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How to protect your garage door

Your garage door protects the largest entry to your home. An overhead door is a major statement piece of the overall look of your home. It needs regular care to be safe and look great for years to come. If properly looked after, your door can last for 30 years and the motor can work for over a decade.

Here’s a list of some maintenance tips to keep your door looking and working great:

1. Protect the finish.
Prevent scratches to the panels’ surface for both aesthetic and practical reasons.

  • Paint: Prevent peeling paint by chipping away all lifted paint and sanding the door to prepare it for a repainting that will adhere well. Using a quality paint with superior coverage pays off. Exposed wood grain is vulnerable to water. Owners of wooden doors should plan on scraping and repainting every other year.
  • Wood stain: If the lacquer on wood wears too thin, water will seep in. Moisture can make the panels warp, rot, or mold. Prevent any water from penetrating the wood door’s finish if possible. Warping and moisture issues are much easier to prevent than reverse. Stains can fade in the sun’s UV rays, so a tint touch-up and fresh coat of lacquer keeps a wood-paneled garage door looking sharp!
  • Powder coating: Similarly, plastic on metal doors serve more than decorative purpose. Powder coating is thick and resistant to scratches but is vulnerable to industrial solvents and household chemicals including an ingredient in sunscreen lotion. Clean the surface gently and use only mild soap or cleansers specifically listed as safe.

2. Avoid damage to the panels.
Protect them from high-wind damage by selecting the proper grade of resistance for your region and surroundings. Instruct kids (or anyone playing outside) to avoid playing sports directly next to the door. This counts for soccer balls and hockey pucks directed up the driveway, too.

3. Take good care of the movable parts.
Use the track lubrication product recommended by the door’s care instructions. Tighten any loose hinges and make sure they are bending evenly. Look over the track for debris, loose hardware, or signs of warping. Tighten any loose pads or screws you discover. If you cannot lift the door yourself, the track is possibly warped.

4. Establish a simple maintenance routine.
Use a calendar or set electronic reminders to clean and maintain your door regularly. Schedule seasonal spot-checks and maintenance on your regular to-do list. Your reminder system doesn’t have to be fancy; it’s more important to find a system that works for you and stick with it.

5. Work with your vendor.
Establish a relationship with your garage door vendor and have peace of mind when you need service. If you see any damaged springs or problems outside the scope of regular maintenance, you need a professional garage door repair specialist. When you purchase your garage door, ask about warranty options. A good warranty will guard against any defects in the components of your door and a premium plan can relieve your future worries.

When properly maintained, you will get the most out of your investment. Devote a little time and effort into your garage door maintenance program and you will be rewarded.

There are proactive things you can do to preserve the integrity of your garage door, like painting and maintaining the exterior.
There are proactive things you can do to preserve the integrity of your garage door, like painting and maintaining the exterior.