Washing away dirt and grime on your garage door will keep it looking pristine and help extend its lifespan. In fact, this garage door maintenance task should be done once or twice a year and involves these six simple steps.

1.Gather your supplies

You probably already have all or most of the cleaning supplies you need in your home. Here’s the full list:

  • Several soft, clean cloths and/or wash mitt
  • A few clean towels
  • A gentle soap
  • A large bucket for the soapy water
  • A broom
  • A silicone-based lubricant (for the weather stripping)

Dish soap and car wash soap are both good options. However, car wash soap may be more economical and easier to use. After all, dish soap is made to remove grease, and there’s little to no grease on your garage door exterior.

If you have stubborn stains that the soap doesn’t remove, use a mild detergent instead. Just be sure that it contains no more than 0.5% phosphate. Use a quarter cup of detergent per 5 litres of water.

If you have a steel, aluminum, or fibreglass garage door, you should add a silicone wax to the above list. Garage door manufacturers recommend that you wax these types of doors yearly. Wax adds a protective coating to the door’s finish that defends it against damage and fading. The most user-friendly and effective option is a liquid spray wax (a silicone car wax will do just fine). It’s easy to apply and will get into all the nooks and crannies.

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2. Brush and pre-rinse the door

Start by removing all dirt and debris from the surface using a soft-bristled broom or a microfiber mop. Afterwards, pre-rinse the entire surface using a hose. If you have a nozzle on your hose, make it easy on yourself by using a wide spray setting. Never use a pressure washer, as this could damage your garage door.

3. Apply the soap

Armed with your soapy water solution and your cloth or wash mitt, scrub the garage from top-to-bottom. Make sure you get the weather stripping, too. This is also a good time to check that your weather stripping isn’t cracked or worn.

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4. Rinse, dry, and wax

Using your garden hose, rinse down the door until all the soap has been removed. As you do this, look to see whether there are any spots you missed or that require an extra scrubbing.

If you’re waxing your garage door, you may need to dry your garage door first. Some waxes can be applied on a wet surface and others can’t—check the product’s instructions to be sure. To wipe down the garage door, use a clean, dry, soft cloth. When applying the wax, go from top to bottom: start at one of the top corners and work your way across the door, the move down to the next row and do the same.

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5. Lubricate the weather stripping

Weather stripping should be lubricated every two to three months, and there’s no better time to do this than after it has been scrubbed cleaned. Make sure you use a silicone-based lubricant, as a petroleum-based one will cause the weather stripping to dry up and crack.

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6. Clean the interior side of the door

It’s true that the interior side of the garage door doesn’t need to be cleaned as often as the exterior side—it isn’t on display and doesn’t have to contend with the elements. However, doing so periodically is important for the upkeep of your garage door.

Like you did with the exterior, first brush the interior surface to get rid of dirt, dust, debris, and cobwebs. Afterwards, scrub the surface with a gentle soap solution. Finally, use a clean, wet cloth to wipe away the suds, then a clean, dry cloth to dry the surface.

While you’re at it, ensure that the tracks are clean. A buildup of dirt and grime on the tracks will cause the rollers to stick. Note that the tracks should only be cleaned and not lubricated. If your garage door is sticking when opening and closing, it’s the rollers you’ll need to lubricate. To learn how to lubricate garage door rollers properly, read our article on this topic.

Identify New Problems Before They Get Worse

In fact, this is a good time to visually inspect the various components of your garage door for wear and damage, not only the tracks and rollers but also the torsion spring and the chain or belt. This way, if you spot any issues developing, you can resolve them before they become major problems.

You may be able to take care of minor issues yourself (for example, loose hardware), but larger issues should be left to a garage door technician (for example, any problems with the torsion spring). For more information about troubleshooting common garage door problems, consult this article.

Garage door maintenance and repair in Western Canada

If you spot any issues with your garage door while scrubbing it down, count on the team at Creative Door to swiftly resolve them. We have the tools, parts and expertise to repair any brand of garage door. Contact us today to schedule a repair call.

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