There’s a lot of garage door service and maintenance that you can actually do on your own. And then there are the repairs and maintenance tasks that it’s easier to leave to the pros. If there is anything on this list that you aren’t quite sure how to do, or aren’t comfortable doing, then don’t hesitate to call us! We can do annual service and maintenance visits.
Basic Maintenance Checks
Garage doors move up and down hundreds or thousands of times every year. All that lift, weight, and vibration is bound to jostle things loose from time to time. You should go around to the different screws, bolts, and roller brackets to make sure that they are snug and in place. A socket wrench should easily tighten things.
But your door needs to be more than tight, it needs to be loose too! A well lubricated and greased door will move much smoother and it will extend the lifespan of your system by years. The chain or screw of the opener should be lubricated about once a year with a spray that you can get specially for garage doors.
Check the tracks and the cables. The cables are high-tension strands that help lift the door. These are really taught, dangerous cords—you shouldn’t mess with them, simply check for any damages. If there appears to be any problems, hire a pro right away, these cords can snap with enough power to seriously injure a person. Your door also has tracks on either side which should be cleaned and checked for debris.
Finally, let’s take a look at the aesthetics of the door itself. You should clean your door with all-purpose cleaners, and use heavier elements if there is any rust or chipping paint.
Stay Safe During Maintenance
Yes, your garage door opener is built with fail-safe measures to hopefully prevent the door from crashing down on you, but you should be careful when inspecting your door. You should unplug the opener so that it has no power. Additionally, without power, if the springs are damaged the door can crash down—so use a locking system on the roller tracks to prevent the open door from moving (this applies if you’re working on something while the door is open).
If you’re going to work with the springs, make sure the tension is gone. You might need to do this if you’re going to remove a lift cable. As we said in the previous section, definitely don’t touch the overhead torsion cables. These are really dangerous and should not be attempted as a DIY project under any circumstances.
Make Sure the Door is Balanced
A lack of balance means that your opener will be put under more strain, so it will burn out sooner. You can test the balance on the door by pulling on the release cord. This is usually a red handle that will take the door off the opener. Once you do this, you can manually pull the door up, about halfway. The door should use the springs to stay in place. This minimizes the stress on the opener as it pulls up. If the door doesn’t stay put, then it is out of alignment. You should call the pros for repair to extend the lifespan of your opener and the safety of the door.
You want to prevent extreme temperatures and moisture from entering your garage and getting to your car and tools. Or whatever you store in the garage. In any case, a weatherstrip is the best way to prevent the elements from getting in. You should check the strip annually for damage or brittle textures. If the strip dries out and becomes inflexible and brittle, it probably no longer provides a good seal on the door.
Wood garage doors usually have a suction-based fastening solution, while other kinds of doors have fasteners that you’ll have to take off. You can get a new strip from a hardware store and cut it to size.
Things that Are Tough to Repair on Your Own
While you might be able to tighten a few screws and keep things lubricated, there are certain repairs that will be really tough to make on your own. If the door is excessively noisy, it might need new springs, hinges, and rollers. Springs and problems with tension cables can be really dangerous to attempt on your own, so you should definitely hire professionals for those items.
Bad sensors are another infamously tough piece to tackle on your own. If the sensors aren’t working properly, you can always try cleaning, realigning, and resetting. If this works, then you might be good to go—but if there is an electrical problem or broken sensor, you might need a professional to replace the system. This keeps your door safe and ensures it opens properly.
Do I Need Professional Garage Door Service and Maintenance?
If you’re confident and ready to learn, you can definitely perform a lot of basic maintenance tasks on your own. But there are some distinct benefits to skipping the DIY route and hiring the professionals. When you hire the pros, first of all, you know that they can inspect and repair. If there are issues with the door that you discover by yourself, you’ll still have to call the pros but it’ll take more time. It would have been quicker just to call in the first place.
Additionally, proper garage door inspection helps extend the lifespan of your door. It saves money if you do the inspection yourself the first time, but you can extend the door and the opener by getting it professionally maintained.
Ultimately, you should wrap up a maintenance session by looking at the door as it goes up and down, listening for anything odd. If there are sounds of strain, you might want to have it inspected. Additionally, the door should raise effortlessly and evenly. Any amount of warping or lifting on either side could be a sign of damage or stress that should be repaired.