Garage Door Rust And How To Deal With It

As one of Canada’s best-rated garage door companies, Calgary Garage Door Fix often gets requests for garage door rust removal, and while we understand the scope of the problem in our area, we’re not always available to help, as we typically prioritize emergency garage door services, and come to rescue when someone got stuck at home because of a malfunctioning garage door. That’s why we decided to come up with this short DIY tutorial on how to deal with garage door rust. 

Nowadays, garage doors are deemed one of the most significant contributors to a home’s overall curb appeal. Apart from their security and protection, garage doors can also be integrated with homeowners’ preferred decor styles and themes for an extra dose of aesthetics. But the thing is, regardless of how modern or updated your garage door may be, it still won’t cut it if it’s rusty. This doesn’t just take away your garage door’s visual sophistication but can easily compromise its strength and integrity as well.  And what’s even more alarming is that if rust is allowed to increase on your garage door, you’re sure to be in for some pretty costly damages before you know it.

If you notice that your garage door already has a tiny bit of rust here and there, there’s no need to worry just yet. Instead, follow along to learn how you can get rid of it with a bit of patience and elbow grease.

Garage Door Curb Appeal

Calgary Garage Door Fix is a Calgary-based garage door supplier, and we are well aware of the fact that harsh weather conditions and local climate affect the longevity of residential and commercial garage doors. It is not uncommon to wake up to a foot of snow in the middle of May after mowing the lawn just a few days prior. Needless to say, moisture that sits underneath your garage door doesn’t do any good. 

There are multiple factors that can affect the rate of corrosion, such as : the material your garage door is made of, how well the water drains out of the garage, the position of the house etc. 

In Calgary, AB. based on our observations, at least 70% of garage doors have some sort of rust damage, ranging from just a few spots here and there to severe corrosion that has spread to the bottom brackets and cables. If your door just started showing signs of corrosion, there is a good chance you can still save it and get rid of it. However, if there is a significant amount of rust present, the likelihood of completely getting rid of it is very low.

Check garage door

#1: Conduct a thorough visual check

Start things off by checking your garage door for the particular areas where rust has already begun to accumulate, as well as the spots that could be potentially prone to oxidation. Be very organized with your inspection, and don’t forget to include the in-between areas.


Remember to list down the spots that need attention. You can also use masking tape as a guide to their specific locations. It’s highly recommended to wear utility gloves if you’d like to have a more in-depth tactile inspection to avoid nicks and cuts as you go along. Make sure you remove the retainer that holds the bottom seal ( if it is safe to do so) as oftentimes there is a fair amount of rust hiding underneeth.

#2: Wash your garage door meticulously

Washing a garage door

After you’ve finished pinpointing the areas you need to work on, give your garage door a thorough wash using soap and water. While you can use any soap for this part of the process, go for mild varieties like car wash soap and dish soap if they’re available.


Wet all of your garage door’s surfaces in an organized manner with a clean cloth. Doing this is crucial to avoid missing any spots. Besides doing away with any dust and grime that may have accumulated on your garage door, this also helps soften the rust particles and prepare them for the next step.


Using an old toothbrush or a small brush, vigorously scrub the rusty areas until you see some of the particles breaking off. Don’t forget to change your soap and water solution at least twice while you’re at it. Moreover, you can also use a mix of water and trisodium phosphate (TSP) for this part as an alternative.

Did you know that vinegar is a natural rust remover? Having the chemical formula of a mild acid, vinegar gets rid of rust by forming a crust on the oxidized areas and eventually eating away the traces of iron oxide that are in it. 


Aside from removing the rust, vinegar also helps protect the areas where it’s applied by creating a temporary yet resilient rust-resistant layer afterward. Application is a breeze, too.


Submerge a clean cloth in white vinegar until it is completely soaked through. Next, firmly wipe your garage door with the fabric, focusing on the spots where rust has already set in. Leave it on for a few hours before you rinse it off with plain water.

In case a more aggressive approach is needed to remove the rust, you might want to use a professional rust removal chemical like Evapo-Rust, for example.


#3: Vinegar to the rescue

Vinegar rust removal

#4: Inspect the weatherstripping and bottom seal

Your garage door’s weatherstripping plays a vital role in preventing rust and oxidation. This is because it acts as a barrier against the elements, mainly rain and moisture, which could encourage the development of the same if neglected.


Besides having a visual check of your garage door’s weatherstripping, remember to inspect it using your fingers to determine if it’s still up to par or already needs replacement. If the weatherstripping already feels soft and brittle, then it’s time to have it replaced. We mostly suggest using a set of vinyl weatherstripping for our Calgary-based clients. It is corrosion-resistant and easier to install. If you’re looking for a weatherstripping replacement service in the Calgary area, we’re happy to help.

#5: Add a touch of paint

Painting your garage door has a two-fold purpose. First, it occupies the spaces where rust can settle, and second, it adds another layer of protection from the elements, especially moisture from rain, snow, and changing humidity levels.

 Although there are many options regarding garage door paint, the most common picks are exterior latex paint and oil-based exterior paint. The latter is considered the better choice for metal or steel garage doors.

Interestingly, never apply paint to areas where there is an apparent mold infestation. Mold is quite resilient and will stay alive even when painted over.

Always consult with the local paint shop to find out if there’s any new paint they suggest for re-painting a garage door after rust removal procedure.

Paint a garage door

#6: Consult with your local garage door company

It sometimes makes sense to consult with your local garage door repair company. While most companies are focused on mechanical services, making sure the garage door is safe to operate, some companies might offer garage door rust removal services. Please note, it is important to set your expectations right when hiring someone to take care of your garage door rust. It is pretty much impossible to provide any kind of warranty for rust removal service, as many factors can influence the repair’s longevity. That means that most garage door companies that offer such services will not offer a warranty for the job.