Now that October is finally upon us and the leaves have begun to turn, it’s time to start thinking about how you can best look after your home during the darker, harsher winter months. A big part of this is looking after your garage door – as a large part of your home (and an expensive one to replace), ensuring your garage door is kept in tip top condition should be a special concern at this time of year. So how can you ensure your garage door is kept secure and can withstand the elements during these latter months of the year?
Leaves & Debris
No matter what type of garage door you have, whether it opens as one large panel or in sections, and whether it’s made from metallic materials or from solid timber, the internal mechanism is going to need protecting from the inevitable autumn/winter grime and debris which can find its way into your garage space at this time of year. Each time you use your garage, and particularly after high winds or if you have a number of trees which are dropping leaves around your property, take a good look around the full interior working mechanism of your garage door. If there are leaves and other debris stuck in the mechanism, or if the springs/working parts have become grimy, give these areas a careful wipe down with clean, soapy water and remove anything that has become stuck or wedged in. Be careful not to touch the mechanism too much, as you may cause damage to either yourself or to the working parts of the door.
The notoriously poor winter weather in the UK can mean that you could see harsh sunlight, high winds, snow, sleet, hail, driving rain and ice all in one day. This will inevitably take its toll on any exposed surface, so steps should be taken to ensure your door is as resilient as possible during this time. If you have a timber garage door, it’s important to ensure that it has been properly treated recently enough that it’s still water-repellent. Using a wood stain rather than a varnish means that the door can still breathe, ensuring any trapped moisture can be evaporated out of the door. Sealing in even a small amount of moisture will mean the door panel will eventually become water damaged and may suffer from rot – this will inevitably weaken the door and will reduce the security it brings to your property, as well as spoil the natural beauty of the timber.
For metal doors constructed from steel or aluminium, ensuring that the paint job is still uniform over the entire panel and that there are no existing, exposed areas of rust are paramount. Of course, rust will not be a problem for aluminium doors, but it’s still important to ensure the finish has not been worn away or compromised. If it has, re-priming and painting the door will help to keep it protected from the elements.
As the evenings get darker at an earlier time, the trend for burglaries and opportunist thieving from homes tends to rise. The dark is the perfect cover for burglars, and if your home is lit up from the inside showcasing everything you own to the street outside, it can look very tempting indeed. Garages are usually somewhat separated from the main property, so they become easy targets, even when thieves cannot see what’s inside. Ensure that your garage locking mechanism works properly, and ensure that you are able to secure your garage if you have an electric motor and the power cuts out. Extra security measures could mean adding a garage door defender for up & over doors and/or installing a Yale home alarm which will alert you if someone manages to get into your garage.