What You Need to Know About Garage Doors & Rust

One of the many reasons garage doors don't last as long as they should is because of rust. Rust can cause the doors, tracks and bolts to deteriorate. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent rust from ruining your door. Here are a few of those tips.

Sand and Paint the Garage Door Should Rust Appear

The majority of garage doors are made from aluminum. While the aluminum is painted and sealed to deter rust, the door can still rust. This is more likely to occur if there is a scratch or if the door is older. If you notice that your garage door is getting rusty, you should sand the rust spots and paint the door.

When you sand the rust off of your door, you are removing all of the rust and smoothing away the scratch or imperfection left behind by the rust. You should only sand by hand as needed to remove rust spots. Once the rust has been sanded away, use warm water and liquid dish soap to clean the garage thoroughly. This removes dirt, dust and other debris that could cause the paint to bubble or look uneven. Once clean and dry, you can repaint your door and seal it. When selecting a paint, select an outdoor, all-weather paint to help prevent rust problems in the future.

Replace Bolts When They Get Rusty

When metal is exposed to dampness, it can begin to rust or corrode. And unfortunately, the metal bolts holding your garage door in place are not immune from this problem. If you notice bolts getting rusty, it is best you replace them immediately. There are two primary reasons for this.

When bolts get rusty, the rust can slowly eat away at the bolt and weaken the integrity of the bolt. This means it may be able to hold or support less weight than it otherwise should, if left in place for an extended period of time. Bolts primarily hold the tracks in place, which holds the door in place. If the bolts are weak, the tracks can pull away from the walls and ceiling. The worst case scenario is your entire track system collapses, including the door. Replacing rusty bolts helps ensure this won't happen.

The second reason you want to replace rusty bolts when you notice them is because rust will spread from one metal item to another. Since the bolts are attached to the track, the rust can spread from your bolts to the garage door track. Unfortunately, it is much more laborious and costly to replace the track than a bolt. Replacing rusted and corroded bolts timely can help ensure you don't endure this added expense.

Oil & Clean the Tracks to Prevent Rust

The last thing you need to know about rust and garage doors is that you should clean your garage door tracks and oil them regularly to prevent rust. Most experts recommend doing this at least once a year. Use a water-dampened soft cloth and wipe down the tracks. This removes debris such as dirt and dust. It can also remove small amounts of rust that are just beginning to form. Once the track is clean, dry the track completely. From there, using a garage door track lubricator to oil the track. Properly cleaning and lubricating the track helps your garage door open smoothly, while also minimizing the chances of rust forming on it.

Rust can take years off the lifespan of your garage door. Tending to rust when it appears helps prevent it from spreading and eating away at your metal. If rust had already taken over and your door or tracks are in poor condition, try these guys out if you need to replace the tracks and door panels as needed.