Garage door rust, Strategies for prevention and restoration, House car space door opening tips

Garage Door Rust: Strategies for Prevention and Restoration

5 Dec 2023

Garage Door Rust Strategies for Prevention and Restoration

Older steel garage doors have an unfortunate tendency to rust. The rust usually starts along the bottom of the door, where it is most likely to be exposed to rain, snow, and salt. Unfortunately, garage door rust is not just unsightly; if left untreated, it will eventually destroy the door.

How to Remove Rust from Garage Door

If you notice any signs of rusting on your garage door, it is vital to take action as soon as possible to stop it from spreading. Do not just paint over garage door rust; it will continue to spread unless the damaged area is removed. Follow these steps carefully:

  • Spray the rusted areas with vinegar. It will dissolve the rust and stop the reaction causing the rust.
  • Wash away the vinegar and then use steel wool to remove any remaining traces of rust.
  • Fill in any holes and dents with autobody filler or a similar compound designed for metal.
  • Sand the entire door with a fine grit to prepare it for painting.
  • Thoroughly clean the entire door.
  • Paint the door with an exterior weather-proof and rust-proof paint designed for metal. Follow the instructions on the paint container carefully. You may need to apply a layer of primer first, and it is important to check the weather forecast before painting. Most paints can only be applied within a certain temperature range, and paint should dry for several days before it encounters rain.

If the bottom panel of the door is badly affected but the rest of the door is not rusty, it may be possible to replace just the bottom panel. Consult a qualified garage door technician to discuss this possibility.

Garage Door Rust Prevention

An even better strategy is to act before rust forms. Rust on garage doors is most commonly caused by road salt coming into contact with the door. It can also be caused by salt and acids carried in rain and wind, especially in coastal areas. Therefore, regularly washing your garage door can help prevent rusting. Be careful when washing:

  • Do not use abrasive detergents or scrubbers.
  • Do not use a pressure washer.
  • Do not get the electronics wet.

It’s best to use cleaning agents and equipment designed for washing vehicles when washing a garage door. Make sure to regularly hose off the driveway strip where the garage door meets the ground and allow it to dry before closing the garage door.

Another option is to apply a layer of liquid car wax to the door to help protect it. Before you do this, check with the manufacturer of the door. Some garage door finishes are not compatible with waxes. If your garage door is fine with waxing, applying a wax layer once a year can significantly prolong the lifespan of the door.

High-Quality Door

If your garage door is over ten years old and is significantly rusted, it might be a good idea to replace it with a new door. Newer doors are far more rust-resistant than older models, and most quality doors installed by reputable professionals come with a ten- or 15-year warranty against rust.

Comments on this Garage Door Rust: Strategies for Prevention and Restoration article are welcome.

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