5 top tips to look after your wooden garage door


Wood is one of the most attractive materials for a garage door but you do need to give it some regular TLC to preserve its beauty and functionality for the long term. Wood is a living material – exposure to the sun and changes in the weather can have a detrimental effect on all types of timber garage doors unless they are properly maintained.

If you’ve chosen to revamp your garage by installing a beautiful wooden garage door, or you’ve purchased a home with an existing timber garage door, you will no doubt want to mainatin its good looks and your home’s overall kerb appeal. Pick a day in the spring or autumn when the sun is shining and follow these 5 steps:

1. Regular cleaning

Keep your wooden garage door clean, both inside and out; it stops dust and dirt from sticking to the wood. Regular cleaning will help preserve the beauty of the wood and reduce the need to repaint or re-stain the door quite as often. Cleaning only takes a few minutes of your time and should be done 3-4 times a year. Use a hot water and mild detergent solution to scrub down the door and remove any debris that has become attached to the door.

2. Inspect the timber

However much it may have been processed or treated, there’s no getting away from the fact that wood is a living organism, meaning it is susceptible to decay and infestation. Wood is a hygroscopic material that will swell in high humidity and shrink when the humidity drops. Wood Rot is your wooden garage door’s worst enemy. Think of it as hungry little bacteria and fungus nibbling away at the timber, often at the spots that are most affected by moisture. Visually inspect the timber for obvious signs of rot and prod them with a long handled screwdriver. If the wood is soft or, worse, the screwdriver penetrates the surface, you will need to repair sections of affected timber before you even think about any other maintenance. While you’re closely inspecting the timber, keep an eye out for pests too. Termites, woodboring beetles, slugs and snails may all be drawn to the area where wood decay is present. If you see any evidence of anything alive there, get rid of it before treating your door. If you’re not sure what to do, ask a pest control expert for advice.

3. Painting, varnishing or staining

Repainting or re-staining your wooden garage door not only helps to keep it looking good, it also protects the wood. Regular upkeep is key here. If the paint or varnish has cracked or is peeling, it’s not protecting the timber underneath, in addition to looking unsightly. You should probably refinish your timber garage door every 1-2 years, depending on the quality of the door and the weather conditions in your area. Use a paint scraper to remove any loose, peeling or chipped paint or varnish, then sand down any uneven areas of wood, fill any holes and wait for it to dry fully before you proceed. After repairing the damaged wood and preparing your surfaces carefully, apply a fresh coat of exterior wood paint or treatment, making sure to prime and undercoat as necessary before you add a topcoat of paint.

4. Check the mechanism

For your garage door to be fully functioning, you must make sure that the garage door opener is checked on a regular basis. A temperamental garage door opening mechanism is not just a nuisance, it can also lead to damage to the door itself, necessitating expensive professional repair later on.

If you want to do the job yourself, you need to:

• Open and close the door, or roll it up and down and listen out for any scraping, screeching or other harsh sounds.

• Check the quality and stability of all parts, including springs, clamps, hinges and rollers.

• Check that all components are clear of dirt and other debris.

• Check that all screws and fixings are securely tightened.

• Check for sufficient lubrication every couple of months or so.

Grease every part that’s used in opening and closing the garage door. However, do be careful not to over-lubricate as this can attract dirt which may then interfere with the operation of the garage door mechanism. You are advised to use a lightweight grease, or spray lubricant such as WD 40. Put a small piece of wood under the door and check if the sensor works. If the door is not operating properly, call a professional garage door company to investigate. This is crucial, since if the automated door fails, your garage and home are no longer secure

5. Examine the door seals

Your garage door seals will protect your garage and its contents from the elements, including water damage and extreme temperature fluctuations. Close the garage doors and take a good look all around. Can you see daylight between the seals and the timber door from the inside of the garage? If your wooden garage door does not have any weather seals on the bottom edge, you are highly advised to have them installed for the best protection.

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