Finishing and Maintaining Your Garage Door: It’s More Than Skin Deep

Finishing and Maintaining Your Garage Door: It’s More Than Skin Deep

Finishing and Maintaining Your Garage Door: It’s More Than Skin Deep

At Automatic Door Specialists, we take pride in the skill and craftsmanship with which we approach each installation. When we are entrusted with a project for an especially attractive custom door in a unique setting, which comes our way frequently, we always emphasize to the client the need to follow all the requirements for finishing the door, whether steel, wood, or even a modern synthetic material. If they hire us to do the finishing, we rigorously follow all instructions, for two simple and interconnected reasons:

1) The warranty requires it. We want to make sure our customers get the full value of their door, and the excellent warranties provided with higher-quality doors are a major part of that value. Remember, the warranty standards are the best ones to follow – for good reasons.

2) Door Longevity. A door properly finished and installed (details, details, details!) lasts longer, and will, with proper, regular maintenance, look good throughout its lifespan. If the finishing process allows for cut corners or half-measures, the door will eventually show it with fading, warping, and cracking.

Few sights frustrate us more than driving by an installation we completed only a few years prior and seeing it weathered, discolored, and peeling…old before its time.

Here are some essential things to do when you get a new hardwood or steel garage door. They may vary from door to door, or according to the manufacturer’s directive. The weather conditions of your location are a factor as well – the amount of direct sunlight striking the door, for example, may affect the color of stain or paint you use, or the humidity and, along the coast, air-borne salinity, will need to be considered. We will discuss all these concerns with you in advance. The main point is to do a thorough job at the start and stay on top of any signs of deterioration with appropriate measures.

NOTE: Apply all primers, paints, stains, and sealers prior to installing the garage door. It is the only way to ensure all surfaces are fully protected.

For Painted Hardwood Doors

Unfinished wood is inherently vulnerable to moisture, heat, and sun, and will degrade fairly quickly without the level of protection provided by quality finishing. If the door is to be painted, every section 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 must be applied to wood doors within two days of receipt.

For Stained Hardwood 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 require more maintenance and do not provide the level of protection necessary to protect against weathering. While staining the back (interior) side of the door is optional, it must at least be sealed.

All surfaces (front/back/sides) must be treated with a high-quality oil-based sealer, applied in accordance with all instructions provided with the door. All required stains must be applied within two days of receipt of the door.

Garage doors can be damaged or have their appearance marred if proper instructions are not followed during the painting, staining, and sealing processes. The warranty will likely not cover damage resulting from painting between door sections without allowing for necessary drying time, or failing to protect treated surfaces from physical contact before it is completely dried. It is best to avoid dark shades of stain or paint on garage doors with a southern or western exposure, as these orientations receive the greatest sun exposure. A black or dark colored door will absorb more heat, leading potentially to warping and cracking.

For Painted Steel Doors

Though they are not as vulnerable to weathering as wood, they still require the same primer coat and two coats of paint, both sides and all four edges. This should be applied within seven days of receiving the door. Some manufactures give the option of custom colors applied in the factory, where they are baked into the finish for excellent protection. As with wood doors, watch for fading, cracking or peeling, or uneven coloration. Near the coast, watch for salt corrosion and rust.

We know you take pride in your home, and understand that the condition of your garage door is a huge part of your curb appeal. As with any home maintenance, keeping an attentive eye to the door’s condition pays off in the long run. Remember ADS offers an economical annual inspection and tune-up package, where you will have a professional’s eyes to monitor details you might miss. Call us with any questions you may have… whether you are touching up a bad spot or looking at installing a brand new garage door system.