You have to maintain a wood garage door to keep your investment safe and your curb appeal sharp. While no material is completely weatherproof, wood needs constant care and attention. Being aware of your wood garage door’s needs will keep you ahead of the maintenance curve and reduce surprise repair costs.
Check for Blemishes on the Finish
The main threat to a wood garage door is water. A crack in the finish can allow moisture to penetrate, causing the surface to peel, eventually ruining the wood. Ensure that you regularly inspect the wood grain, looking for signs of flaking or blemishes. Another hazard is everyday use, as the constant up-and-down movement can crack the wood’s finish or paint. As soon as you notice a fracture, a new finish should be applied to protect the door.
Re-Apply Stain Regularly
Based on the door manufacturer’s instructions, make sure you either re-paint or re-stain your door on a regular basis. Be sure that the door is thoroughly clean before you pick up a paintbrush, but do not use a pressure washer. A high-pressure spray might do more harm than good. For lingering old paint, scrub lightly with water to remove. Any damage to the surface can then be repaired with caulk or wood filler. Once the door is completely dry and prepped, you can start applying the first coat.
Pay Attention to Interior Side
Don’t focus so much of your attention outside that you forget the inside, though. Although it doesn’t withstand sun, snow or rain, the inside still requires regular maintenance. Make sure it has the same weatherproof stain as the outside. If it’s unfinished, it can create problems on the exterior side.
What Kind of Finish is Best?
Painting with a bright color can add character to your home, but it will require more upkeep. Any paint will chip, while an oil stain will stick with your door much longer. Paint is a surface finish, while oil-based stains seep into the wood, providing greater protection. Wood garage doors allow flexibility in your stain choices and color options. Be sure to choose a finish that complements the color scheme of your home.
Consider Purchasing a Composite Wood-Inlay Door
You might not want to sacrifice the appeal of wood, but might be hesitant to take on the responsibilities of wood garage door upkeep. Wood garage doors offer more character than steel, but a middle ground that might satisfy your desires and relieve your concerns is a steel garage door fronted with a composite wood inlay. This option provides all the glorious attraction of wood without the same level of required care.
Contact Accent Garage Doors if you need garage door repair or replacement, or for more information on how to maintain a wood garage door.