If you’ve gone to the trouble to invest in a beautiful wooden garage door, keeping it in top condition and looking welcoming will be top of your list.
We all know the importance of a home’s kerb appeal, whether it has the effect of making you smile every time you turn onto the driveway, or whether you’re trying to maximise your property’s sale appeal.
Maintaining a timber door may take a little more effort than maintaining a steel or GRP door, but the results are well worth the efforts. Here are 4 ways that you can give your garage door some TLC and extend its lifecycle.
1) A r
egular cleaning regime
Different types of weather, precipitation and a slow build-up of dust and dirt will take its toll on your wooden garage door over time. Not only will the door look grubby and feel sticky to the touch, wood rot and timber decay can set in if nothing is done.
The answer is a regular cleaning regime, both inside and out. This will prevent any dirt build-up and keep the door in better condition, and permit longer periods before your garage door will need repainting or restaining.
Cleaning your garage door doesn’t have to be a long or laborious chore. Use a bucket of hot water with a dash of detergent or washing up liquid and wash the door down with a sponge or soft cloth to get rid of any dirt and grime.
2) Periodic restaining
If you truly value the beauty of wood, you will have chosen to highlight the natural grain by staining your garage door. A quality wood stain with a tough, water resistant finish, regularly applied, will help to protect the timber from any moisture damage and keep it looking glorious for longer. You can even change the shade of your garage door by choosing a coloured wood stain.
When you restain your door, make sure you spend adequate time on preparation and invest in quality materials to give you a long-lasting result. There’s really no point in simply overpainting what’s already there.
Start by washing your wooden door down with a sponge and soapy water, then rinse away any residue with a garden hose. When the door is fully dry (ca. 3 hours minimum), disconnect any automatic opening/closing mechanisms, then fine sand any imperfections from the timber surface.
Wipe down with a dry, lint-free cloth, then brush on the wood stain evenly. Repeat the process every 3-4 years, or sooner if you live in an exposed area.
3) Occasional self checks
Another thing you can do yourself now and again is to check that the automatic mechanism is working smoothly. Clean dirt and debris from the moving parts and ensure that the tracks that open/close the door are properly lubricated.
No need to overdo it with the oil – too much can attract dirt particles and grit. Lubrication checks should be done every 3-4 months.
Don’t forget to check the edging seals while you’re giving your wooden door some attention. These play a fundamental part in keeping the weather out of your garage and protecting what’s inside.
Stand inside the garage with the door closed and look for daylight around edges of the timber or feel for draughts. If the seals need replacing, ask your local hardware store or garage door supplier for advice.
Finally, some basic wear and tear checks can go a long way towards preserving the longevity of your garage door.
Every 6 months or so, look for signs of damage caused by the movement of the door, any gaps or crack that may have appeared on the coating of the door, and listen out for scraping or screeching noises as the door opens or closes. These are all signs that your wooden garage door needs attention, so don’t delay, fix today.
4) Annual servicing
For electric garage doors with an automatic opener, it is important to ensure that the automatic power unit, the clamps, rollers, springs and all other critical parts are tested regularly and declared safe and fully operational.
Many garage door companies now offer annual repair and servicing to their customers to make sure everything is in working order.
In addition to an annual service carried out by a professional, it is recommended that you test the sensor yourself every few months.
Place a small piece of timber under the door and let the door close automatically. The sensor should pick up the obstruction and immediately reverse the door opening action.
Of course, if you’re not using your garage much then all of this maintenance may feel like a chore too many. In this case, you could always consider converting your garage into living space.