Garage Door Maintenance Tips

Caring For Your Garage Door

Caring for and maintaining your new garage door starts with how it’s stored, handled, and finished prior to installation. While there is no such thing as a maintenance-free door, we’re focused on providing products that are as low-maintenance as possible.

Routine garage door maintenance:

  • Can prevent damage caused by foreign matter (rusting, salt, spray, etc.)
  • May restore the look of factory-applied finishes by removing dirt and chalking
  • Allows you to assess when the topcoat will need to be reapplied (if applicable)

The accordion menu below will provide you with the maintenance knowledge you need to keep your garage door looking like new for years to come.

Before Installation

Unfinished or primed-only wood doors must be finished prior to installation in order to maintain their warranty. This involves finishing both the front and back surfaces of each section and all four edges before installing hardware and placing each section in the track. The final finish of a wood door seals out moisture and protects the surfaces to ensure a longer lifespan.

Cleaning Your Garage Door

Here are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning your garage door:

  • Use a mild detergent, such as dishwashing liquid or biodegradable cleaner.
  • Use a soft cloth or bristle brush.
  • Work from the bottom section to the top section.
  • Clean behind the door stop/weatherstripping on both the sides and top of your door.
  • Rinse the door with a garden hose or low-pressure sprayer.
  • Never use a pressure washer, which can damage the surface and finish of your door.
  • Never use scouring powders, solvents, or bleach.
Door & Finish Inspection

Exposure to the elements causes the stain, faux stain, or paint on your garage door to degrade over time. This is especially true for doors that face south or west, as they receive the most intense sunshine. The tips below will help you keep your door looking like new:

  • Look for fading, cracking, peeling, blistering, and any kind of debris buildup.
  • Look for dings, dents, scratches, or gouges that cut through the surface and allow moisture penetration.
  • Touch the door to determine if there are any “dry” areas that are missing a finish or have lost their original sheen.
Hardware & Track Maintenance

It’s important to regularly lubricate your garage door opening hardware to reduce wear and friction. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you perform hardware and track maintenance:

  • Lubricate all moving parts using a lightweight household oil. This includes locking hardware, steel rollers and roller stems, torsion springs and tubes, lift cables, and hinge pivot points.
  • Never use grease on your garage door track, as it can stop the rollers and make the opener work harder.
  • Inspect and clean the door track to ensure smooth and efficient operation.
  • With the door closed, inspect all hinges, struts, handles, locks, and brackets for loose fasteners.
Garage Door Opening Maintenance

Keeping inclement weather out of your garage starts with regular inspections of jambs and weatherstripping. Be sure to take care of the following items:

  • With the door open, inspect the top and side weatherstripping for rips and tears.
  • Examine the astragal weatherstripping on the bottom of your door for rips and tears.
  • Check all weatherstripping for flexibility.
  • Close the door and look for gaps in weatherstripping around its perimeter.
  • Replace weatherstripping that has deteriorated enough to warrant it.
Maintaining Your Garage Door Finish

Taking good care of your garage door finish depends largely on the unique option you selected. Here are a few details to keep in mind:

  • Paint
    • Use touch-up paint to cover small dings and dents before they grow larger.
    • Apply a coat of Turtle Wax® to provide a protective coating and add sheen.
    • If you notice significant peeling, sand the door and repaint it with high-quality, exterior-grade latex paint.
  • Faux Stain Paint
    • Apply a coat of Minwax® Helmsman spar polyurethane to restore sheen and maintain your door’s faux stain finish.
  • Stain
    • Lightly sand small dings, dents, and scratches before blending touch-up stain into the surrounding areas. Then, apply our maintenance topcoat over the entire door.
    • In general, if the entire door finish has lost its sheen, we recommend applying our maintenance topcoat.
    • You may need to completely sand the entire door and reapply a new stain and topcoat for large areas of weather damage.
Sun & Weather

Sun exposure, extreme temperatures, and inclement weather significantly impact garage door maintenance. Be sure to take the following factors into consideration:

  • Sun exposure
    • Know which direction your garage doors face and how much sun they receive on a daily basis.
    • Significant sun exposure causes paint colors to fade and topcoats to degrade over time, leading to expansion and contraction that can create cracks, splits, and bows in certain materials.
    • South- and west-facing doors experience the greatest sun exposure, which accelerates deterioration.
    • The darker your door finish, the higher the daytime temperature of the door surface.
    • Extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the day and night significantly speed up degradation.
  • Weather extremes
    • Know the prevailing wind direction, since wind can drive dirt, debris, and rain onto your door’s finished surface.
    • This can wear off any protective layers, allowing dings, dents, and scratches that facilitate water absorption and significant deterioration.
    • Keep in mind that coastal locations increase the impact of normal degradation over time, as salt is extremely corrosive to most surfaces.

Get More Information

Want to learn more about purchasing an Artisan garage door? Let us connect you with a local dealer who can guide you through the design and ordering process.