Get tips on how to prevent your garage doors from swelling. Use caulk to seal cracks that can let in water and moist air and if all else fails, get a new garage door.
LESLIE: George in New Jersey has an issue with garage doors . Tell us about it.
GEORGE: Well, I have a rollup garage door with about four panels and they’re wood-framed but the veneering that you look at, as you look at the door, is a masonite. And there’s a tendency, with splashing of rain up on the doors, for the masonite to absorb the water and, essentially, kind of swell; almost like sheetrock would with water.
TOM: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yep.
GEORGE: And I’m wondering what kind of a sealer might be applied that would make the masonite essentially impervious to the water.
TOM: Not possible.
GEORGE: At all, huh?
TOM: You’re stepping into a well-established problem here with – it’s very similar to the composite siding and hardboard siding issues. There’s a lot of lawsuits over this over the last decade or even more where you had this hardboard-styled surface that got wet, swelled and basically started to fall apart. So you’re never going to get it to be completely impervious. What you can do – is this a stained door or a …?
GEORGE: Yeah. Well, it has a finish paint or stain. I guess it’s a paint.
TOM: Alright. Well, what I would do is this: I would try to make sure that we seal any gaps between the hardboard surface and the wood frame of the garage door; so any gaps there, you can caulk
those. And then I would just use two coats of good-quality exterior paint. I would prime it first with an oil-based primer and then I would put about two coats of exterior paint on top of it. And you know, painting regularly is the best way to preserve a composite surface but, you know, the product is kind of working against you and eventually you’re going to have to replace those doors.
GEORGE: Gotcha. Thought there might be something, with all the modern technology, that could …
TOM: Well, there is and it’s called a better garage door. (all laugh)
GEORGE: You’re right about that.
TOM: George, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.