11 Tips to Keep Your Garage Door in Shape
Many issues arise around the house that could be avoided with some simple maintenance. Your garage door is important to your daily routines and keeping it in good shape is vital to escaping costly repairs and inconveniences.
Take these tips for maintaining your garage door to prevent bigger problems down the line.
1. Be a Good Listener
Use your senses to evaluate your garage door. Does it sound funny when it opens and/or closes? Is there a squeaking, grinding, or any other unusual sounds? Ideally, your garage door should open and close with a relatively quiet movement.
2. Do a Visual Inspection
One of the clearest giveaways that you have a garage door issue is noticing an obvious problem. Watch your garage door open and close. It should look balance, without one side dangling below the other.
Inspect the springs, cables, and tracks for tell-tale signs of excessive wear. If you notice something wrong with these parts, notify a professional immediately.
3. Tighten Loose Ends
The vibration from the hundreds or thousands of movements each year can work nuts, screws, and bolts loose from the tracks and brackets holding your garage door. Inspect these parts and tighten, as needed.
4. Perform a Balance Check
Door balance is key to keeping your door working properly for a long time. An out of balance garage door can cause excessive wear and tear on the lifting mechanism.
First, ensure your garage door is completely closed. Put your door into manual mode by pulling the release handle. Lift the door halfway and see if it stays there. If not, the springs are unbalanced. Call a professional immediately. Never handle spring issues yourself.
5. Check the Rollers
Garage door rollers are often forgotten because they hide in the tracks going about their business. These parts of the garage door do a lot of work on a daily basis, keeping the door moving up and down smoothly.
If rollers become cracked or worn out, the door will begin to struggle as it travels along the tracks. Rollers that are not attached to the cable system can be replaced as a DIY project. Otherwise, contact a professional for assistance and advice.
6. Evaluate Weather-stripping
Time and the elements lead to the inevitable wearing out of the weather-stripping that protects the inside of your garage from the harsh realities outside. If it is cracked or seems brittle, head to the local hardware shop of your choice and purchase enough to replace it.
7. Perform Annual Lubrication
In less time than it takes to get an oil change at the fastest place on Earth, you can add years to the lifespan of your garage door and opener. Purchase the appropriate grease for your lifting chain and a spray-on lube for the springs. If you have doubts, contact your garage door company for advice or a professional lubrication visit.
8. Inspect the Cables
Do not attempt to work with the garage door cables under any circumstances. These cables are under tension and can snap off violently. Your part is to visually inspect them for any obvious signs of wear like fraying. If you notice anything amiss, contact a professional garage door company.
9. Check the Reverse
Any garage door made after 1991 will have two safety features installed: photo-eyes and the ability to physically sense an object in its path. These features are required to prevent crush injuries.
Place a brick on the ground under your door and press the close button. If the brick is touched and the door returns to the open position, the sensor works. Also, close the door and then run your foot under it without touching the door. If it opens, the photo-eyes are functional.
10. Inspect the Tracks
Gaze along the tracks that your garage door runs along. Look for anything stuck in them like small pebbles or dirt clods. Pay attention to any bent sections. If you notice a section of track that appears unusual, contact a garage door professional.
11. Don’t Forget the Door
Take a look at the garage door. If it is made of wood, you will be looking for water damage, warping, or paint in need of a new coat. Steel doors can rust, dent, or require washing.
When in Doubt, Call for Help
Garage door repairs, in general, are best left to the professionals. This list of maintenance tips will help you determine if a visit from your local garage door company is necessary.
If you notice anything seems out of the ordinary during your regular maintenance tasks, contact an expert for help. This will keep you safe and prevent costly further damage.