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Remove Rust or Corrosion from Your Garage Door

Remove Rust or Corrosion from Your Garage Door

Here in the Athens/Huntsville AL region, it can get really humid. That humidity and moisture in the air can rust or corrode your garage door. This even includes aluminum garage doors, which even though does not rust, they do oxidize and corrode. Leave these spots alone long enough, it can cause all sorts of problems, from critters getting into your garage to total garage door failure. That is why we want to go over how to spot the rust and corrosion while it’s small and remove it before it becomes a problem.

Identifying Rust and Corrosion on Your Garage Door

Signs of Rust and Corrosion

First things first, you need to spot the problem areas on your garage door. Look for any signs of discoloration, red or orange flaking, or pitting on the door itself. These are telltale signs of rust and corrosion. Additionally, if your door is starting to creak more than usual or feels stiff when moving, it might be time to give it a closer inspection.

Common Areas Prone to Rust

Most garage doors will start to show rust along the lower panels where rainwater splashes and collects. Also, metal components like hinges, springs, and tracks are highly susceptible to rust. Keeping an eye on these areas can help you catch rust before it becomes a bigger problem.

Tools and Materials Needed

To tackle rust removal, you’ll need a few key supplies. We suggest gathering everything before you start, so the process goes smoothly. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A stiff wire brush or sandpaper (coarse-grit for heavy rust, fine-grit for finishing touches).
  • Chemical rust remover, if you prefer a less labor-intensive approach.
  • Protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses.
  • Primer and paint that are suitable for metal and matched to your garage door’s color.
  • A sealant to protect the new paint job from the elements.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Rust

Cleaning the Area

Start with a clean surface by washing down your garage door with soapy water and a sponge to remove any dirt and debris. Let it dry completely before you begin the rust removal process.

Removing the Rust

Mechanical Removal

Using a wire brush or sandpaper, scrub the rusted areas firmly to remove all the rust. This can be a bit of a workout, so take your time and be thorough. Once I helped a neighbor with this, and we turned it into somewhat of a fitness challenge, which really took the tedium out of the task!

Chemical Removal

If you’re using a chemical rust remover, apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Always wear gloves and safety glasses, as these chemicals can be harsh. Allow the remover to sit for the specified time before scrubbing it off with a brush.

Preparation for Painting

After removing the rust, smooth the area with fine-grit sandpaper to prepare it for painting. This will help the primer and paint adhere better and result in a smoother finish.

Painting and Protecting Your Garage Door

Choosing the Right Paint

Select a paint that’s formulated for exterior metal surfaces. If you’re unsure about the color, you can take a small chip of the existing paint to a paint store and have it matched.

Application Tips

Apply a metal primer first to protect the surface and enhance the durability of the paint job. Once the primer is dry, apply the paint in thin, even coats. I recommend using a spray paint for a more even application, especially on larger doors.

Applying Sealant

Once the paint has dried completely, apply a clear sealant over the painted area. This adds an extra layer of protection against the elements and can help prevent future rust.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Future Rust

Regular Maintenance

Keep your garage door clean by regularly washing it down. This not only keeps the door looking good but it also prevents dirt buildup that can trap moisture against the metal, encouraging rust.

Routine Inspections

Make it a habit to inspect your garage door for early signs of rust as part of your home maintenance routine. Catching and addressing rust early can save you a lot of time and expense in the long run.

Appropriate Lubrication

Lubricate the moving metal parts of your garage door annually with a product designed for garage doors. This not only prevents rust but also keeps the door operating smoothly.


Dealing with rust on your garage door might seem daunting, but with the right tools and a bit of elbow grease, it’s definitely manageable. Remember, maintaining your garage door not only improves your home’s curb appeal but also its functionality. If the rust or corrosion has already gotten out of hand, you can call us at Stateline Garage Door to assess the damage. Sometimes instead of having to replace a whole door, we can do a garage door panel replacement, which is  to replace one or two panels, saving you money. However, the best way to save money is to tackle the rust and corrosion before it gets to where you need a professional. Your wallet will thank you.