Wood garage doors offer a beauty that metal doors can only try to emulate. They are also sturdy and they wear well, when provided with the proper care. Understand the maintenance needs for a wood garage door before you purchase one and have it installed.
Protect and Seal
UV protection prolongs the life of any garage door, but it's especially necessary for wooden doors. Most UV seals are paint-on treatments that are applied before the door is stained, varnished or painted. You can also purchase stains and paints that contain a UV protectant.
On top of the UV seal is your weather seal. This can be a varnish or a paint made for outdoor use. Frequency of application varies, depending on the product used and the weather in your area. You may need to reapply both the UV protectant and the varnish or paint every two years in areas exposed to constant sunlight and heat, or in areas with high moisture. In mild climates with moderate moisture, the finish may last four years or more.
A poorly balanced wood door is more likely to crack, split or warp, compared to the same problem on a metal door. Take the time to inspect your door once a month or so. Make sure it goes up and down smoothly. Also, visually inspect the frame and panels. Often, you can fix a minor split or crack if you catch it early. Major damage may require a replacement of the panel or even of the entire door.
Repair Dents and Dings
Wood is more resistant to minor dents compared to metal, but gouges can still damage the appearance of the door. Fortunately, they aren't likely to throw the door off balance, or to make it difficult to open or close. You can fix these dents by sanding them out and then filling them with wood putty. Once repaired, simply paint over the area to disguise the damage. If you use a stain on your door instead of paint, mix a small amount of the stain into the putty before filling the dent, so it matches the rest of the door.
Get the Right Opener
This final tip isn't for the garage door itself, but for the automatic opener. Wood doors are usually heavier than metal, so you need to make sure your automatic opener has enough power to open the door. You don't want your new wood door to burn out the garage door opener.
For more information, contact a local garage door supplier (such as General Door Services).