The Effects of Rain Damage on Garage Doors and How to Prevent It

The Effects of Rain Damage on Garage Doors and How to Prevent It

The effects of rain damage on garage doors and how to prevent it.

If you’re an Oregon resident, you are all too familiar with rainy days and torrential downpours. In the same way you keep your umbrella and rain boots handy, you can take measures to shield your garage door from the weather. Protecting your garage door from the elements is essential because rain has the potential to cause severe water damage.

This article will cover the effects of rain damage on garage doors, the tips you need to prevent rain damage on garage doors in Oregon and who to contact to repair rain damage on garage doors in Oregon. Keep reading to ensure your garage door stays in pristine condition this rainy season.

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Can Rain Damage Garage Doors?

Anyone who lives in Oregon knows rain is a regular part of life. Unfortunately, rain and your garage door typically do not mix well. Too much rain can result in water damage, leaking and flooding, which can also harm your garage’s interior and its contents.

In particular, rain can cause considerable damage to your garage door if you have a wood door. Increased moisture can make the frame surrounding a wooden garage door swell, decreasing the clearance between the frame and the door. When the distance between a garage door and its frame closes, the door can begin to rub against the frame and potentially become stuck in place. 

Rain can also cause other sorts of water damage to wooden garage doors, such as warping their panels or causing the wood to rot. Excessive rain can also affect metal doors. After extended exposure to rainwater, metal garage doors will start to rust and deteriorate. The hinges and other metal components of a wooden garage door are also prone to rust.

How Does Water Affect My Garage Door?

If you have a wooden garage door, rainwater can affect it in a few specific ways. Being aware of these issues can help you spot them before they escalate. After extensive periods of rain, make sure you check your garage door for signs of damage and maintenance needs.

Learn to recognize these main three effects of rain damage on garage doors.

  1. Increased weight: When wooden garage doors soak up rainwater and get damaged by wear, they become increasingly heavier than they were at their initial installation. This excess weight puts a strain on your garage door opener, which may damage the system. Pay attention to whether your garage door seems to be creaking and struggling more to open.
  2. Freezing: If the temperature drops below freezing, any rainwater that collects between the rubber seals of your wooden garage door and the floor may freeze. When this occurs, the garage door can freeze shut, preventing you from opening your garage door until the ice melts. Even once the ice melts, watch out for any water collecting underneath your garage door, which may cause further damage.
  3. Warp: Warped panels are one of the primary issues rainwater causes in wooden garage doors because they impact the door’s ability to function. Once one panel warps or changes size, the other panels no longer align, which throws off the entire door’s operation. A warped garage door will not open and close correctly, making it a safety hazard. If you notice your garage door beginning to buckle, it most likely has become warped.

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How to Prevent Rain Damage on Garage Doors

How to Prevent Rain Damage on Garage Doors

You may not be able to avoid rainwater, but you can take specific steps to protect your garage door from water damage. Follow these steps for preparing garage doors for the rainy season.

1. Inspect Your Garage Door

Begin by checking your garage door for possible issues, such as holes, dents, cracks and warping. Repairing any problems that you notice with your garage door while inspecting it will help you avoid more significant issues due to rain damage. 

Be sure to pay special attention to these three components.

  • Appearance: Visually inspect your garage door to locate any cracks or dents you may need to fix.
  • Seals: Ensure the seals are tight and there are no gaps between the door and the ground where rainwater could get in.
  • Operation: If your garage door is not functioning smoothly and quietly, there may be more extensive issues to address.

2. Replace Weather Seals

The weather seals create a tight seal between the bottom of your garage door and the ground, which helps prevent minor flooding and rainwater damage. However, repeated use and friction can degrade the weather seals over time. If you notice any rips, cracks or failing adhesives on your garage door, contact a local expert to receive the correct replacement parts.

3. Test Your Garage Door

In times of extreme rain, perform a quick safety test to make sure your garage door is operating correctly despite the storms. These safety tests will check that your garage door’s safety features are still working, which will help you and your family avoid any potentially dangerous situations.

Regularly test these two safety features.

  • Automatic reverse feature: Your garage door’s ability to automatically reverse after sensing an object in its path is a crucial safety measure. Test that this feature is still working by placing something solid, such as a piece of wood, in the door’s closing path before closing the garage door. The door should reverse once it reaches the item.
  • Photo-eye sensors: To function properly, your garage door’s photo-eye sensors need to be in alignment. To test this, look for the light on one of the devices indicating it’s in line with the other sensor. Then, close the garage door and move a broom or similar object through the sensors’ sightline. If the sensors are working, the garage door should begin reversing.

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How to Protect Garage Doors From Flooding

Some garage doors may be more susceptible to increased water flow because of the house’s orientation, which can lead to flooding. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can protect your garage door from flooding in times of extreme rain.

  1. Install drainage: You can significantly lower the chances of flooding by installing a trench drain. Create a trench in front of your garage to divert rainwater by cutting a channel from one side of the driveway to the other, then laying a U-shaped steel or PVC pipe and covering it with a steel grate. This drain will redirect rainwater into your main sewer line before it can build up in your garage.
  2. Install a threshold seal: This weather seal is a thick rubber strip that attaches to the garage floor instead of the garage door itself. A threshold seal can effectively keep water from flowing into your garage, but you may still need a drain to sweep the water away.
  3. Invest in a new garage door: The most reliable way to prepare your garage door for the rainy season is to get a new garage door that rates well for withstanding extreme weather and flooding.

Contact Valley Overhead Door for Garage Door Service

Contact Valley Overhead Door for Garage Door Services and New Garage Doors

Valley Overhead Door knows how to prepare garage doors for the rainy season in Oregon. With more than 20 years of experience serving members of the Albany, Ore., community and surrounding areas, we have the necessary expertise to protect your garage door from rainwater and flooding. We offer friendly, professional service to repair rain damage on your garage door or install a new one.

To learn more about how to keep your garage door safe from water damage or schedule a service appointment, contact Valley Overhead Door today.

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How to Maintain Garage Doors in Oregon

Your garage door is an essential part of your home. It opens and closes to give you safe access to your house. It protects the items inside from the elements. Your garage door even serves as a line of defense against intruders. For these reasons and more, you’ll want to make sure you’re practicing proper garage door maintenance. 

If you’re wondering how to maintain your garage door in Oregon, Valley Overhead Door is here to help. Follow these tips to keep your garage door in great shape for years to come. 

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Inspect Your Garage Door

When your garage door is working as it should, it’s easy to not give it much thought. However, your garage door sees a lot of use, and if you don’t check on it periodically, major problems could develop. Inspect your garage door at least once or twice a year to find possible issues before they turn into major inconveniences.

Be sure to pay particular attention to these components as you check your garage door: 

  • Appearance: How does your garage door look? Does it need a fresh coat of paint, or do you see any cracks or dents? Keeping your door looking nice helps to maintain the exterior aesthetic of your home. 
  • Seals: Are all the seals tight? Loose seals can affect how well your door works, as well as whether it can keep the cold or warm air out of your garage. 
  • Operation: Does everything operate smoothly and quietly? If your garage door jerks when it moves or is slower and noisier than it once was, then the rollers or tracks may need to be cleaned. You may also need to have a professional come to inspect your door if cleaning doesn’t work. 

Service the Chain or Belt

Your garage door opener uses a chain or belt to open and close your garage door, and over time, this component can loosen, creating slack. This results in slapping or groaning sounds when you engage the opener. 

To fix this issue, the chain or belt will need to be tightened. However, overtightening can result in breakage or damage, so it’s best to have a professional complete the repair.  

Service the Seals and Springs

The seals and springs of your garage door play important roles. Seals make sure outdoor elements stay outside. They also keep small pests from sneaking through any cracks into your home. Springs are crucial to the balance of your garage door, aiding the opener in the process. 

To fix or replace your weather seal, open the garage door to a comfortable height so that you can inspect the bottom where the weather seal is. If it has cracks or is falling apart, then it is time for a replacement. Measure the length and find a new garage door weather seal at your local garage door repair shop or hardware store. It should easily fit the bottom of your garage door. 

To service your springs, you need to locate them first overhead in the pulley system. Spray them generously with penetrating oil to help them when they expand and contract. Call a professional if you think your springs need replacement or adjustment. They’re under high tension, and adjusting them incorrectly can result in serious injury. 

Inspect and Replace the Rollers

Rollers are influential to the smooth opening and closing of your garage door. When rollers are in good shape, your garage door slides easily and silently. If you have chipped or broken rollers, your opener could struggle to open and close your garage door, and you might feel resistance when manually operating it. Broken rollers affect the sound of your garage door as well. They can cause a grinding sound and make the overall operation of the garage door louder.  

You may be able to replace some rollers yourself by removing the roller bracket and replacing them with new ones from your local hardware or garage specialty store. But, some rollers connect to the cable system, so you should leave replacing those to a professional. Rollers connected to cables can be unsafe to try to disconnect yourself. 

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Cleaning the Garage Door

As a homeowner in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, you might have a carriage, glass or metal garage door to withstand the rain and moisture. It’s important to keep your garage door clean to make sure grime and debris are not building up in your hinges or between panels. You also want to limit rust and other forms of damage as much as you can. 

Sand and repaint any areas of rust that you find to keep it from spreading. Gently wipe your garage door with a soft cloth and clean it with a mild, all-purpose cleaner. Rinse with a hose using light-to-moderate pressure.

If you have a wooden garage door, keep an eye out for warped or cracked panels and have them replaced as needed. To keep your wooden garage door resistant to water, sand and repaint or restain your wooden garage door every few years. When cleaning, use a soft cloth to remove debris. Try to avoid using water to rinse your wooden garage door. 

Perform Safety Tests

Garage door openers are designed with safety features in place. If these features aren’t working, it can create a potentially dangerous situation. Performing safety tests to ensure everything is working right is one of the best precautions you can take to keep yourself and your family safe. Here are a couple of these features to check regularly.

Automatic Reverse Feature

Check your opener’s automatic reverse features by placing a piece of wood or another hard object in the door’s closing path. Then close your garage door. When the door reaches the object, it should automatically reverse. 

Photo Eye Sensors

Make sure your garage door’s photo eye sensors are correctly aligned. You should see a light on the device showing that it is in line with the other sensor. Then, grab a broom or other long household item. Close the garage door and move the object through the sensors’ line of sight. The door should start reversing.

If either or both of these features are not functioning, you may want to call a professional to get them back in working order. In some instances, you may need to install a new garage door opener. 

Contact Valley Overhead Door to Schedule Garage Door Maintenance

Valley Overhead Door knows how to maintain garage doors in Oregon. Located in Albany, OR, we’ve been serving our local residents as well as those in Corvallis and Salem for more than 20 years. We provide friendly, professional service, so you can be happy with your garage door for years to come. 

As the area’s only Clopay® dealer, we care about quality in everything we do. Contact us today to learn more. Schedule a service appointment or request an estimate for a new garage door or repairs. We look forward to helping you maintain and enjoy your garage door!

Wood Composite Garage Doors

Wood composite garage doors are made by adhering a variety of materials to a metal door to make it resemble a wooden door. If you’re shopping around for a new garage door, there’s a good chance you’re considering one of these. They’re environmentally friendly, low maintenance and exceptionally durable. However, not all composite garage doors are created equal, and some lower-quality models fail to emulate real wood convincingly.

Read through our guide to learn about the pros and cons of faux wood garage doors and their authentic wood counterparts. We will also introduce some of the best composite garage doors on the market.

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Real Wood Vs. Faux Wood

While faux wood and real wood can look similar, they are generally different in price, durability, maintenance and manufacturing process. In this section, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each garage door material.

Pros and Cons of Real Wood

The advantages of real wood doors include:

  • Many customization options: The panels on wooden garage doors can be customized readily. You can choose custom features like glass panels, raised panels with artistic carvings and wood grain patterns with horizontal, vertical, herringbone or chevron designs.
  • The wood is real: While many faux wood doors look like real wood, you may prefer having a door made of authentic wood. Owners of historic homes often choose real wood doors to go with the timeless design of their homes.
  • Dent proof: Unlike aluminum or steel doors, real wood doors are not susceptible to denting. If you’re worried that your garage door will get damaged, a real wood door may be what you want.

However, real wood doors also have a variety of potential drawbacks, including:

  • Potentially high cost: Garage doors made of solid wood cost more than those made of materials like fiberglass, composite and steel. However, the cost of a wood door depends on the species of wood. Common varieties are oak, cedar, mahogany, fir, tropical hardwood and redwood. Other features, including the door’s size and add-ons such as windows, insulation and decorative hardware, can also affect the cost.
  • Termites love them: Since wood is organic, it’s susceptible to termites. Termites are constantly searching for a source of food, and they eat natural materials only. If you’re experiencing a termite problem with your wood door, act quickly. As time passes, termites will spread and eat away at more wood, which will eventually lead to structural issues. Termites can also put your security at risk, as they can spread from your garage door to your home, where they can eat papers, cardboard, books and other organic materials. If you live in a colder area, termites might come to your garage door for warmth and food, which will also allow them to multiply.
  • They take time to order: One of the advantages of real wood doors is that they’re available in many styles, including carriage house doors that have raised panels and elaborate decorations. However, it takes considerable time to design, make and install real wood doors. So if you’re short on time, you may want to consider another garage door material.
  • They often require special equipment: Wood is one of the heavier materials for garage doors, and they require particular openers and springs to hold up the weight. If you would like to open your garage door manually, wood isn’t a great idea.
  • More costly repairs: Because wood doors often require special equipment, if something goes wrong, repairs will likely require special hardware, which will be more expensive.
  • Susceptible to the elements: Wood is vulnerable to damage due to cold, humidity, moisture and other weather conditions.
  • High-maintenance: Real wood garage doors require regular upkeep, and a new coat of stain or paint must be applied every year. Sanding is also a requirement. If you don’t properly care for your wood door, it will deteriorate.
  • Potential insulation problems: If you get a real wood door, you may have issues with insulation, since most are only made from a two-inch-thick piece of wood. Other wood doors are simply a wooden frame with insulation inside, which is surrounded by plywood or a hardboard skin. White and red oak are particularly good at protecting from cold, but these options are more expensive.

Pros and Cons of Faux Wood

Faux wood emulates wood’s distinctive characteristics, with high-quality models very closely resembling actual wood. Some advantages of faux wood garage doors include:

  • High durability: Faux doors are made from composite, fiberglass or steel, meaning that they’re sturdy and easy to maintain. They won’t warp, rot or crack like real wood garage doors.
  • Lighter weight: They weigh less than doors made of real wood.
  • Easy installation: Faux doors are easier to install than real wood doors. They can also be opened manually with ease.

The only drawback of faux wood doors is that, since it’s not made of real wood, some models may not be convincing, especially if examined carefully. However, if you opt for a high-quality model, it will be virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.

If you’re a homeowner who prefers a sturdy, budget-friendly door that has a wood appearance, a faux door may be the best option for you.

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Benefits of Wood-Look Garage Door

Wood-look doors are often made of aluminum or steel and feature a natural-looking, durable woodgrain finish. They provide a significant number of benefits, including:

  • Greater affordability: The affordable cost of composite wood is the primary draw for many buyers. A composite door costs a mere fraction of what you’d pay for a garage door made of real wood.
  • Moisture resistance: One of the most considerable disadvantages of real wood is its susceptibility to humidity and moisture, which cause it to swell, expand and warp. A finish provides protection, but these finishes wear off with time, leaving the wood exposed to the harsh elements. Sunlight and excessive heat also cause fading. Faux wood, however, is designed to be highly resistant to heat and moisture. It won’t warp, rot, shrink or crack.
  • Longevity: Due to their exceptional heat and humidity resistance, composite wood doors last longer than real wood ones.
  • No staining: If your garage door is made of faux wood, you’ll never have to stain it.
  • Easy cleaning: Cleaning faux wood garage doors is much easier than cleaning their real wood counterparts. It involves nothing more than just a quick wipe and, if necessary, a hosing. Faux wood garage doors are completely water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about water damage.
  • Eco-friendliness: Faux wood garage doors are considerably more eco-friendly than those made from real wood.
  • Attractiveness: High-quality faux wood doors are so good at imitating the beauty of real wood that many people have trouble distinguishing them from real wood doors.

COACHMAN® Collection

One great collection of faux wood garage doors is Clopay’s COACHMAN® collection. Blending beauty and functionality, these high-quality doors closely resemble real wood but are made from multiple layers of low-maintenance, durable insulation and steel covered by a textured, woodgrain composite overlay. They also feature the appearance of a carriage house-style door, but function like convenient, modern overhead garage doors.

To better understand how these doors are built, here is an overview of the door’s components:

  • Four layers: These steel garage doors are constructed in the carriage house style and feature four layers of construction.
  • Various insulation options: With this collection, you have various insulation options, including 1-3/8″ polystyrene, 2″ polystyrene and 2″ Intellicore® polyurethane.
  • Durable coating system: These doors feature steel skins protected by a layered, tough coating system that includes a galvanized layer, a primer and a top coat.
  • Reinforcement for strong winds: If you live in an area that experiences strong winds, you can get a door that is reinforced to withstand them.
  • Durable weather seal: Doors in the COACHMAN® collection also feature a vinyl weather seal that is in a retainer made of rust-free aluminum.
  • Patented safety feature: We designed our Safe-T-Bracket® feature to prevent injuries that could result from someone removing the door’s bottom bracket while the door is closed and under tension.

The COACHMAN® collection also has a beautiful design and the following features:

  • Four color options: Doors in the COACHMAN® collection come in four colors. You can mix colors together to achieve the look you desire.
  • Many options for glass: These include clear, rain, seeded, frosted, insulated and obscure.
  • Easily removable window grilles: These beveled-edge, attractive window grilles can be removed, allowing you to easily clean the windows.
  • Many decorative add-ons available: You can choose to add step plates, spade lift handles and many other hardware options

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CANYON RIDGE® Collection

The beautiful, distinctive carriage house-style doors from Clopay’s CANYON RIDGE® collection LIMITED EDITION series feature an insulated, energy-efficient base made of steel, finished with composite overlays and cladding. They look like real swing-out doors but conveniently open upward. Built from steel and composite, these doors combine the charm of an old-fashioned carriage house door with the strength and durability of a modern one.

Here is an overview of the construction of these doors:

  • Five layers: These carriage house-style steel doors consist of five layers and feature a composite overlay.
  • Superior insulation: Doors from the Canyon Ridge Collection come with 2″ polyurethane insulation, giving the door an impressive R-value of 20.4.
  • Safe: These doors come with Clopay’s Safe-T-Bracket® feature, which helps prevent serious injury.
  • Can withstand strong winds: You can opt for your door to be reinforced to withstand strong winds.

Features of the Canyon Ridge design include:

  • Molded from real wood: The overlay and cladding materials were made using actual pieces of wood to emulate the species’ texture and elaborate grain patterns.
  • Choice of wood species: For the composite cladding, you can choose between Mahogany, Pecky Cypress and Clear Cypress. For the overlay materials, you can choose Mahogany or Clear Cypress.
  • Many options for glass: If you opt for windows, you can make them clear, obscure, rain, seeded, insulated or frosted.
  • Easily removable window grilles: The grilles on the windows can be easily removed for cleaning.
  • Five color options: You can choose between white wash, walnut, dark finish, medium finish, slate finish and primed.
  • Many options for decorative hardware: These include step plates, spade lift handles, spade strap hinges and many more designs.
  • Quiet rollers: To ensure quiet, long-lasting operation, CANYON RIDGE® garage doors are equipped with high-performance ball-bearing nylon rollers.
  • Durable weather seal: The doors feature vinyl weather seals to protect them from the harsh elements.
  • Sturdy hinges: The hinges are made of 14-gauge steel, ensuring smooth, reliable operation.
  • Customizable top section: For the top section of the door, you can opt for solid panels or insulated windows, which come in arched, square and rectangular designs.

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Upgrade Your Garage Door With Valley Overhead Door

If you live in Albany, Salem or Corvallis, Oregon and are looking to replace your garage door with a more durable and low-maintenance faux wood model, look no farther than Valley Overhead Door. Not only do we offer a wide selection of high-quality Clopay doors, but we also install them for you. To learn more or request a quotecontact us online or call us at 541-926-3828, and one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members will be able to assist you.