While a lot of modern garage doors are rust-resistant, it’s a naturally occurring problem, so it will never be entirely avoidable. Rusting will commonly become an issue toward the bottom of the garage door. This is where the door comes in the most contact with corrosive materials, such as road salt, snow, and rain.
Rust on your garage door not only looks unappealing, but it can also compromise the door’s integrity, causing it to lose the ability to keep dirt and moisture out of the garage. Before you can go anywhere near the rust on the garage door, you need to determine what material the door is made from. Each material will have its own cleaning and removal instructions in order to make sure you aren’t stripping the material.
You’ll also want to determine the extent of cleaning that is needed and that you wish to do. This requires you to fully inspect the entire garage door. While you can remove the rust from only the areas it is visible, you may want to consider taking the time to clean the garage door as a whole. This will remove the rust and prevent rusting on parts of the door you can’t see yet.
Removing Rust From Steel and Aluminum Garage Doors
Once you’ve inspected the door and determined that it is a steel or aluminum garage door, it’s time to get cleaning. For the rust removal you will need:
- A rag, sponge, or soft-toothed brush
- Warm water
- Dishwashing soap
- White vinegar (do not use apple cider vinegar or spiced vinegar)
- A steel-wool pad
- Sanding paper
- Auto body filler or other bonding agent for metal
- Primer corrosion inhibitor
- Some things you may need:
- Paint (preferably rust-resistant and designed for metal)
Here are the next steps in how to remove rust once you’ve gathered all the right materials:
- Take a rag, sponge, or brush with some warm water and the dishwashing soap and clean the door, starting where the rust is most concentrated. Rinse and allow it to dry.
- Scrape away and sand any areas with paint flakes, focusing on the rusted areas the most.
- Take a clean rag, sponge, or brush soaked in white vinegar and begin wiping down the garage door.
- Use the steel-wool pad to brush down all the parts that you wiped with white vinegar.
- Repeat wiping it down with the white vinegar-soaked rag and brushing with the steel-wool pad until the surface is shiny.
- Use the auto-body filler or other bonding agent to fill any holes that have occurred from the rust. Allow the filler to dry, then sand the area.
- Sand the whole area, then clean it thoroughly again with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Allow to dry.
- If you are not repainting the door, apply the primer corrosion inhibitor in order to prevent future rusting.
- If you are repainting or need to due to rust damage, make sure you brush off any dust. Then prime the door entirely or just the parts you wish to re-paint. Then paint the primed areas.
Cleaning Wood Garage Doors
While wood garage doors won’t necessarily rust, they still should be cleaned in order to avoid issues such as rotting, termites, and warping. To clean wood doors, all you will need is:
- An old cloth or rag
- Warm water
- Dishwashing liquid
- Soft-toothed brush
- Wood-staining protector or paint
For the actual cleaning, wash the door with the cloth soaked in warm water and dishwashing liquid mixture. Use the soft-toothed brush to brush certain door elements, such as recessed panels or windows. Once the door is dry, apply the wood-staining protector or paint.
When Not To Remove Rust
There will never be a time when rust should not be removed, however, there will be times when you should be removing the rust yourself. Newer garage doors will likely have a warranty, so you won’t need to do anything yourself. Sometimes the rust can be so extensive that it makes more sense to get a new garage door entirely. If you’re not up to the task of rust removal, Garage Doors of Indianapolis can remove the rust for you.
Here are some additional rust removal tips and methods:
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Adding a tablespoon of baking soda to a cup of vinegar will dissolve the rust on the door allowing it to come off easily. Use a steel-wool pad dipped in this solution to scrub it off. You may need to scrub hard before you get any results, but it will happen.
This cheap rust removing solution can be made by adding a tablespoon of citric acid to a half of a cup of water. You can use a steel-wool pad, cloth, or soft-toothed brush dipped in this solution to remove rust. This will also require a good amount of scrubbing to ensure you get all the rust.
Salt and Lemon
Lemon’s acidity is able to dissolve the rust, while the salt is used as the abrasive to take the rust off the door. Squeeze lemon juice all over the rusted area, then cover it in salt. Be sure to use a generous amount of salt and start scrubbing before the salt begins to dissolve.
The best way to remove rust from garage doors is to uphold proper maintenance. Garage Doors of Indianapolis can provide proper garage door maintenance services for you today!