Maintenance

Why Is My Garage Door Rusting?

It is not good when the largest moving object in your home begins to rust. Corrosion will usually start small and grow over time until the point where there is no turning back. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why your garage door is rusting and see if you can make some changes before it’s too late.

Water Softener is Installed Close to the Garage Door

Water softener installed very close to the garage door. When you refill the salt tank, salt dust usually goes every which way and can cause a garage door to rust.
Water softener installed very close to the garage door. When you refill the salt tank, salt dust usually goes every which way and can cause a garage door to rust.

One of the biggest enemies of metal is salt. Most homes have a water softener installed in the garage. Some homes have a softener installed by the front wall and others will have it installed very close to the garage door tracks. The reason for this is that in some homes it is easier to tap into the plumbing based on how the water lines were run in the wall.

Having a water softener installed close to the garage door is very common and could be the reason your door is rusting. When you refill the salt tank on your water softener, salt dust will go flying in the air. This salt dust is what causes your garage door to rust. It is highly corrosive to metal and normally will accumulate and settle down at the bottom of the garage door section. If the dust is not blown off or removed your garage door will start to rust.

If you can’t move your water softener to a different location, then it is important to keep your garage door free of water softener salt dust over time. Try your best to use a dry rag or broom to sweep of tracks, sections, and brackets of any salt residue to help prevent the metal from rusting. This will go a long way in preventing long-term rust damage to your garage door.

Pet Urine Causes Metal Garage Doors to Rust

Bottom section rusted all the way through to the point a large part of the section is missing. This was caused by pet urine.
Bottom section rusted all the way through to the point a large part of the section is missing. This was caused by pet urine.

Dogs like to pee on garage door vertical tracks. Why? Because they are vertical and for some reason dogs like to pee on everything that is vertical. We have seen on many occasions where the bottom section of a garage door is completely rusted to the point the metal is no longer present. Many times this is due to pets living in the garage. Dogs also like to pee in the same area over and over one they have marked their spot.

Over time as the bottom section of the garage door is rusting, pieces of metal will fall to the ground and many homeowners will sweep it up and throw it in the trash. What they don’t realize is the bottom section is losing its integrity and will eventually have large holes and complete sections missing. This will take some time but it does happen more than you think and its from pet urine. Pet urine is very acidic and will cause any metal to rust and eventually over time destroy the structure of the metal.

Funny story

There are cities around the world that are having issues with light poles falling over because they have such a large pet population. When people walk their dogs, they will pee on most vertical items many of which are light poles, fire hydrants, and benches. This has become such an issue that a company invented a special paint to help slow down the corrosion.

Pool Chemicals Should Not Be Stored in the Garage

Safety sensor bracket and garage door vertical track rusting.
Safety sensor bracket and garage door vertical track rusting.

There are few things more corrosive to metal than pool chemicals. Storing pool chemicals in your garage can cause your garage door sections, springs, and hardware to rust. Pool chemicals can also cause your vehicle to rust if you park it in the garage.

We recommend storing pool chemicals outside in a non-corrosive building or storage cabinet. A popular unit for storing chemicals and other accessories by the pool are the extra large resin deck box. These deck boxes come in pleasing colors have a lid to keep things safe and unreachable from kids and pets. Moving your pool chemicals out of your garage and into a deck box in the backyard will help prevent all rust in your garage.

Conclusion

Your garage door is the largest moving object in your home. If you are starting to see rust on your garage door sections or tracks, take a look around your garage to see where your water softener is installed or if there are any corrosive chemicals stored. If the bottom section of your garage door starts to rust beyond repair, you might have to replace the whole door is replacement sections are no longer available. This can be a costly repair that can be avoided with the simple tips in this article.

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