Did you know 63% of all U.S. homes have a garage or carport?
With the remaining 37% of U.S. parked vehicles wishing they were part of that 63%.
There are many benefits to owning a home with a garage, attached or otherwise. You can protect your vehicle, it’s convenient and improves your curb appeal. What’s not to love?
But to maintain your curb appeal, you must take care of your garage door. How many times have you cleaned your garage door?
If you can count them all on your right hand, you haven’t done it enough.
Garage door cleaning is an often overlooked task when it comes to cleaning your home. But garage doors are fodder for dust, dirt, bugs, and more.
Cleaning your garage door is simple as long as you know how to do it right. Your choice of cleaners and cleaning tools can make or break your door. With spring on the horizon, there’s no better time to get outside and clean your door.
Find out the best way to clean your garage door here.
Why Wash Your Garage Door?
If your idea of washing your garage door is a quick hose off once a year, you’re about to get schooled.
Homeowners should wash their garage door at least twice a year, once in spring and once in the fall. Or, once in summer and once in winter if you’re a risk-taker.
There are many benefits to washing your garage door. Let’s take a look at the top ones.
Prolong Your Door’s Finish
Your garage door is exposed to severe weather conditions. Wind, rain, sleet, snow, and sun. All these can take a toll on your door, even some of the highest-quality ones.
Over time, the finish on your garage door can dull. And, depending on where you live, becomes damaged and eroded. If you don’t clean your door twice a year, dirt and grime can build up and speed up the erosion process.
Maintain Your Warranty
A garage door under warranty must be maintained per the terms of that warranty. This means cleaning it regularly.
Failure to do so may void your warranty. If something happens to your garage door, you might not be able to claim under the warranty.
To give yourself peace of mind, it’s simple. Just clean your door.
Increase Your Curb Appeal
The best way to increase your curb appeal is by taking care of the exterior of your property. This includes your garage door.
Cleaning all the muck and grime off your door will give it a new life. You might even notice how much better your house exterior looks because of it.
If you’re selling your home, it might also pay to replace or repair your garage door to complete the look of your home. People often judge a home by its exterior.
To avoid rust damage to your garage door, it’s important to clean it at least twice a year.
For garage doors with extensive rust, you’ll have to let the rusted area soak in vinegar and baking soda.
If you live in an area with pollution or by the sea, you might have to wash your garage door more than twice a year.
Allows You to Inspect the Door
When your garage door is clean, you’re more likely to spot problems with it. Things like dents, rust, and holes.
And while you’re there, take the time to inspect the entire door. Both inside and out. Take a look at the sensors, the spring, the tracks, and the entire surface.
When you notice problems sooner, you can fix them before they become a bigger problem.
What Are the Different Types of Garage Doors?
With so many garage doors on the market, it can feel overwhelming. The front of your home is the first thing people see. The perfect garage door will instantly create a good first impression.
Choosing the right garage door isn’t a life-or-death decision, but it’s a fun one to make.
Not sure how to pick the perfect garage door for your home? Let’s take a look at your options.
Sectional Garage Doors
The creme de la creme! Sectional garage doors are the most popular garage doors in the United States. They’re made up of panel sections connected with hinges.
These doors are usually made from steel and are highly customizable. Choose your color, texture, hardware, and window inserts. You can also choose between an insulated or non-insulated model.
If you’re after a low-maintenance option, sectional garage doors might be for you.
Roll-up Garage Doors
Less popular in residential properties, but more so in commercial properties. Roll-up garage doors are a basic, no-frills design built for areas with lower ceilings.
They can withstand heavy usage but are lightweight and less likely to scrape, nick and dent. Roll-up garage doors can be built without springs.
And can be enclosed to prevent damage caused by the weather. This includes rust, corrosion, and freezing.
Side to Sliding Garage Doors
A less conventional design, but a garage door nonetheless. Slide sliding garage doors operate just as the name suggests.
This type of garage door opens horizontally and sits against a wall. This means you have the garage roof free to store items or install lighting fixtures.
Slide sliding garage doors are the ideal solution for unique spaces. The best part is they have a built-in retractable motor for automated operation. No need to install a ceiling-mounted operator.
Side-Hinged Garage Doors
Side-hinged garage doors are a traditional style of garage door. They are also known as “swing” garage doors.
As the name suggests, the garage doors have hinges at the sides and open outwards much like a regular door. They are typically made from wood and can also be automated.
Side-hinged garage doors offer the perfect solution to garages with minimal headroom dimensions. They also suit garages with internal shelving since the doors open outward.
Tilt-up Canopy Garage Doors
The tilt-up canopy door is built in a single panel. It is reinforced by a steel frame and opens outwards, on a tilt – hence the name.
When they’re fully open, they tend to extend past the front of the house.
The tilt-up canopy garage door offers several design options, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
This design is easy to operate, fast to open, and the perfect solution for smaller garages with restricted headroom.
Tilt-up Retractable Garage Doors
Tilt-up retractable doors are similar to the canopy design. They lift up and into the garage. The only difference is that they do not extend past the house like the canopy design.
The design also requires a bit more space in your garage to install. They also tend to be harder to operate than other styles. Plus, a tad more expensive.
Despite this, the retractable design continues to be a popular choice for American homes.
What You Need to Clean Your Garage Door With
You have your garage door, now it’s time to clean it. But what the heck do you need to clean it?
Lucky for you, cleaning a garage door requires very few supplies. You probably have most or all of them in your home already!
But let’s make your life easy with a comprehensive list of what you need to clean your door.
Obvious, but necessary. Make sure it’s a large bucket, too. You’ll need your bucket for the soapy water.
You most likely have a garden hose around the side or front of your house. Now is the time to use it. If it has a water pressure gun attachment, take it off.
Using a mild detergent is the best way to clean a garage door safely. And don’t forget, affordable. You can use dishwashing detergent or carwash liquid.
Harsh chemical cleaners such as bleach can discolor your door’s finishes and ruin the visual appeal. For the best results, mix one cup of detergent with two gallons of warm (not hot) water.
Sponge or Cloth
Using materials such as a scourer or scrubbing brush can scratch the finish and damage your garage door. Anything with bristles is a no-no.
Instead, use gentle material such as a soft sponge or a cloth. They will ensure that dirt and grime won’t fling off the brush onto other areas of your property.
Unless you’re over six-foot, most people can’t reach the top of their garage doors. If you can, power to you. But for those who can’t, you’re going to need a step ladder.
This will ensure you have cleaned every inch of your door. Plus, it will give you a good opportunity to inspect the parts of the door you normally don’t look at.
Just as you would wax your car, you can also wax your garage door the same way. Applying wax prevents potential corrosion. This is especially important for those living in coastal towns.
The most user-friendly option is a liquid spray wax. If you don’t own liquid spray wax, a silicone car wax will do the job just as well.
How to Choose the Right Garage Door Cleaner
The easiest and cheapest garage door cleaner is the humble dishwashing detergent. You can find it under your kitchen sink. It’s that easy.
You can also use several other cleaners, including car wash soap, bathroom and kitchen cleaner, or an all-purpose cleaner. Anything delicate, mild, and gentle on surfaces is considered fine.
The important thing is that you make sure your cleaner is non-abrasive. Abrasive cleaners can do severe damage. They contain high levels of acid which can strip color and irritate your eyes, skin, and lungs.
How to Clean Your Garage Door
You know what you need, now it’s time to know what to do. Follow these seven foolproof steps to ensure your garage door is the envy of the whole neighborhood.
1. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning your garage door is similar to cleaning your car. And what’s the first thing you do? Gather your cleaning supplies.
The same goes for cleaning your garage door. Gather your bucket, sponge, dry towels, car wash or dish soap, and liquid spray wax.
To make life easier, keep your cleaning supplies in one container. If you have room, store them in your garage so they don’t take up room in your home.
As you would with your car, you need to pre-rinse your door. Giving your door a pre-rinse with the hose washes off all the loose dirt and dust before you soap it down.
Skipping this step may end in a dirty, sludgy mess. When you skip this step and go straight to applying soap, you will end up pushing around dirt – making a bigger mess!
3. Apply Soap Using a Sponge
It’s suds time! Apply your soapy sponge to your garage door and gently make your way across the door. Start at one of the corners and keep going until the entire door is covered.
Circular motions are the most effective way to clean the door. And don’t scrub too hard, move gently and at your own pace.
4. Rinse off With a Garden Hose
Use the same garden hose nozzle setting and rinse off the soap. You don’t need to blast off the soap into your neighbor’s garden, you just need enough pressure to get the soap off.
While you’re rinsing off, check for any stubborn dirt marks that need a little extra attention.
5. Wax and Dry
Depending on the wax spray you’re using, you might need to wait for your door to dry. In that case, wait. Once it’s dry, use the same process you did when applying soap.
Start in one corner and work your way across. Spray and wipe until you’ve covered the entire door.
Again, use circular motions with your cloth. This is the best way to leave your door nice and polished.
6. Clean Your Weather Stripping
It’s a step most people forget to do. Weatherstripping around your garage door helps to keep the outside from coming inside. It also helps keep the air inside your garage comfortable.
To clean your weather stripping, simply use a general-purpose cleaner (non-abrasive) and wipe it over. Check for cracks or tears while you’re cleaning. When weatherstripping is cracked, it must be fixed or replaced as soon as possible.
7. Clean the Interior Side of the Door
It may not be as important as cleaning the exterior part of your garage door, but you should still do it. Indeed, the interior door isn’t exposed to elements, but doing it now and then is important for the upkeep of your garage.
The best thing is it’s as easy as cleaning the exterior door. First, brush the surface to get rid of dust and debris.
After that, scrub the surface with the same detergent you used on the exterior. Finally, use a wet cloth to wipe away the suds. Then, use a dry cloth to dry the surface.
Garage Door Cleaning Tips
Washing a garage door is a fairly simple process that shouldn’t take too much time out of your day. But that doesn’t mean you should be careless. If you do it right the first time, you won’t have to do it again… until the fall.
It doesn’t hurt to know a few tricks of a trade to make your job a whole lot easier.
As you prepare to wash your garage door, keep a few of these useful tips in the back of your mind.
Avoid Using a Pressure Washer
It’s fine to use your garden hose, but avoid using any type of power washer to clean your garage door. This includes a trigger nozzle attachment. While it sounds easier and quicker to use more force, it will damage the surface of your door.
Instead, opt for a gentle soak. It will take longer, but it’s worth it. Protecting your garage door will save you money and time in the long run.
Look For Signs of Rust and Wear
After you clean your door, rust and general wear and tear will be more visible. If you do notice rust spots, chances are they are on the bottom two panels of your garage door. Rust is more likely to form closer to the street and other abrasive elements.
To remove rust, soak a cloth in white vinegar and wipe all rusted areas. The vinegar reacts with the rust to dissolve it. Rub the rust away and repeat until the surface is clean.
As for wear and tear, make a visual inspection. If you can, do this once a month. Look at springs, cables, rollers, and pulleys.
If you do notice something odd, don’t attempt to remove it. Call your local repairman to take a look.
Clean the Other Parts
Your garage door isn’t the only part of the door. While you’re cleaning, don’t overlook other parts. Remember to clean the weatherstripping along the bottom of your door.
Also, it won’t hurt to wipe down the garage door tracks and photo-eye sensors as well. When you look over all aspects of your garage door, you’re keeping them in good working order.
No door can last forever, but you can prolong its demise.
Avoid Abrasive Detergents and Sponges
Using abrasive detergents and sponges can scratch and damage your door. It will also erode the finish. The point of cleaning your door is to clean it, not make it worse.
Instead, opt for a soft cloth or a sponge. The same goes for detergent. Never mix cleaning solution and bleach.
A mixture like this can be used for tough stains, but should never be used when soap is still on the door. If you wouldn’t use it on your car, why should you use it on your garage door?
How Often Should I Wash My Garage Door?
On average, homeowners should wash their garage door at least twice a year.
This does depend on your local climate. For example, homeowners who live near the coast might want to wash four times a year, once for each season. The same goes for regions that experience plenty of snow or extreme year-round weather.
When you don’t wash your garage door at least twice a year, dirt and debris can eat away at the paint. It might get to the point when you will need to re-paint the entire door. Worse yet, it may affect the working order of your door too.
Twice a year, that’s all it takes!
How to Clean Your Garage Door Windows
If your garage door includes windows, it’s important to clean them also. Just like you would any window in your home. Windows can pick up dirt easily, especially after a windy day.
As with your garage door, you should only use mild detergent and warm water. Never use abrasive chemical products such as bleach.
Most windows can be cleaned without removing them. But some are designed to snap in and out of the window frame. For thorough cleaning, you should do this.
Use a soft cloth to minimize scratches and rinse well with clean water. Do not use abrasive scrubs or brushes on your windows.
Garage Door Experts You Can Trust
When you take the time to clean your garage door, you’re extending its lifespan. As long as you follow our tips and clean your garage door twice a year, you should have no problems.
Maintain your garage door now, save money down the track. That money you save could go towards a brand-new door when the time comes for an upgrade.
And when that time does come, choose our team to help you find and install your new garage door. At OGD™, we are the industry-leading overhead garage door experts.
We focus on providing residential and commercial property owners with a variety of door services. They include overhead door repair, replacement, and installation.