Living in a picturesque seaside suburb in Australia is a dream come true. However, it comes with the unique challenge of maintaining your garage door amid the corrosive sea air, humidity, and strong winds.
You don’t have to live right on the water to feel the destructive effects of salty sea spray. Even homes many kilometres inland are susceptible to accelerated corrosion. Although not near breaking surf, riverside homes and those in bayside suburbs are also more exposed to the forces of salty air.
In this guide, we’ll explore the best practices for preserving your garage door’s longevity and performance. Whether you reside in Brisbane’s Bayside suburbs, on the sunny Gold Coast, near Sydney’s iconic beaches, close to Melbourne’s best ocean swimming spots or within walking distance to some of Australia’s best surf breaks in Wollongong — this article will provide valuable insights and expert tips. With six key focus areas, you’ll learn how to safeguard your garage door from the harsh coastal elements, so it remains functional and attractive.
Regularly maintain your coastal garage
Seaside suburbs demand extra attention when it comes to garage door maintenance. The combination of salt air and a breezy coastal climate can have a corrosive effect on the various components of your garage door system. Regular maintenance should include lubricating moving parts, checking all parts for signs of rust or corrosion, inspecting cables and springs and ensuring proper alignment.
By staying proactive with maintenance, you can prevent potential issues caused by the harsh seaside environment and enjoy a smooth-functioning garage door all year round.
How to lubricate your garage door
Lubricating your garage door more frequently is highly recommended if you reside in a seaside suburb. The saltwater particles in the air can settle on the metal components of your garage door, leading to increased friction and potential damage over time. Regularly applying a high-quality silicone-based lubricant to the hinges, rollers, and tracks can minimise the effects of saltwater corrosion and ensure smooth operation of your garage door. It is advisable to lubricate your garage door at least twice a year or every three months for optimal performance and longevity, depending on the severity of the coastal environment.
See the 6 steps to maintaining your garage door here.
Protect your garage door from salt spray
The salty air and high humidity levels in coastal areas such as Sydney, Melbourne, and the Gold Coast can cause corrosion and damage to garage doors faster than would usually occur. To combat this, choose a garage door made of materials that are resistant to corrosion, such as aluminium or stainless steel.
Rusting of metal components such as hinges, springs, and tracks is a common problem, so it’s important to regularly clean these parts of your garage door to remove any salt residue that may accumulate over time.
Prolonged exposure to saltwater can weaken the structural integrity of wooden garage doors, leading to warping and decay. For timber doors, applying a protective coating or paint specifically designed for coastal environments can provide an extra layer of defence against saltwater and humidity. However, you should always speak to the manufacturer before you apply such treatments.
Proper ventilation in the garage can also help reduce moisture levels and prevent condensation, which can contribute to corrosion. Read here for four easy steps to improving garage ventilation.
Be prepared for high winds and cyclones
In coastal areas that experience high winds and cyclones, Australian construction laws require homeowners to take extra precautions to ensure their garage door can withstand high winds and damage from debris. Not only can a properly engineered garage door protect your home, but it will also prevent it from becoming a dangerous projectile during high-wind events or cyclones.
Steel-Line manufactures a range of wind-rated garage doors that have been shown to withstand the most extreme conditions. These garage doors have wind locks or braces that can help them resist wind loads better than a regular garage door. For more hints and tips on what to consider when it comes to buying a garage door when you live in a cyclone-prone suburb, see our article Is your garage door prepared for a cyclone? The National Construction Code has more information on the precautions to take in high-wind regions.
Don’t forget to keep it clean
When you live in a seaside suburb, the constant exposure to saltwater, sand, and even sunscreen can cause corrosion and damage to garage doors over time. To combat this, handwashing with a gentle yet effective cleaning solution made from a mixture of warm water and mild detergent is recommended. Use a soft, clean rag and be sure to rinse off with fresh water. This will help remove any salt residue and grime without causing any harm to the door’s surface. While you’re cleaning, inspect the garage door for any signs of rust or damage and address them promptly to prevent further deterioration.
Depending on what sort of material your garage door is made from, you might like to apply a protective wax or sealant after cleaning to provide an extra layer of defence against the harsh coastal elements. This coating forms a barrier that prevents direct contact between the metal and saltwater air. However, you should always consult the manufacturer’s instructions.
For more cleaning tips, see our article on how to clean a Colorbond garage door.
Use weatherstripping to keep out the elements
In coastal areas, it is highly recommended to use seals or weatherstripping to protect garage doors from the harsh coastal elements. The salty air and high humidity levels can cause corrosion and damage to the garage door components over time. To combat this, specialised seals and weatherstripping are designed to create a tight seal between the garage door and the frame, preventing any moisture or saltwater from seeping in. These seals are typically made of durable materials such as neoprene or silicone, which are resistant to corrosion and can withstand the coastal climate. By installing these seals or weatherstripping, homeowners can ensure that their garage doors remain in optimal condition for years to come.
Read more about Steel-Line’s 8 best-selling garage doors and accessories here.
Consider added protection with paint
A Colorbond steel garage door from Steel-Line is pre-painted with a special formulation that provides a long-lasting coloured finish, so it doesn’t need to be painted. However, if you have an older garage door, applying a protective layer of paint or coating can help create a barrier that shields the door from the corrosive effects of salt and moisture. Painting or coating your garage door can enhance its aesthetic appeal and prolong its lifespan by preventing rust formation. Choosing a paint or coating specifically designed for coastal environments is advisable to ensure maximum protection against the harsh elements.
Before you pick up a paintbrush, read about things you need to know before repainting a garage roller door.
Steel-Line can help you safeguard your coastal haven
Whether on Brisbane’s bayside, sunny Sydney, or the calm waters of Melbourne, a garage door close to the ocean requires special care. Following Steel-Line’s expert tips will ensure longevity and optimal performance of your coastal garage door, from tropical north Queensland right down to Geelong.
If you need professional help to keep your garage door in top working order, book a service with Steel-Line or call us on 1300 767 900.