Even in the most careful of households, the garage door can become the victim of small scratches and dents. Whether the damage results from a rock displaced by mowing an adjacent patch of grass, a stray ball, a bump from your child's bike or contact with the family car, this type of damage can detract from the overall appearance of your home. In many instances, even though the damage is unsightly, homeowners may decide to put off making the repairs because the garage door is still operational. If your garage door has become ugly due to a scratch or dent, the following DIY tips just might help you give it the cosmetic facelift it needs to become beautiful once again.
Healing Surface Scratches
Scratches on steel garage doors are more than just ugly. Left unrepaired, a scratch can penetrate through the finish on the door and expose the steel underneath to the damaging effects of moisture and weather. This can cause rust to develop on the bare metal, worsening the damage and making the door even less attractive. If you have a scratch on your garage door, begin by carefully cleaning the area with a soft cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol. This will easily remove any dirt that has become embedded in the scratch. Wipe gently, and do not use a scrubbing action, brush or any abrasive cleaning products that could cause further damage to the finish.
Using a cotton swap or the tip of a small paint brush, carefully dab a good quality, rust-proof paint into the crevice of the scratch, making sure that the paint color matches the door and there are no drips or smears around the edges. Let the paint dry completely and examine the area. If the scratch is still visible, apply another thin coat of paint, still being careful not to allow the paint to drip or run. Once again, let the paint dry completely, then apply a drop of liquid car wax and buff gently with a soft cloth to restore the shine.
Repairing Dents and Dings
A small dent or ding can often be removed from a steel garage door in much the same way that a small dent is removed from an automobile. Heat is applied to force the metal to expand, followed immediately by the application of cold to cause contraction of the metal. In many cases, this sudden manipulation of the metal's temperature will remove small dents, allowing the metal to regain its original shape.
To use this technique on a dent on your garage door, you will need:
- a soft cloth, moistened with water
- a hand held heat gun or hair dryer to apply heat to the dent
- a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil a bit larger than the dented area
- a can of compressed air to supply a burst of cold, concentrated air
First, clean the area gently with the cloth. When the area has been allowed to dry thoroughly, hold one corner of the foil above the dented area so that the dent is completely covered by the foil. The foil will protect the surface of the door from the direct heat of the heat gun or hair dryer. Apply the heat for approximately sixty seconds, then quickly drop the foil and direct the full force of the compressed air at the dent for approximately thirty seconds or until the dent pops out and the metal is restored to its original shape. Remember to hold the can of compressed air upside down when spraying to get the maximum cooling power.
If the scratch or dent to your garage door is severe, or is not remedied by the techniques above, it is a good idea to contact a local garage door repair service like Garbers Of Richmond Inc for an expert opinion. They will be able to provide additional options to remove the dent or scratch, or help you arrange to have the damaged panel replaced with a new one.