Maintenance-free garage doors make life a lot easier for homeowners — if the garage doors remain in good shape. These doors still need to be cleaned and cared for because the environment they're in and the conditions they face can have detrimental effects over time. While this may look like maintenance to you, it's actually very simple care that doesn't take long to do and often doesn't require any extra effort from you except to notice how you're treating the door in a specific situation.
Dirt and Dust Still Occur
Maintenance-free garage doors aren't dust- and dirt-repellent. You're going to see dust and dirt accumulate over time, so cleaning these off regularly is essential. You can brush off much of the dirt within a few minutes; occasionally giving the exterior side of the door a wash is necessary, too. Dust off other parts of the opening mechanism, too. Do check the springs and lifting mechanism or have a garage door company do inspections each year to ensure the springs and other parts aren't getting clogged with dust, which can affect the operation and require repair.
Damage From Weather and Other Phenomena May Still Show Up
If you live in a region that sees severe weather, that weather can damage these doors. Which is an obvious statement, but "maintenance-free" refers to regular maintenance, not repairs from weather damage. After severe storms, you need to check out the door to look for hail damage, remove leaves that strong winds blew into the door and remove mud that was splashed up onto the door by heavy rains. In areas where the weather can be very hot and dry, you still need to ensure the door's opening mechanism is well-lubricated and that parts aren't starting to crack or warp after a particularly bad heatwave.
Watch How You Handle Manual Mode
One last issue is how you handle the door when it's in manual mode. You may like using the automatic opener, but occasionally, you may have to put the door into a manual mode where you lift and pull the door yourself. In these cases, watch how you handle the door. Pull or lift it in a straight line vertically; ensure you're not accidentally pulling it to one side or pulling it down with too much force. All of that can make the opening mechanism and the tracks suffer slight damage that makes the door function less well.
Your job, when you have these garage doors, is basically to act as caretaker for the door against the elements. The construction itself is meant to eliminate a lot of the maintenance that these doors usually need, but the weather and human use can still change how the doors work. With care, you can avoid future problems with your garage doors.
Contact a supplier of maintenance-free steel garage doors for more information.