Do Garage Doors Have A Soft Side?

Garage doors are constantly exposed to heat, cold, water, snow, or some other type of weather conditions. It won't take long before you start to notice signs of decay due to this exposure. Too much humidity around will be a primary cause. If you are residing in salty water areas, even more damage can be caused by the salt. You might be wondering if your metal garage door will have rust on its soft side. We've researched and found elaborate answers from the experts.

Garage doors are no longer manufactured with a soft side. Rust will mostly appear on the side that is exposed to the elements. Humidity and salt are a lethal combination for metal garage doors. Let's not forget rain, snow, and sand which affect the lower panels as they collect at the bottom of the garage door. With time, any heat, water, and salt will peel the paint and expose the metal.

Continue reading to see how the elements affect garage doors and learn ways to care for your garage doors to elongate their life span.

Close up of rusty metal garage door. Do Garage Doors Have A Soft Side

Is There A Soft Side To A Garage Door?

No, there isn't. Modern garage doors are no longer manufactured with a soft side. Installing garage doors with a soft side was always confusing to consumers. Therefore, manufacturers have opted to go for garage doors without a soft side to them.

This doesn't mean that your garage door won't be exposed to rust. On the contrary, it will only depend on how well you maintain your garage door.

Does It Matter Which Way You Place A Garage Door?

Yes, it does. If you are in a position to pick where to place your garage door, let it face the east. When your driveway is exposed to the early morning sun, it will help melt the snow faster during the winter months. This means that you'll be able to clean the snow quicker and use little or no salt on your driveway.

Town dwellers are bound to have this problem if their garage doors face the street. Large amounts of salt that are used to de-ice the streets during the winter months can cause rust on garage doors.

The salt buildup erodes the paint of the garage door. The lower panels are usually severely affected in roll-up garage doors.

What Causes Rust On Garage Doors?

There's no way a garage door will escape exposure. Being located outside, a garage door endures a lot more than any other door in the house. Temperature fluctuations, rain, snow, sand, humidity, and salt are the main causes of rust on metal garage doors.

Temperature Fluctuations

Since the garage door is situated on the outside, it's subjected to hot and cold temperatures constantly. The constant temperature changes in time peel the paint off the garage door. The bare metal will start to rust because the protective coating is missing.


Garage doors in areas where it rains a lot are bound to start rusting faster. Although garage doors have a layer that should reduce corrosiveness, too much water is detrimental.


Just like water, snow doesn't favor metal garage doors. The fact that snow is cold, makes it worse. Snow cracks the paint on your garage door, and with time exposes it to corrosion.


Garage doors in the coastal region have an additional problem: sand. When sand collects at the bottom of your garage door, it roughly peels of the coat of paint. This is harmful to lower panels mostly.


High humidity is not good for metal garage doors. Chipped paint that leaves the garage door exposed, allows moisture to engulf the garage door. Humidity helps rust to form even faster on the garage doors if care is not taken.


Salt build-up on garage doors can eat at the paint. Once the metal garage door is exposed, it will definitely rust.

Cleaning Methods To Get Rid Of Rust

You might notice some strange specks on your metal garage door. That is rust. Sometimes rust is characterized by dot-like marks on the garage door. When you notice this, it's time for immediate action. What should you do about this, you may ask. Well, here are some solutions:

1. Water Vinegar Solution

To effectively remove the rust stains on your garage door, you can use a water-vinegar solution. This simple solution consists of water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio.

  • Spray the solution on your garage door and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Then wipe it off the garage door with a cloth. Cleaning your garage door with this solution often helps get rid of the rust.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another homemade cleaning method is baking soda paste. To remove the rust spots or dots on your garage door:

  • Make a paste with baking soda and vinegar. Ensure that the paste is thick and not runny.
  • Apply it on the areas affected by rust on the garage door and let it sit for a while. This solution works effectively on more stubborn stains.
  • Proceed to scrub with a scouring pad for a while.
  • Finally wipe the paste off with a cloth and the stains should wipe off too.

3. Bathroom Tile Cleaner

Bathroom tile cleaner can be used to clean rust from a garage door effectively too.

  • Start by spraying the agent on the rusty garage door and let it sit for a long while.
  • Wipe off the bathroom tile cleaner agent with a cloth.
  • Rinse the garage door thoroughly with plain water to remove any residue that might remain on the door. Bathroom tile cleaner is toxic and should be cleaned off surfaces thoroughly.

4. Salt and Lemon

This easy-to-make paste consists of lemon and salt only.

  • First, rub salt and lemon paste on the areas of your garage door that have rust.
  • Leave this concoction to sit for a few minutes.
  • Scrub the affected areas with a toothbrush. For better results, you may need to use some elbow grease.
  • Wipe with a damp cloth to get rid of the paste and rust.

In case your garage door is completely off, you might want to consider replacing it or just the affected panels.

How To Maintain A Garage Door

Maintain your garage door to avoid the rust from spreading and damaging the whole door. Once you have cleaned the rust off the garage door, you should paint it to completely cover the affected areas. Here are simple steps on how to maintain your garage door:

  1. Before you paint the garage door, fill in any holes and let them dry.
  2. Sand the holes and the rest of the door to even out any roughness.
  3. Finally, dust the garage door and paint it. Ensure that you use paint that helps prevent rust.

A metal garage door should be painted with a primer and two coats of paint. Don't just paint the rust-affected areas. There might be rust on your garage door but wash it at least twice a year to get the grit off. If your garage door faces the street that is often de-iced with salt in the winter months, ensure that you clean it.

Do any maintenance work during the warm months. This helps the paint to dry properly as it may take up to 2 days.

Parting Shot

It's clear that garage doors no longer come with a soft side, but this doesn't mean they aren't bound to corrosion over time. The exposure of metal garage doors to the elements is what brings about rust. Once you've identified this, ensure that you keep up with maintenance.

Once you notice any signs of rust on your garage door, don't ignore them. The longer you wait, the more expensive the garage door repair will cost you. The homemade remedies mentioned here are easy, handy, and affordable.

Ensure that you maintain that expensive garage door you installed, for it to serve you much longer. To learn more about garage doors, read through these articles:

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