When foul weather hits, your garage doors bear the brunt of wind, rain, and snow. Keeping them well maintained not only keeps them working well, but helps prevent any weather-related damage.
Replace Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is primarily designed to keep wind and water out of your garage, but it can protect your doors themselves, too. If there are gaps in your weather stripping, any moisture that gets in them can start to damage your doors. One example is rot, which can occur if your wooden doors are exposed to too much moisture. Corrosion is another example.
Your weather stripping should be inspected every year as part of standard garage door maintenance, though if you experience inclement weather often, twice a year is a safe schedule to keep to. Weather stripping should generally last you a few years, so if your weather stripping is a few years old, keep a careful eye on it and have it replaced as soon as necessary.
Keep Them Clean
Your doors can be damaged over time by dirt and debris just as much as they can by direct harsh weather. If your doors aren't kept clean, any protective coats and seals on them can wear down more quickly, exposing them to the effects of rain, wind, and direct sunlight. This can also be a problem if you have metal doors and live in an area near saltwater; if salt remains on your doors for too long, it can start to cause corrosion.
Keeping your doors clean is a great way to keep them in good working order. Using a mild detergent like car soap along with a soft cloth is a good way to do this without risking any damage to coatings or underlying materials.
Apply Protective Coats
Some doors are more in need of consistent protective coatings than others. Wood doors are one example, as they are more susceptible to issues like moisture damage than materials like vinyl. If you have doors that need this kind of more active protection, start by giving them thorough inspections every year. Take care to look at areas that are the most directly exposed to inclement weather, or areas where moisture is most likely to accumulate, such as the bottom of the door. If you see any early signs of trouble, you can usually have any damage repaired early on. If you see signs that your protective coating might be fading, such as paint that seems to be chipping or flaking, or if there's any obvious discoloration or warping, contact a garage door specialist for an inspection and repairs. They can also help you develop a maintenance plan for the future to make sure your doors are kept safe before any damage can occur.