How to Prevent Garage Door Rust
Over the past couple of years, the State of Texas has seen an increased amount of cold spells and snowstorms. February of 2021 brought one of the coldest February that the state has seen in four decades, leading to power outages and people being snowed into their homes.
While the warmer temperatures of spring and summer have warmed up our beloved Lone Star State, many homeowners are starting to notice a recurring issue with their garage doors: rust. A little rust will not affect the operation of your residential garage door but it can lower the visual appeal of your home and property. There is a way to fix this issue.
The trusted garage door experts at Action Garage Door Repair Specialists have created this guide to help homeowners understand what rust is, what causes it, and what actions they can take to prevent rust.
What Is Rust?
Rust is the common name for iron oxide. Iron oxide is created from the combination of iron, water, and oxygen. Corrosion occurs when water combines with carbon dioxide in the air, which forms a weak carbonic acid. This acid forms and dissolves the iron on your garage door, causing the water to break down into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is dissolved into the iron bond, leaving the dark orange-red color we know as rust.
What Causes Rust to Form on a Garage Door?
As mentioned above, iron, water, and oxygen are the three main components of rust. However, other elements increase the rate at which rust builds up on your garage door. These elements are as follows:
Water is the main component of rust. When there is a snowstorm in Texas, it increases the chances of corrosion occurring on your garage door due to the added moisture. On top of that, chemical compounds in salt water and ice melt, which most homeowners use to help keep their driveway clear, make corrosion occur at a much faster rate. Once the spring comes and washes away the cold, the moisture and humidity increase the rate at which the rust forms.
A Dirty Garage Door
Dirt is not only unattractive, but it also puts your garage door in jeopardy. Dirt traps the oxygen and water that the iron needs to turn into rust. Any soil that gets kicked up into your garage door also contains the right pH levels and chloride that contribute to the acceleration of the rust forming.
It is extremely important to keep your garage door clean, especially around its joints and tracks, to help prevent the formation and spreading of corrosion.
The Materials Your Garage Door Is Made Of
The material your garage door is made of can also determine whether it’s more prone to rust. Iron, the key component of iron oxide, can be found in common garage door materials such as steel and aluminum. If your garage door’s iron material is thin, it will rust a lot faster than a thicker piece. Always ask your garage door specialist about which material is best for your home and situation.
How to Prevent Rust On Your Garage Door
Understanding what causes rust on your garage door is half the battle. With this understanding, you can now perform the following steps with more confidence to keep rust at bay:
Keep Salt and Water Away From Your Garage Door
While it is impossible to prevent rain or snow, there are some ways that homeowners can mitigate weather damage. Always shovel snow away from your garage door and clear away any salt once the snow and ice have melted. Be sure any rainwater and snowmelt are directed and drained away from your home and garage door.
Keep Your Garage Door Clean
Clean your garage door at least twice a year during the spring and fall months. This helps prepare your garage door for the rainy or wintery weather ahead and reinforces it to better prevent rust.
To clean your garage door, start at the top panel, using a soft-bristled brush in a bucket of warm water with mild soap. Make small, gentle circles to lift and remove grime and dust. Always work one panel at a time from top to bottom in sections. Once you are done, apply a coat of car wax to the metal. This will serve as a barrier between your car door and the salt, rainwater, and dust.
Make Sure Garage Door Joints Are Properly Oiled
Dirt easily accumulates in the garage door’s tracks, rollers, and springs. Using a silicone-based lubricant, you can protect these essential parts by making them more moisture-resistant while also allowing them to operate more smoothly.
Action Garage Door Important Note: It is extremely dangerous to come in contact with your garage door springs. If you are looking to lubricate these sensitive parts of your garage door, it is worth calling out a garage door repair specialist to help you with this essential maintenance task. While they are at it, they will perform a thorough inspection and tune-up of your garage door, ensuring that it continues to perform its best.
Make Sure You Use a High-Quality Garage Door
Your garage door is an important investment for your home and while there are tons of “affordable” options on the market, these options may not always be made of the best materials. You will want to consider investing in a high-quality garage door that is resistant to corrosion such as the following:
- Stainless steel
- Aluminum with insulated steel
- Galvanized steel
Need a Professional to Help You Remove Rust or Install a New Garage Door?
The best way to protect your garage door from rusting is to get it properly maintained twice a year. Our garage door repair specialists proudly offer garage door maintenance services to ensure that your garage door is operating at its highest capacity. On top of maintenance, we also offer unparalleled garage door replacement or new garage door installation services. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with our specialists, contact our team today!
Garage Door Care FAQs
Can I Use a Pressure Washer to Clean My Garage Door?
No. A pressure washer is too strong for your garage door and can result in the paint getting stripped. This is especially true if your garage door is older. To clean your garage door, use a garden hose and dish soap.
Do I Need to Replace My Garage Door If It Has Rust?
Not necessarily. If a little rust is the only issue your garage door has, this should be an easy enough fix. However, if your garage door is heavily rusted and also showing signs of damage such as dents, holes, or disintegrating edges, it may be time to consider a replacement.