Finding rust on your garage door can be highly upsetting, especially if it is only a couple of years old or you thought it was protected by a fresh coat of paint.
There are quite a few environmental reasons why rust may be marring your garage door, but there are a few other factors that can take a toll as well. Make sure you can protect your garage door by learning about the problems listed below:
The geographical location of your garage is a huge thing to consider. If you live in a coastal area, there is always salt in the air. If you live in an industrial area of your city or town, you may be contending with chemicals or other materials coming into contact with your door. If you leave in the north, there may be salt and de-icing materials splashing up onto your door.
You may be thinking these are rare or extreme circumstances, but there are actually a lot of real-life situations that these examples have been pulled from. In fact, our garage door specialists have encountered all of these situations and many more!
Even a relatively mild location can coat a garage door with pollen in the spring or summer months with trees like white or yellow birch trees being big offenders, the pollen can leave discoloration on the door that can appear to be rust.
Garage door paint
Garage doors require a very specific painting process to protect them from rust. First, there is the primer coat, and then a baked-on coat of paint is added. Steel doors are actually a steel-zinc alloy that makes it more resistant to rust. The thickness of the zinc coatings needed is actually specified by the North American Garage Door Manufacturers.
If you notice rusty, you also need to take into account whether the garage door you have was previously repainted by a specialized company or if it was a DIY job done by the last homeowner. Lastly, you need to understand that the protective finishing paint and the galvanizing of the steel are ineffective if the steel surface has been pierced or punctured in any way.
Think of your garage door as you would the components in your car. Damage and exposed raw metal are repaired immediately to prevent rust from setting in.
Don’t underestimate a good washing
Removing dust and grime from your garage door can go a long way towards keeping it in good repair. Every time you wash your car, you should give your garage door a good scrub to remove any of the dust or grime that has built-up on its surface. You should also keep an eye out for grease spots and oil stains. If you see these, it is most likely due to an over lubrication of the drive chain which is part of your garage door opener.
You can use the same soap used on your car, and if you don’t have a special carwash soap, dish detergent will do just fine. The degreasing agents in dish soap may actually help the cleaning process. DO NOT USE A PRESSURE WASHER! We cannot stress this enough, the paint on your garage door may peel off or start to wear if you use such a high-powered device to clean it. A simple garden hose is a much better choice.
Getting rid of rust spots
You may begin to see small little rust dots on the door’s surface, these are most commonly found on the lowest two sections of the door. Those living in wintery climates will be the most likely to find rust due to the combination of snow and street salt the doors are subjected to.
If you find these types of stains:
- Spray the area with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar.
- Wipe the area down with a clean, nonabrasive cloth.
If you are not satisfied with the results, you can get a bit more aggressive and create a paste out of baking soda and water. This can be spread upon the surface of the door and allowed to sit for about 30 minutes. Using the same style of soft cloth, you can wipe off the paste and rinse the area well. Some people even use bathroom cleaner that targets mildew to take off the rust spots.
Wash your door regularly, put it on the calendar
If you live in an area where air pollution is worse than elsewhere, make a note in your calendar to give your garage door a good washing at least twice a year. The best time is in the fall and at the beginning of spring. Make it easy and wash your garage door at the same time as you wash your car. And just like your car, if you want your garage door to maintain its shine, protect it with liquid wax.
These recommendations in the Garaga’s maintenance guide may take a little more time, but they will give you results to be proud of.
If you need a new door...
Those who live in North Central Mass and you’ve seen that your current garage door deserves to be retired after the multiple years of operation it gave you, then contact us now at 1-800-409-3667.