Popular for their durable qualities and stylish appearance, wooden garage doors are well worth the money. But it’s a good idea to carry out regular maintenance, as wood takes a beating when exposed to the summer sun and winter’s icy-cold, damp conditions. In this article, we share 6 top tips to help you maintain your garage door and keep it in the best possible condition.
The open and close operation
Timber garage doors can be operated manually or electrically. If electric, it’s a good idea to have the mechanism checked and serviced at least once a year. If you do the job yourself, check the automatic power unit, the clamps, springs, rollers etc.
Clean any dirt and debris from the moving parts, and make sure that the tracks on which the garage door moves up and down are properly lubricated. Test the sensory system every few months – to do this, place a small piece of timber under the door and automatically close. The sensor should pick up the obstruction and immediately cause the door to go into reverse. It’s a good idea to call in professionals to check the sensor system on an annual basis.
Keeping the wheels turning…
Another important part of keeping both your garage door and the automatic opening and closing mechanism safe is to make sure you lubricate all the moving parts. But don’t overdo it – a small amount of lubrication is fine sand won’t attract dust and dirt. It’s a good idea to lubricate every three or four months.
3. Keeping the doors clean
Regular cleaning of your garage door, inside and out, helps to stop dust and dirt from sticking to the wood. By doing this on a regular basis, you won’t have to repaint or re-stain them quite so often. It’s not a difficult job and only requires a few minutes of your time. Clean using mild soap or washing up liquid mixed with hot water. Then, with a soft cloth, wipe the door down to remove any grime and dirt. Remember to clean both sides of the door.
4. Repaint or re-stain
Most homeowners choose to stain rather than paint the garage door to highlight the grain of the material and emphasise its natural finish. A wood stain helps protect the wood, and allows you to change the colour of the stain whenever you wish. A tough, weather-resistant finish will keep the doors looking stylish and in good order for longer. The two most popular stains are the ‘film finish’ and the ‘penetrating finish’.
Clean the door with a sponge and soapy water, then rinse with a garden hose and let the door dry for at least three hours. Next you need to sand the door down with a medium-fine sandpaper, but first make sure you’ve disconnected the automatic opening and closing mechanism. Before applying the stain, clean the door with a dry lint-free cloth, then, using a brush, paint the stain on evenly.
How often you need to apply a stain depends on the vagaries of your area’s weather. You should probably repaint or re-stain your garage door every 3 or 4 years, but if you live in the north of the UK, where the climate is more severe, you’ll probably need to do this more often.
5. Check for damage caused by movement of the door
Over time, the opening and closing motion of your garage door can cause considerable wear and tear. This affects the door panels and the stain or paint finish, which can be difficult to repair. Check every six months or so whether this movement has resulted in any gaps or cracks appearing on the coating of the door as this can lead to more serious damage.
6. Don’t forget the interior of the door
It’s also important to check the interior side of the garage door. Wood is a hygroscopic material, which means it can swell in hot and humid conditions and tighten and reduce in size in cold and damp conditions.
If the inside of the door is not checked and sufficiently protected, it can cause noticeable damage to the exterior side. It’s a good idea to re-stain using a good quality stain, but this only needs to be done every 5 or 6 years, unless you notice any deterioration sooner.