How Do I Get Rust Off My Garage Door?

Although most modern garage doors are rust-resistant, if you have an older steel garage door, it may eventually corrode. Rusting is most common at the bottom of the door where rain, snow, and corrosive materials like road salt and sand collect. And if you live in a coastal region, rusting is more likely due to the corrosive effects of humid salt air.

If you notice rust on your garage door, it’s important that you deal with the problem right away. Rust spreads quicker than you might think and, if left unattended, it will mar the appearance of your garage door and eventually begin to eat holes in it. In this article, we provide you with a step-by-step guide to treating rust on steel garage doors.


4 Steps For Removing Rust From A Garage Door

Follow these four steps to have a rust-free steel garage door that looks as good as new.

1.) Get rid of rust
Using a cloth soaked in white vinegar, wipe down all rusted areas. The vinegar will react with the rust, causing it to dissolve. Use a steel-wool pad to scrub off the rust. It’s important to get rid of all of it in order to stop the oxidation process from continuing. Any rust that you leave behind could spread. This is why simply sanding and painting over rust isn’t an ideal solution.

2.) Fill in all holes
If there are any holes in the door, fill them in using auto body filler or another bonding agent designed for metal. Once the filler has dried, sand the area with fine-grit paper. Then, proceed to sand the entire door. After you’re done, wipe off any and all dust with a brush or dry cloth.

3.) Wash the door
It’s important to thoroughly clean the door before painting, as paint won’t adhere to dirt or grease. Moreover, you don’t want to paint over any chunks of debris, as this will leave bumps on the surface. A solution of warm water and dish soap will work fine, but for best results, opt for a solution of warm water and trisodium phosphate (TSP). To determine the ratio of TSP to water, follow the recommendations on the product’s label. Finally, thoroughly rinse the garage door (you can use your hose), then allow it to dry completely.

4.) Paint the door
Prime and paint your garage door. Be sure to use primer and paint that’s rust-resistant and designed for metal garage doors. Also, always check if the manufacturer of your garage door recommends specific painting products and techniques.


Tips For Applying The Paint

The best way to paint a garage door is with a paint sprayer. Paintbrushes and rollers are likely to leave drips because of the grooves in the door panels. You may need to apply two coats of paint. Alternatively, you may choose to apply prime and paint solely to the areas where you removed the rust (using a paintbrush in this case, not a sprayer), then apply a finishing coat to the entire door. Remember to always let the primer and paint dry completely between coats.

It’s recommended that you paint the entire door rather than simply touch up the affected areas with primer and paint. Otherwise, flashing will likely occur: the newly painted areas will stand out against the rest of the door, which will detract from its appearance.

Only paint your garage door in warm weather: painting in freezing temperatures is a recipe for disaster. Moreover, before you get started, check the forecast and make sure there’s no rain for at least a couple days.


When To Avoid Removing Rust

Bear in mind that many newer garage doors have a warranty that covers rust. For example, Wayne Dalton classic steel garage doors cover the owner against defects such as rust, cracking, and peeling for 10 years as long as the garage door is properly serviced once a year by an accredited professional company. If you have warranty protections against rust that are still in effect, don’t remove the rust yourself. Contact your garage door manufacturer and allow them to rectify the problem. Note that if you perform the task yourself, not only will you incur an extra cost, you may also void your warranty.

If the rust is extensive, you may be better off replacing your garage door, especially if it’s old and nearing the end of its lifespan. In some cases, where only the bottom panel of the garage door is affected, you may be able to get the individual panel replaced. To explore this option, speak with a qualified repair technician.


Comprehensive Garage Door Services In Western Canada

At Creative Door Services, we offer a complete range of garage door services, including those pertaining to maintenance, repair, and installation. Whether you need a panel replacement or are shopping for a rust-resistant steel garage door, trust our experienced team of garage door technicians to handle the job. To learn more about our products and services, get in touch with us today.

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