Waterproofing Your Wooden Garage Door: Why And How

Garage doors made from natural woods have a striking elegance, providing your home with a strong rustic touch. To keep this beauty rich and fresh, it is important to make sure your garage door is properly waterproofed.

Why Should I Waterproof?

Exterior-facing wood that has not been stained and sealed can become an eyesore. If your garage door is not protected from the elements, moisture and the sun's rays can wreak havoc on more than its looks-- it can compromise the vital structural integrity of the door.

Since garage doors move so often, they are put through more stress than other materials around your home and require special consideration. Any bending or warping, cracking or other damage can cause safety hazards as it is routinely in motion. Waterproofing your wooden garage door will not only keep your home looking beautiful and safe, but will save you money in the long run in expensive repairs or potential replacement.

What Types of Garage Doors Should Be Waterproofed?

Any natural wooden garage doors should have some measure of waterproofing. Manufactured doors using engineered materials are usually already waterproof by design. Natural woods that are exposed to the elements absolutely require some kind of sealing or waterproofing stain to keep them healthy.

Steps to Waterproof Properly

The first step in the waterproofing process is always cleaning. If you do not clean your garage door properly  before you waterproof it, your sealing process will not go smoothly and you will also seal in harmful qualities.

Remember to follow all of these guidelines for the front and back of your garage door.

Use a high quality wood-cleaning product!

Dust, moss, mildew and other bits of dirt are very common on any wood that is outside, and are bad for it, this is part of the reason it is imperative to clean your door.

If your door is new, cleaning and then sanding the door will remove mill glaze, which is the name professionals use to describe the pores left behind after the milling process.

When you combine a high quality wood cleaner with a water pressure power washer at a low pressure you will end up removing most of the stains and grime found on your wooden garage door.

After cleaning your garage door comes brightening it, which is an optional part of the process. If you have a high-tannin wood like cedar or redwood, which are popular exterior door options as they are naturally rot and fire resistant, you may find a benefit from the look of brightening. Also the cleaning process can bring the tannins to the surface of the wood, making it darker and changing the color in an uneven manner. Quality brightening products can neutralize these tannins, restoring the wood to a more natural color. After these steps make sure to allow plenty of time for the wood to dry, usually at least 24 hours.

After you have brightened, it is time to apply sealant that will make your garage waterproof. Make sure to use a quality stain or sealer-- this is not a time to skimp on quality. You will find that penetrating oil-based wood stain is often best. To apply, use a roller, brush, or air sprayer. Follow the directions on whatever product you choose regarding the number of coats-- one coat is often all that is required. Back brushing is a technique encourages the stain to soak into the surface of your garage door, forming a quality seal. Once the product has dried, you can go over it with exterior polyurethane or varnish, which provides a glossy finish of varying degree. Remember that these will eventually peel, so you will eventually need to refinish down the line. Even if your garage doors aren't wooden, check with a professional to make sure that they are protected from the weather in your area.