How to Properly Care for and Maintain Your Wood or Steel Garage Door

October 17, 2018


Architecture, Homeowner

High-end garage doors, such as those sold by Carriage House Doors, are specialty products which require proper the application of necessary finishes prior to installation. Additionally, these doors will need minor on-going care and maintenance to protect against undue weathering or aging.

Failing to take proper precautions may result in fading, warping, and cracking, and the voiding of the warranty. Here is what you need to know to provide necessary to care for your wood or steel garage door, and ensure the longest possible service life.

Closeup of garage door that has been stained and sealed.

Prior to installing the garage door, any necessary primers, paints, and stains must be applied.

When it comes to Carriage House Door products, we are always careful to advise designers, builders and homeowners of the necessity of following our finishing and care instructions. Failing to do so will void the warranty. Unfinished wood is inherently vulnerable to moisture, heat, and sun, and will visibly degrade without proper protection. While steel is a hardier material, fading and corrosion are still a concern, and thus proper protection is still needed.

We want every homeowner to enjoy the full benefit and beauty of their garage doors, which is why we require a high degree of care for warranty purposes. For owners of garage doors produced by other manufacturers, consider the warranty guidelines provided below as a rule of thumb for achieving the best possible results with your garage door.

Paint-grade wood and steel garage doors:

Every section of a paint-grade wood and steel garage door must be painted on the front, back, and all four edges with one coat of exterior-grade primer, followed with two coats of a high quality exterior grade paint.

All paints and stains must be applied to wood doors within two days of receipt. For steel doors, they should be applied within seven days of receipt.

Stain-grade garage doors:

For stain-grade doors, every section must be stained on the front, back and all four edges with a high quality exterior grade oil-based stain. We do not recommend stains that contain paraffin, or water-based stains. These stains require more maintenance, and do not provide the level of protection necessary to protect against weathering. Staining the back side of the door is optional, but at the very least it must be sealed.

All surfaces must be treated with a high-quality oil-based sealer, applied in accordance with all instructions provided with the door. All required paints and stains must be applied within two days of receipt of the door.

A note on sealing and painting:

Doors can be damaged or have their appearance marred if proper instructions are not followed during the painting, staining, and sealing processes. For instance, our warranty does not cover damage resulting from painting between door sections without allowing for necessary drying time, or failing to protect treated surfaces from contact before having completely dried. In addition, we do not recommend dark shades of stain or paint on garage doors with southern or western exposures. These directions experience the greatest amount of sun exposure, and excessive degradation may occur due to heat absorption.

An example of a well-maintained steel garage door.
An example of a well-maintained steel garage door.

Occasionally checking the condition of your garage door’s finish, and refinishing as necessary, will ensure a long service life.

We advise homeowners to, as much as possible, protect their garage doors from excessive exposure to the sun. Occasionally inspect the garage door’s finish for signs of degradation. This typically takes the form of thinning, deterioration, discoloration, and weathering.

The finish of your garage door may wear more quickly if you live in an area with frequent windy weather, as windblown debris causes friction and impact damage over time. Coastal homeowners must also be wary of sea spray carried on the wind, which can cause corrosion. Certain paint and finishing options may be advisable in particularly challenging climates.

When wearing becomes evident, affected surfaces must be refinished according to the original finishing instructions provided with the door.

While this may sound like a lot of work, in truth, your garage door will likely look and perform as new for years before any maintenance is necessary. But if you are a homeowner who values the appearance of your home, then caring for your garage door will be just as natural as ensuring that your landscaping, yard drainage, roof, and other details of your home and estate receive the upkeep necessary to continue performing to your standards.

Carriage Door Garage Door Drawing

121 Main Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95838
866 · 890 · 1776

1571 East Main St/Hwy 70
Old Fort, NC 28762
877 · 668 · 1601

3150 Dodge Road
Kansas City, KS 66115
Toll Free:  800 · 545 · 7608
Local:  913 · 246 · 0880

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