If you have a wooden garage door leading into your garage, then you undoubtedly want to prevent this door from rotting. Wood rot can cause significant structural damage as the rot spreads, and it can also lead to the development of insect infestations. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to prevent rot from occurring. Keep reading to learn about a few of these things.
Add a Lip
Special types of wood are often used across the bottom of fences and other constructions to make sure that the wood does not rot as it comes into contact with the ground. This wood is called pressure treated ground contact wood and it contains more preservative per cubic foot than regular pressure treated wood. Your garage door is not likely to contain this wood near the ground, but you can ask your garage door professional to install a one-half inch lip on the edge of the garage door.
You also can purchase a lip that will protect the wood from moisture. For easy installation, look for a universal rubber garage door seal at your local home store. These seals usually come in rolls that match standard garage door widths that include 10, 12, 14, and 16 feet, so make sure to measure the size of your garage door before buying the seal. Afterwards, use a pair of scissors to cut the seal to size.
If the lip comes with adhesive, spread a generous amount on the lip and push it up against the bottom edge of the garage door. If the lip does not come with an adhesive, then purchase a tube of polyurethane adhesive. This material is an extremely sticky polymer that will adhere almost all types of materials together. This means it will create a waterproof seal between the door and the rubber lip.
Once the seal is secured in place, you may need to adjust the pressure sensor on the garage door so it does not reverse as the lip hits the ground. Lower the door to see if it reverses first. If it does, then you will need to reduce the sensitivity of the reverse mechanism. Look in your owner's manual to see exactly how to do this. Typically, you will need to turn a knob or tighten a screw somewhere on the door operator. If you do this, make sure to adjust the mechanism slowly. Otherwise, the reverse mechanism may not work if an object obstructs the door.
Fill in Cracks
It is wise to apply a stain, varnish, or a sealer to the surface of your wooden garage door to help prevent water and general weather damage. These materials will create a barrier on the surface of the wood and seep into it a small amount. However, they will not protect the wood towards the middle. This means that water can seep into the wood if a crack forms.
To keep rot from occurring, make sure to fill in cracks that you see. Before you purchase a crack filler material, use a hair dryer to dry out the damaged area of the garage door. If the area does not dry out or if wood appears to flake away easily, then rot has likely already set in. You will need to seal and harden the area with a material called rotted wood stabilizer. Use a small paintbrush to apply the fluid to the rotten crack.
Once the stabilizer is applied or the crack is dried out, purchase a wood filler from your local home store. You can purchase a tinted product to match the wood of the door or you can apply a stainable variety if you plan on applying stain over the filler. Use a small putty knife to force the filler into the crack. Once the filler dries, use a piece of fine grit sandpaper to make sure the filler is level. For more information, you can go to sites hosted by garage door repair companies.