If you own a metal or steel garage door, you may have experienced rust at one time or the other. Rust often adds a dusty outlook to doors. Unfortunately, it can also make them age faster than they should. So, are there ways to prevent rust in garage doors? Or can you simply scrape off the brown stains?

There are many ways to keep rust from damaging your door. In this article, you will find detailed information on how to prevent rust in garage doors. Sadly, even doors that promise high-quality rust protection often become rusty with time. As a result, you may see rust on new gates as well as older ones.

To prevent rust, you must first understand what is causing it in your garage. There are several general tips you can try. However, you will be able to effectively prevent rust if you deal with the cause itself. So, you must observe and determine the factors that cause rust in your garage doorway.

What is Rust?

Rust is the result of oxidation in metal or iron sheets or, in this case, garage doors. It appears as a dusty brown or reddish stain on different door parts, such as the hinges, handles, locks, or even tracks.

Rusting happens when the iron is exposed to oxygen and moisture. The implication of this is that the state of the weather can affect your doors. For instance, constant rainfall can create condensation on doors. Hot temperatures can also affect metal doors negatively.

It starts as a stain or a crusty patch. It can also look like thin lines running down the door or around the hinges. Typically, paint is often helpful in preventing metal from getting in contact with moisture. However, if the paint has peeled, rust could appear.

It’s also common to find rust at the bottom of doors as well. This is because it is closer to the ground, and moisture can easily reach it. In such cases, it would look like the bottom of the door is gradually chipping away. Among other things, rust strips doors of their style and class.

 Most people worry about the damage rust does to paint jobs. However, that’s not the worse part. Over time, the rust will begin to eat through the surface of the metal. This will make it weak and less durable.

Why is My Garage Door Rusting?     

Why is My Garage Door Rusting
Why is My Garage Door Rusting
  • Environment changes or harsh weathers
  • Frequent contact with snow or road salt
  • Poor metal quality
  • Accumulation of dirt or debris
  • Poor maintenance

How Do You Protect a Metal Garage Door From Rusting?

How Do You Protect a Metal Garage Door From Rusting
How Do You Protect a Metal Garage Door From Rusting

Not all garage doors are at risk of becoming rusty. This is because rust only happens to metal or iron. So, vinyl or wooden doors cannot be rusty. However, the knobs, hinges, or locks can get rusty if they are made of metal. So, generally, any metal component of a door can be rusty.

Frequent washing

You should always keep your garage door clean. You can do this by washing it at least twice a year. This is important because it accumulates dirt, particles, and moisture. This is precisely all that rust needs to thrive and damage your door. 

It should be cleaned occasionally with a damp cloth. When washing your garage door, be careful not to scrape off the protective covering. Some metal doors come with these rust-resistant coatings. If you scrub too hard, you could peel it off and end up doing more harm. 

Use high-quality paint

Painting adds color and style to doors. It can also be a means to prevent rusting. However, you must use postings that are designed for that purpose and that are compatible with your garage entry. 

Regular maintenance checks

You should also schedule frequent maintenance checks. Again, you can do this personally, or you could hire a garage door specialist to examine your door. It involves routine cleaning, lubrication, replacement, or repair of any damaged or faulty parts. So if your hinges are becoming rusty, you will be aware and be able to fix it on time. 

Such examinations will let you know if your door is becoming rusty before too much damage is done. This saves the discomfort that could arise if your gage door stopped working abruptly. It will also save the cost of unexpected repairs or purchases.

Drip caps 

Drip caps are L-shaped plastic tools that can be installed on your roof or siding. They help to direct or divert water away from sensitive areas like doorways or windows. 

If you install drip caps, you can prevent water and excess moisture from contacting your garage door. In addition, this will prevent oxidation, that is, no more rust. 

What Should You Do if the Bottom of a Garage Door is Rusted Out?

The lower parts of garage doors are known to rust a lot faster than the other parts. This is because there is typically more moisture on the floor. For instance, when it rains, the ground is usually wet. Therefore, water can easily get splashed on the lower parts of the door than its upper parts. 

So, the tracks and bottom of garage doors are often exposed to moisture, making them prone to oxidation. It’s easier to notice the rust when parts of the door begin to fall out or become weaker. But the rust had started a long time before that. Hence, you should pay attention to your garage door, especially if it’s a metal or steel door. 

When rust eats the bottom of doors, it makes them less attractive. It can even ruin the aesthetics of the rest of your home. To remedy this situation, try the following:

  • Power off your garage door and lift it manually. You should turn it off because you will be spending some time repairing it. If you leave it on, you could be at risk of electrical hazards or malfunction. So, unplug the door before you begin. 
  • Use a detergent and brush to scrub off the dust from the bottom of the door. This may take a while, but it must be done thoroughly. 
  • Use a damp towel or rag to wipe off the detergent and rust particles. After wiping, you may need to rescue any areas that still have rusty surfaces. 
  • Use coarse sandpaper to file down the door and get off any remaining dust. You can start off with coarse-grit sandpaper and use fine-grit sandpaper for an even finishing. 
  • Dust off the surface with a dry towel or a soft brush. 
  • Cover the sanded surface with a zinc-chromate primer. The primer will keep more rust from developing. You should ensure that the primer is compatible with your door. 
  • Once the primer is dried down, coat the door with rust-proof paint. 

What to Do When There’s Rust

It’s easier to prevent rust damage if you catch it on time. You can achieve this by examining your garage door for rust from time to time. If you observe any patches of rust, however small, you should remove them. 

Here are things to do when you find rust on your garage door:

  • Scrape off the rust. You can use sanding paper or a steel-wool pad.
  • Soak a towel in vinegar and clean the area that had rust. This action will dissolve any leftover rust and prevent more from appearing. 
  • Use an auto-body filler to fill any holes in the door. This will give your garage door a better look and restore its durability.
  • Use sandpaper to file and even the filled areas with the rest of the door. 
  • Wash the door with detergent and wipe it down with a dry cloth. This step is vital so that you do not coat the door with dirt underneath it. It will ruin the paint job.
  • Ensure that the door is adequately dried then, paint it with rust-resistant paint. 

Can Garage Doors Be Rust-free?

Sadly, almost every metal can be affected by rust. So, you may be unable to purchase a metal door with an endless rust-proof guarantee. However, most new steel doors are built with rust-resistant solid capacities. Therefore, they can last for years without getting rusty. The older designs can also endure if appropriately maintained. 

Vinyl and wooden doors certainly don’t get rusty. So, if you’re looking for a rust-free option, you should buy a wooden garage door or a vinyl one. 

Before you decide to clean out the rust on your garage door by yourself, you should consider these: 

  1. Some steel doors come with rust protection warranties that require repairs to be handled by professionals. If you clear off the rust by yourself, you may lose that protection from the manufacturer. Thus, you would have to pay for any damages.
  2. You could hurt yourself or cause further damage to the door. 

TBC Garage Doors is a garage door agency that provides specialists to deliver any services you require for your garage door. They offer repairs, replacement, and installation services tailored to your needs. Contact them here for consultations and appointments