by Doris Donnerman
(last updated September 14, 2015)
In addition to making your home look better, cleaning your garage door will also give you a chance to inspect the mechanisms of the door and make sure that everything is running properly. By taking the time to wash off the dirt and clean out the tracks, you will ultimately prolong the life of your door.
To begin, get a bucket, a hose, a rag or scrub brush, and some dish soap or gentle detergent. Use your hose to wet down the surface of your garage door and then, using the rag or brush, gently scrub down the door with warm soapy water. Rinse off the door with spray from the hose and allow it to dry. For metal garage doors you can add a layer of wax after cleaning in order to restore the luster of the metal. If your garage door is painted, check for flaking and warping paint or areas where the metal might be showing through. These areas may be prone to rust and you will want to repaint and refinish them in order to keep the door from corroding.
If you are cleaning something more stubborn than dirt, such as oil stains, you can replace the soap for properly diluted bleach. Be sure to never mix bleach with other cleansers because the mixture will produce harmful fumes.
Repeat the cleaning process on the inside of the garage door. Although this side may not be as visible, it is important to keep clean. The dirt and grime that builds up on the inside of the door can get into the garage door tracks, or it can also flake off and fall onto cars, machinery, and tools being stored in the garage, thus creating more cleaning for you.
Once you have washed down the doors you should also dust out the tracks that the door is set on. If foreign objects are allowed to collect in the tracks, they may cause the whole door to be derailed, preventing it from going up or down. A broom is useful to remove dust and dirt, and a rag and water can be used to scrub out mud clods or other items. You should also lubricate the tracks and wheels of the garage door if your manufacturer recommends that you do so.
As a final step you should clean and organize the areas around the garage door. Remove any stacks or collections of items that could fall over and obstruct the path of the garage door. If anything is accidentally shut in the garage door it could damage the door's machinery.
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