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Garage Door Panel Cleaning Tips for Homeowners

Panel Clean

If you’re the proud owner of a new garage door and want to ensure it stays looking brand new, you’ll need to clean it up occasionally. Cleaning a garage door isn’t a difficult task but the type of panel you have does matter. For example, wood panels require a different kind of care than steel or glass garage door panels.

Cleaning is always a delicate balance of removing the bad stuff without hurting the material underneath. The good news is, that means you don’t have to go searching for some super-corrosive, specialized cleaner. There’s always something simple you can mix up at home.

Here’s how you can keep your panel clean without damaging the material:

1) Steel Garage Doors

Steel garage doors are one of the easiest types of door to clean. In most cases, you can spray down the door with a hose and call it a day. However, sometimes, a little extra effort is needed to remove things like rust, dirt build-up, or oil stains. If your door has any of these problem spots, a bucket of warm soapy water and a scrub can help give a better clean. A 1:1 white vinegar solution is also another safe and economical option.

2) Wooden Doors

Wood garage doors should be cleaned with a mild soap and soft cloth. For difficult to reach crevices, try a soft toothbrush. The biggest difference between wood garage doors and steel garage doors is that wood requires extra care. Wood doors need to be refinished and sealed regularly, or the outside elements will eventually damage the wood.

3) Glass Doors

With aluminum and glass garage door panels becoming ever more popular, it’s important to know how to care for them properly. Because these are a series of glass panes in aluminum frames, there are many more opportunities for water to intrude than in a steel or vinyl garage door. Don’t be liberal with the hose for these doors. Clean them the way you would the mirrors in your bathrooms, and reglaze any areas where the seal is compromised.

4) Vinyl Doors

Vinyl garage doors aren’t the prettiest, but they are the cheapest and least maintenance of any type of garage door. And they’re not finicky, either. Hose it down, power wash it, use multi-purpose cleaners on the thing – it won’t care. And a good cleaning will also give it a little glow up, so it’s minimal effort for maximum benefits.

Things to Avoid when Cleaning a Garage Door Panel

A few last tips: be careful not to scrub too hard or you may strip the paint off your door. In most cases, a soft brush or towel is all that’s needed. While it may be tempting, never use a pressure washer on your garage door. It is not necessary and will often do more harm than good. You should also avoid the use of harsh solvents and other cleaning agents. In general, most homeowners can get away with a hose or bucket of warm water. If extra cleaning power is needed, make sure you’re using a very mild detergent and not mixing it with anything else.

By cleaning your garage door a few times a year, you can help keep it looking brand new. At the same time, you also prevent letting damaging things fester, like grime and trapped water. Stack this maintenance task with your seasonal inspection and lubrication routine, and your garage door will stay looking (and working) great for years to come.

When Should You Install Garage Door Springs?

The lifespan of a garage door spring can vary depending on the type of spring you have and how well it’s maintained. On average, extension springs will last between 5 to 15 years while torsion springs are rated between 10 to 30 years. However, frequent use and lack of care can significantly lower these lifespans. A good way to determine when and how to install garage parts like a spring is to check with the manufacturer. For example, if your springs are rated to last 10,000 cycles, then you should replace them before they reach that point. One cycle equals a single open/close of your door. In that situation, someone who uses their garage door 5 times a day will need replacement within 5 years, assuming they properly maintained the spring.