It is a phrase more often associated with cars, than with garage doors, but it has become an effective tool for a Martin Door dealer to stress the importance of maintenance.
Martin Garage Doors Hawaii offers a "wash and wax" as part of an annual maintenance special to select customers. The maintenance call is offered at a special rate of $99 per door, plus tax.
Kelii Chang of Martin Garage Doors Hawaii is shown washing, cleaning and then waxing a garage door, as part of the company's "wash and wax" maintenance special. Chang is the company's lead service technician.
Company employees wash the garage door with a mild car wash and soft brush then wax it by hand with a liquid Teflon based Marine Wax they purchase from a boating supply store, according to Bobby Reynolds, operations vice president for MGDH.
The maintenance checkup is offered to direct customers on the one-year anniversary of their garage door purchase. The special includes washing and waxing the exterior of the door, lubricating all parts, adjusting the springs and a thorough check to ensure the door and opener is in optimal operating and safety condition.
Reynolds said the company uses the tool as a means to reduce or eliminate warranty claims.
"In our environment, there is potential for many warranty claims and we find there is a direct effect on these with our annual services. We include 'wash and wax' for that reason," Bobby said.
Reynolds said, "The maintenance offer has had a positive ripple effect.
We have found that often times the customer will watch what our technician does" and do it themselves in the future.
Waxing a garage door has been something that has been under review at Martin Door Manufacturing for some time, according to Larry Martin, vice president.
Martin said that some waxes can get into the grooves and can't be removed. He said in-house testing at Martin Door has shown that a floor wax works well on a garage door, not a car wax.
"The dealer needs to be very, very careful what wax they are trying. I know Johnson Wax. I have used it on doors here and at my house. Other waxes, those that for instance go to a film and then you wipe off, are problematical. I would always recommend trying it on a place on the door not easily seen first," Martin said.
Don Christiansen, buildings and grounds manager at MDM, says most floor waxes will work well and easily on a garage door. He noted the door has to be washed thoroughly before applying a liquid wax with a sponge or clothe.
Bobby said Martin Garage Doors Hawaii also went through a testing process, before they found what worked on doors in their environment.
"We took sections and tested different waxes at our office (away from oceanfront) and our home (oceanfront). The car wax did not seem to protect the door from "fallout" and salt adhesion and would sometimes chalk on the doors," Reynolds said. He said the marine wax the company uses is designed for salt-water applications and seems to work much better in a tropical environment due to high salt spray and red dirt, which she said could discolor anything.
The marine wax "offers a protective coating which repels the salt from sticking and eating in to the paint finish. It accumulates on top of the wax coating and allows the customer to spray the doors with their water hose and the salt and foreign matter on the doors rolls off with the water spray. In addition, it does not chalk or alter the color appearance of the doors as some of the waxes did. We found it very important to ensure the wax is evenly, properly and thoroughly applied. The wax is quite expensive but worth it for our environment," he said.
Martin Doors' instruction manual recommends no specific brand of wax. It simply states "automobile type cleaners and waxes may improve the look and prolong the life of aged paint or a neglected steel door." It also notes that in some extremely damp, salty or caustic areas that frequent waxing may be required. Neglected doors may need to be repainted, so yearly maintenance can help prevent this.