In this article, we will be sharing ten practical garage door maintenance tips, from basic upkeep to more in-depth repairs.
Garage doors are an essential part of any home, providing a convenient entry and exit point for vehicles and storage. However, like any other mechanical system, garage doors require regular maintenance to ensure they operate efficiently and safely. By following these tips, you can extend the lifespan of your garage door and prevent costly repairs down the line. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a handyman looking to improve your skills, these tips will help you keep your garage door in top condition. So, let’s dive in and learn how to maintain your garage door like a pro!
Garage door maintenance Tip 1: Watching
Becoming familiar with how your garage door works is common, as it may not be a priority when leaving home. Nevertheless, it is crucial to be vigilant the next time you operate it. Take notice of any peculiar sights or sounds, such as the door rising slowly, visible strain or jerking, or unpleasant squeaks and scratches. These could indicate a problem that requires immediate attention. Ignoring it could result in costly repairs down the road.
Garage door maintenance Tip 2: Restrict usage
A large number of homeowners who have a garage connected to their home tend to use the garage door as their primary entry and exit point. It is suggested to discontinue this habit and try to use other entrances as well.
On average, a garage door is operated five to ten times per day. If you use it ten times a day, the springs may need replacement every 2-1/2 years. However, if you only use it twice a day, you may only need to replace the springs every seven or eight years.
Garage door maintenance Tip 3: Schedule inspections
To ensure that your garage door is functioning optimally, it is recommended to conduct an inspection twice annually. During the inspection, check for any problems with panels, hinges, pulleys, rollers, cables, and springs. Additionally, it is advisable to arrange for a professional inspection by a garage door specialist periodically, which usually costs approximately $70 per door. This will help identify any potential issues and address them before they turn into major problems.
Garage door maintenance Tip 4: Check lift wires
The high-tension wires in your garage door play a crucial role in its proper operation, but if they wear down and break, they can cause significant damage. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check your lift cables for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice any, it’s best to have them replaced by a professional team as soon as possible. This is a simple and quick job that can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
Garage door maintenance Tip 5: Clean tracks
It is important to clean the tracks on both sides of the garage door by removing any rust or debris. In addition, inspect the brackets that hold the tracks to the wall and ceiling, as well as the fasteners that secure the garage door opener unit. Regular door operation may cause vibration that can loosen the hardware, so it is recommended to use a socket wrench to tighten any loose bolts.
Garage door maintenance Tip 6: Oil the rollers
Regularly oiling the rollers and other moving parts is important as it helps to reduce the wear and tear on the door opener and the rollers. You should use a spray lubricant on the hinges and rollers twice a year and then wipe off any excess lubricant. This will help keep your garage door running smoothly and prevent any potential damage caused by friction.
Garage door maintenance Tip 7: Check the door balance
The springs in a garage door play a crucial role in balancing the weight of the door, allowing it to move smoothly while opening and closing. If the door is unbalanced, it can put extra strain on the opener, causing it to wear out sooner than expected.
To test the balance of the door, start by closing it and then pulling the release handle to disengage the automatic opener. Next, manually lift the door until it’s about halfway open. If the door moves up or down by itself, it means that the door is unbalanced, or the springs are worn out and need to be replaced. It is recommended to call a professional to fix the issue.
Garage door maintenance Tip 8: Check the auto reverse
The garage door is equipped with a safety feature that automatically reverses its direction if it encounters any obstruction, such as a vehicle, child, or animal. This feature is activated by a pressure sensor or photocells installed on either side of the door.
To test the auto-reverse mechanism, place a block measuring 1-1/2 inches on the floor under the door and activate the opener. The door should reverse within two seconds of hitting the block. To check the photoelectric system sensors, which are mounted 4 to 6 inches above the floor on either side of the door frame, start closing the door and then move your leg in its path. The door should automatically reverse and move up.
If the auto-reverse mechanism fails, disconnect the door opener and seek the help of a professional. Older garage door openers that lack this essential feature, which is now mandatory under building codes in many regions, should be replaced.
Garage door maintenance Tip 9: Check and replace weatherstrippings
The purpose of the rubber weatherstripping is to prevent the entry of cold air, water, and debris into the garage. It is available for purchase at hardware and home improvement stores, and has a flange that can be inserted into a groove in the bottom of the garage door.
Weatherstripping designed for wooden garage doors is typically fastened with nails. In case the bottom weatherstripping becomes torn, it should be replaced. If the weatherstripping along the sides of the door has become loose, it can be reattached. If it is worn out or damaged beyond repair, it should be replaced altogether.
Garage door maintenance Tip 10: Clean and paint
To keep your garage door in good condition, it is important to shield it from the effects of the weather and sun. If you have a steel garage door, it may be necessary to sand, prime, and paint rust spots to prevent further damage. For fiberglass doors, it is recommended to use an all-purpose cleaner to keep them clean. If you have a wooden door, be aware that it may be prone to warping and water damage, so it is advisable to remove any chipped or peeling paint before sanding and painting it anew. This will help to protect and maintain the appearance of your garage door over time.
Garage door maintenance Tip 10+1: Garage door maintenance service
You might consider consulting a garage door maintenance service near you. Indeed, a professional maintenance service can identify and address potential issues before they become bigger problems, ensuring that your garage door operates smoothly and efficiently on the long term.
In conclusion, proper maintenance of your garage door is essential to ensure its long-lasting performance. By following these 10 tips +1, you can prevent costly repairs and keep your garage door functioning smoothly. Remember to lubricate moving parts, test door balance and auto reverse, replace weatherstripping, and keep an eye out for any unusual sounds or appearances. With a little effort and attention, you can keep your garage door in top condition and avoid any potential safety hazards.