Wood is one of the most attractive materials for garage doors and a popular one at that, but with the amazing aesthetics of a wooden door comes a weakness that requires a great deal of upkeep. If you’ve chosen to install a wooden garage door, or the home you purchased came with a wooden garage door, you were just assigned some chores to complete to make sure your door continuously looks fresh. We recommend picking a day during each season to complete this to-do list:
Check for rot: Rot is wood’s worst enemy. When it comes to a wooden garage door, bacteria and fungus are known to eat away at your door, often at the spots that remain moist the longest. Always be sure to check the bottom of your door, as well as the door’s trim work, by prodding the areas with a long-handled screwdriver. If your screwdriver goes through the surface, it’s time to call a professional before you begin any more maintenance.
Look for pests: While you’re poking and prodding your wooden garage door, keep an eye out for pests. Termites love deteriorating wood, as do other wood-consuming insects like beetles, slugs, and snails. If you see anything live alongside wood rot, take time to get a good look and ID the pests before treating your door.
Remove peeling and chipped finishes: Finishes are known to peel or crack if they weren’t properly applied to their surfaces. If you inherited a painted door, make sure you hit it hard with a paint scraper to remove any loose paint chips. Bits of uneven wood should be smoothed out before you paint your door for the next year: fill any holes with wood putty and allow them to dry before grabbing the paint roller.
Apply a new coat of finish: Whether your wooden garage door is painted, stained, or simply water sealed, it’s going to need a new coat of finish to keep it looking its best. After repairing damaged wood and preparing your surfaces thoroughly, apply a new coat of your choice according to package directions and allow it to dry completely. If your door has windows, be sure to tape them up to simplify the cleanup process.
Check the hardware: Once your door is refinished and completely dry, roll it up and down and listen for any harsh sounds. Scraping and screeching aren’t normal noises for a garage door to make and they indicate you should call a professional as something isn’t working properly. Along with tightening all screws and connection points, be sure to check the rollers for wear and lubricate the springs with a lightweight grease.
Examine the seals: Shut your door to see if you can view light shining between the seals and the door from inside the garage. If you can, your seals are worn out, undersized, or both. Remove the seals and take them with you to your favorite hardware store to find a suitable replacement that will protect your garage from water damage and extreme temperature fluctuations. Doors without bottom weather seals should have them added.
Garage doors take up the most visual real estate of any element of your home, so keeping your garage door in top shape will pay dividends in curb appeal for your whole house. Most wooden garage door maintenance can be easily tackled by a homeowner, but if you feel the least bit nervous about any of these steps, call us here at ASSA ABLOY of Western Canada. We have been installing and repairing garage doors in this area since 1967… there’s nothing we don’t know about garage doors!