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Maintaining the Look of Your Garage Door

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A garage door is not only an important functional part of your home; it’s also an important aesthetic element. Depending on the layout of your home and size of your garage, a garage door can take up a significant portion of your home’s exterior. As a result, it’s one of the first things people see when looking at your house, so it’s important to keep it looking good.

Routine Maintenance

A garage door is much like the siding of your home. It’s exposed to the elements so the finish and paint can wear off. However, unlike siding, your garage door also moves. This is especially true if you have a roll-up or sectional garage door. As the parts move and fold, the paint can chip, scratch, and wear away. This is a result of both the contact between the folding panels, as well as the stress placed on the panels over time, which can cause them to flex and bend. Once cracks develop in the material, moisture can seep in, and more damage can occur.

To add to your garage door’s life, make sure to clean it on a regular basis. Every three to four months, use a soft brush and some mild detergent to get rid of dirt and corrosive elements. Be careful not to use any abrasive chemicals that can damage the paint. You can also use power washing on most doors, but preferably not on softer woods.

Protecting Your Garage Door

Garage doors can come in a variety of materials, each susceptible to its own form of damage. While wood is easily damaged by moisture, a steel door can rust, and fiberglass doors can fade, peel or become brittle. As a result, you’ll want to inspect your garage door every year; and if you find rust or something wrong with your garage door, you’ll want to contact a garage door contractor. If all your garage door needs is a new coat of paint, you can hire an experienced painter.

For wood garage doors, moisture is the biggest threat. It can enter the wood and lead to rotting or warping. According to Miami, Florida garage door contractors, not only does this occur when it rains, but humidity and temperature changes can also affect the integrity of wood.

To protect against moisture damage, you’ll want a garage door contractor to apply a weather-resistant finish to your door. There are two basic kinds of finishes: film finishes and penetrating finishes. Film finishes, like paint or varnish, can crack under stress easier; while penetrating finishes, like stains and oil, are more flexible. Therefore, a penetrating finish is recommended for garage doors.

It’s important to protect the garage door from within as well. Because the door moves, moisture can seep in from the back and cause damage there. However, since it does not get direct exposure to the elements, it does not need to be maintained as frequently.

Aside from applying finishes, there are many protective coatings available as well, made specifically to protect garage doors against fading, corrosion, oxidation and rust. They are applied like paint but are clear, so the paint beneath still shows. Discuss your coating options with a professional garage door expert, as there are different coatings for different types of garage doors.

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