How to Maintain Your Garage Door – Do You Have Too?
When it comes to your garage door, it can be very easy to take it for granted. After all, if it opens, closes, and looks great, there isn’t much to address with it, is there? Yes, there is. Your home’s garage door is the largest moving portion of your house and it is also one of the largest architectural features of the front of your home besides maybe a deck. If you choose to neglect it, not only are you bringing on the potential risk for injury due to a malfunctioning door but once it stops working, you are going to find that getting in and out of your garage is terribly frustrating. So, do you have to maintain your garage door? Yes, and here is how.
- Always do an inspection. Your garage door is heavy, we’re talking close to 300 pounds that opens and closes daily and so the moving parts need to be inspected for wear and tear. You want to look out for any signs of broken parts, damage, dents, cracks, and fraying on your rollers, cables, door hardware, and door springs.
- Listen to your door. A lot of problems can be heard or seen if you watch and listen closely enough. If you have an automatic garage door, watch to see if there are any jerky movements and listen for any scraping or grating sounds. Your garage door should be opening and closing as quietly as possible and it should be smooth. If you notice any jerky movement or unhealthy sounds, check to make sure that your system is symmetrical on both sides.
- Free those tracks up. You want to make sure that your tracks are level (perfectly vertical) and are free of any debris and rust. If you notice that your track needs adjustments, contact a professional garage technician to level them out.
- Check the rubber strip at the bottom of the door. The rubber band that you see along the bottom of the garage door keeps out dust, dirt, and water. This should be checked at least twice a year to make sure that it isn’t cracked, chipped, or worn away in any places.
- Always lubricate the moving parts. You always want to make sure that your moving parts, like the rollers and hinges, are well lubricated. If they are not, they can put added stress onto the door, causing it to break down quicker. Use a high-quality spray like white lithium grease and spray the hinges and rollers lightly. If they become stuck, use a penetrating solution first to unstick them and then grease them. You will also want to lubricate the pulley system, any bearings on the spring openers, and the chain or screw of the opener as well. Do not use lubricant on the belt-drive of your electronic opener.
- Check those brackets and door tracks. Your garage door moves hundreds of times a year, potentially causing the parts to become loose in the process due to the motion and vibration of the door. Make sure to check the brackets that hold the door tracks to the wall, the ceiling, and the floor and make sure that they are fastened tightly in place. Next, check the fasteners that anchor the garage door opener to the frame and tighten up any loose bolts.
Other than this, test to make sure that your garage door is balanced correctly on the springs so that only a few pounds of force is needed to lift it. If you have an automatic door, simply pull the release handle and manually lift the door until it is halfway open. It should remain open without any help and if it doesn’t, it isn’t properly balanced. In addition, consider checking the auto-reverse feature, if your garage door has one, as the pressure sensor used to detect objects that are in the way can sometimes fail. You can test this easily by placing a piece of wood in the path of your garage door; when the door comes down and touches the wood, it should reverse back up.