The better you maintain and clean your garage door, the longer it will last. The best way to get the most out of your garage door is to maintain it regularly and, when you notice a problem, to address it immediately before further damage can occur.
You can begin by simply cleaning your garage doors with a mild detergent using a soft car brush four times a year. Some people remember to clean their doors whenever they wash their car. Washing your garage doors regularly will reduce the build up of corrosive elements. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners or corrosive chemicals on or around your garage doors. In Chicago's winter, it is tempting to salt your driveway. However, you should avoid using salt to melt snow near the garage door as it may corrode the door elements / hardware.
Wooden garage doors should be cleaned and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. Generally, they recommend you paint them initially on both the inside and outside and repaint the exterior surface every year or two. If you finish only the outside of a garage door, the door may warp due to moisture infiltration.
Finally, keep the area under the door where it meets the ground free of obstructions. This area tends to build up dirt, leaves, cobwebs, snow, ice, and more - all of which prevents the door from creating a solid seal with the ground and potentially affecting the weight distribution and alignment of the garage door.
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