one corner with a paint sample. Steel is not a porous material, thereby making it more difficult for paint to adhere to the surface. After you paint a small section of the door and let it dry for at least a few hours, attempt to remove the paint with a piece of strong tape. If the paint does not stick to the door, refer to your garage door owner’s manual and ensure you purchased the correct type of paint. Generally, oil-based paint is not recommended, but a latex paint formulated for exterior use is acceptable. It is important to apply two complete coats of paint for maximum durability.
Contact Accent Garage Doors for specialized advice on your set of steel garage doors or tips on correct care and maintenance.