01892 335 486

Help & Advice

You're reading: Garage Doors: A Maintenance Guide

Request a Free Quote

Garage Doors: A Maintenance Guide

  • Wooden Garage Door Maintenance:
    • Conduct regular visual inspections for issues like scuff marks or splitting to catch problems early.
    • Clean periodically with warm, soapy water using a non-abrasive cloth to prevent scratches.
    • Restain to maintain appearance and protect against moisture damage; lubricate mechanisms regularly with oil or WD-40.
    • Watch for splitting due to sunlight and treat with wood filler if needed.
  • Metal Garage Door Maintenance:
    • Inspect for scuffs, rust, and listen for creaking or scraping sounds indicating potential issues.
    • Clean periodically with warm, soapy water, especially in coastal areas to prevent salt damage.
    • Repaint as necessary to maintain appearance and protect against elements.
    • Lubricate springs, tracks, rollers, and hinges regularly to ensure smooth operation.
  • Automatic Garage Door Maintenance:
    • Clean safety sensors regularly with a soft microfibre cloth to ensure they function correctly.
    • Test sensors by placing an object in their path and ensure the door stops automatically.
    • Inspect and clean the motor housing, and check wiring and cabling for any damage.
    • Arrange professional maintenance for complex issues to ensure proper care and safety.
  • Winter Garage Door Maintenance:
    • Use silicone-based lubricants to prevent thickening in cold temperatures and ensure smooth operation.
    • Inspect and clean the weather seal to protect against draughts, and apply lubricant to keep it pliable.
    • Regularly check remote batteries, as cold weather can drain them faster than usual, and keep spares on hand.

Garage doors are a big investment for anyone, so it’s absolutely vital that you take its maintenance seriously. While we would always recommend that you leave any larger-scale repairs, maintenance and servicing to the professionals, it certainly pays to look after your door properly through visual inspections and cleaning. 

In this guide, we will take a look at how to clean and maintain both wood and metal garage doors, so you will know exactly what to do post-purchase.

What to consider when maintaining your garage door

Every garage is different, so there are several different factors you’ll need to consider when planning your garage door maintenance:

  • Style: Different styles of garage doors have different opening mechanisms, so it’s essential to consider the style when planning garage door maintenance.
  • Manufacturer’s guidance: Manufacturers understand their product better than anyone, so it’s important to refer back to their guidance and the advice of your garage door fitter.
  • Material: Wooden and metal garage doors can have different maintenance requirements, which we’ve covered in more detail below.
  • Usage: How often do you use your garage door? A garage door that’s opened and closed multiple times a day will require much more frequent maintenance.
  • Age and condition: Is your garage door looking old or worn? If so, the time might have come to arrange a garage door replacement.

How to maintain wooden garage doors

To preserve its appearance and prevent damage, it’s essential that your wooden garage door is regularly maintained. Given that wood is one of the most expensive garage door materials, your wooden garage door will require a specific cleaning and maintenance routine. To maintain your wooden garage door, there are several steps you should take:

  • Inspections: Carrying out regular visual inspections will help you keep abreast of any problems with your wooden door, such as scuff marks or splitting. Over time, these minor issues can develop into serious damage, so noticing this early allows for prompt repair.
  • Cleaning: To make sure that your door stays clean and rot-free for as long as possible, we recommend scrubbing your garage door with warm, soapy water periodically. Top tip: use a non-abrasive cloth to prevent any accidental scratches.
  • Restaining: Your wooden garage door may have been stained at the manufacturing stage, but if it’s starting to look worn, then it might be worth restaining. Staining your garage door not only keeps it looking as good as new, but it also provides a protective coating against moisture damage to prevent warping and rotting.
  • Lubrication: Lubricating your garage door is very important to ensure all mechanisms are working effectively. Try and do this every couple of months, using oil or WD-40, and be extra careful around high-tension areas such as springs. 
  • Look out for splitting: When exposed to direct sunlight over long periods of time, wood will eventually split. This is true even of doors that have been treated rigorously. Look out for splits and treat them using wood filler. If you’re uncertain, make sure to call your local garage door maintenance team.

How to maintain metal garage doors

By regularly maintaining your steel garage door, you can prolong its lifespan, prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. Metal garage door maintenance differs slightly from wooden garage doors, so here are some of the key things that you need to do to keep your garage door in good condition:

  • Inspections: When it comes to metal garage doors, inspections are just as much about listening as they are about looking. While you will want to keep an eye out for scuffs and rusting, you always want to listen out for creaking and scraping, as this could be a sign of a bigger problem.
  • Cleaning: Steel and other metal garage doors will accumulate dirt over time. Like with a wooden garage door, give it a clean every now and then with warm, soapy water. If you live near the coast, it’s worth keeping in mind that salt can damage the metal.
  • Repainting: While factory-applied finishes should stand the test of time, your door could well end up needing repainting after a while. If you want to do this yourself, ensure that the door is completely clean and make sure to read our guide on how to paint your garage door before you begin.
  • Lubrication: Just like with wooden garage doors, regular lubrication is very important to ensure that all of the moving parts don’t seize up. Springs, tracks, rollers and hinges are the main components that will require attention. Like with any of these tasks, if you don’t feel comfortable doing them yourself, simply call your local garage door maintenance team. 


How to maintain an automatic garage door

To maintain your automatic garage door, you should follow all the advice we’ve mentioned above and implement regular inspections, cleaning and lubrication. However, there are a number of additional steps to take that are specific to an electric garage door:

  • Clean sensors: Safety sensors prevent your electric garage door from accidentally shutting on something or someone. This equipment is very sensitive, so you should regularly wipe the area with a soft microfibre cloth to prevent any dirt or damage.
  • Test sensors regularly: To ensure safety, you should test your sensors regularly. Simply grab an object like a cardboard box and place it in line with the sensors, before attempting to close the door. If your garage door automatically stops, this means that your sensors are functioning as they should be. If not, call a garage door professional immediately.
  • Check the motor: You should regularly inspect the condition of your garage door motor, keeping an eye out for any signs of damage. Be sure to clean the motor housing and examine any wiring or cabling.
  • Arrange professional maintenance: Electric garage doors are much more complex to maintain than manual ones and should only be handled by an expert. The easiest way to ensure your automatic garage door is receiving the proper care is to arrange professional maintenance with a company like Associated Garage Doors.


How to maintain a garage door in the winter

Freezing temperatures and extreme weather can cause damage to your garage door, so you’ll need to keep a closer eye on it during the winter months. As well as more frequent inspections, there are several other steps you should take to maintain your garage door in the winter.

  • Lubricants: Certain lubricants can thicken in cold temperatures and make it more difficult to operate your garage door. Given that silicone-based lubricants have an exceptionally low freezing point, they are an ideal choice for the winter and you should apply a fresh coat every so often to ensure smooth operation. For more information, we’ve written this guide to lubricating your garage door here.
  • Check your weather seal: Many garage doors are equipped with a weather seal; this is a flexible strip that is installed along the edge of your garage door to protect against draughts. During the winter, you should look out for any signs of damage and regularly inspect the seal to ensure a proper fit. You should also clean it with a damp cloth and all-purpose cleaner, before applying a silicone-based lubricant so that it remains pliable.
  • Check remote batteries: Cold weather can drain batteries much faster than usual, so if you’ve got an automatic garage door, be sure to regularly check the remote and ensure you’ve always got some spare batteries on hand, just in case.

No matter what type of garage door you have, the easiest way to prevent problems and extend its lifespan is to opt for professional garage door maintenance. Attempting complex garage door repairs and maintenance without the necessary skills or knowledge can cause damage to your door or lead to potential issues being missed.

Here at Associated Garage Doors, we provide a comprehensive range of garage door services to customers throughout Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and the wider Kent region. Whether you require a one-off service or regular garage door maintenance work, we can accommodate your needs. What’s more, should we identify any problems, we can carry out the necessary repairs in no time. If your garage door is dated or beyond repair, we can perform a complete garage door replacement.

To arrange your garage door maintenance or to find out more, simply get in touch with our friendly team today.


Back to News »