Each season comes with a new layer of dirt and buildup on many garage doors. Rain and snow help to make your garage doors look clean, but many homeowners fail to realize the state of their garage doors. Garage doors take the brunt of effects from the weather, such as wind and rain. This doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be done to stop the effects of time and weather on your garage door. If your garage door is cared for properly, it should last 20 years, if not longer, through proper maintenance. 

On a weekend when you have time, dedicate an hour or two to clean your garage door. The type of garage door you have will dictate what kind of cleaning is best for your garage door. 

What Type of Garage Door Do You Have?

slate garage door

Before you start cleaning your garage door, you need to find out what type of material your garage door is made out of. Wood, steel, aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass garage doors each have their own cleaning requirements and weathering that affect your garage door over time. Garage doors tend to have a sticker on your door’s top panel with a model number that clues you into what type you have. Look up the model number on Google to see what door you have to accurately clean your garage door. 

Wood: Wooden garage doors require some of the most maintenance out of any other garage. Rot or warping can occur if they are not taken care of regularly. If your wooden garage door shows signs of chipping or a finish that is worn down, the door should be sanded down, repainted, re-stained, and sealed. 

Steel: Steel garage doors are prone to rust and dents, but you should not run into these issues with proper maintenance. Clean your garage door twice a year to ensure rust stays away. You should apply a coat of wax to help your steel door last longer. 

Aluminum: Aluminum garage doors are probably one of the most common garage door types homeowners have. While they are not susceptible to rust or rot, they can show dents more visibly than other garage door types. Annual garage door cleaning will keep your aluminum garage door in shape. 

Vinyl: Vinyl garage doors are some of the most durable garage doors available. They are easy to clean and difficult to dent. Clean off any visible dirt when it arises; otherwise, this garage door won’t need to be cleaned very often; once a year should suffice. 

Fiberglass: Fiberglass garage doors, like vinyl garage doors, are also challenging to dent, but without proper cleaning, they can crack or break and yellow with age. Additionally, fiberglass won’t rust. It is recommended that you clean this garage door as dirt becomes apparent, but annual cleaning is all your garage door should require. 

How to Clean Your Garage Door

cleaning supplies

Now that you know how often to clean, signs of damage to look out for, and when to wax your garage door, let’s get into the best way to clean your garage door. 

Step 1: Remove dirt from the surface

The best way to prepare your garage door is to hose it down. Power washers are too harsh on wood or metal and could cause damage to the garage door. A simple garden hose with a nozzle will do the trick. 

Step 2: Use soap and water

Luckily, no major, high-end cleaner is needed to clean your garage door. Using a rag with some soap and water is all that is needed. Most dishwasher and laundry soaps and detergents are recommended to clean your garage door. 

If your garage door requires waxing, a coat of hydrophobic liquid spray wax is all you should need. Use the spray after cleaning the door with the detergent and water, and the door is dry. After spraying it on, use a microfiber cloth to dry it off. 

Step 3: Check the weatherstripping and lubricate the parts

While you clean your garage door, it’s always a good idea to check the door is working as it should. Weatherstripping ensures weather, moisture, and rodents stay out of your garage. This rubber substance is called weatherstripping and is found along the bottom of your garage door. Every so often, this needs cleaning. Use a simple household cleaner, a non-abrasive rag, and apply a dielectric grease lubricant. Weatherstripping can crack over time, and a lubricant can recondition the rubber components. 

Garage door parts should be lubricated then and again. Ask a garage door professional, such as Garage Door Pros, as they have experience with garage door maintenance. If you choose to do it yourself, do not choose WD-40. Most people think WD-40 is the cure-all, but it is recommended to use non-detergent oil. If you want further information on this step, check DDM Garage Doors, Inc. here

Your Hometown Experts

Garage Door Pros’ services are comprehensive, meaning we repair and replace every part of a garage door. Garage door springs, openers, rollers, tracks, and panels are only a small sample of garage door parts we repair. If any of these parts give you an issue or if you have questions about how to clean your garage door, contact our team.