For most homeowners, the largest moving part of their homes is the garage doors. It is used multiple times every day, so making sure that it’s maintained properly in the long run is important. You should consider a twice-a-year inspection and maintenance schedule for your garage door so that you maximize the life of the system and avoid unnecessary issues and a major expense. You can call and hire a professional for garage door repair, or you can do the some of the maintenance yourself.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your garage doors in good condition for the long run:
1. Safety First
Garage doors will have excessive wear and tear if improper regular maintenance is avoided or overlooked. As a result, a door can lock, stick, or possibly even fall off its tracks in extreme situations, which can potentially cause serious damage and injuries.
Hiring a professional is highly recommended and definitely your best choice for any repair and maintenance on your homes garage doors, However, if you choose to do any work yourself, remember that accidents can easily occur while you’re maintaining your garage door, so you have to take appropriate safety precautions to avoid them before performing any work:
- All tension should be removed from the door when removing the lift cables.
- Put spring locking pliers on the roller tracks when working on an open door to keep it secure.
- Unplug the door opener and remove any controls so it won’t be activated while you’re working.
- It’s dangerous if you adjust or release the tension on the overhead torsion springs during maintenance, so leave them alone.
2. Make an Inspection
Once you’re done with the tune-up, you can now start to do the preventive maintenance for your garage door. It’s as important as maintaining any part of your house, especially if you’re planning to sell it. The first thing that you should do is to make an overall inspection.
- Look for any damage around the doors. Check if there are any breakages or rusts in the tracks, springs, cables, roller wheels, and hinges.
- Observe it while it’s moving and take a look if its movement is jerky or smooth.
- Listen to the garage door’s sound and check if there are scraping or grinding noises.
- Also, inspect if both sides look symmetrical.
3. Keep Hardware Secure
Garage doors are often used multiple times every day, which can loosen the doors hardware as time goes by. Check the following hardware parts and tighten them if they are loose:
If you’re using nylon rollers, check for cracks and chips. If you’re using steel rollers, check the bearings if there’s a tilt to its wheel. You can buy replacements at hardware stores if needed.
- Nuts and bolts
Tighten all the roller brackets and bolts that connect it to the rail.
Check if there are any cracks, bends, breaks, or other damages. If there’s any, call a technician since it may cause harm if you’ll do it yourself.
- Lift cables
These can wear, especially in colder climates. Remove any dirt or build-up at its bottom since it’s the part most exposed to moisture. You can use soft brushes to clean it up.
4. Keep Moving Parts Lubricated
In order to prolong the life of your garage doors, you need to keep all the moving parts well-lubricated so the rollers and the door opener can operate with less stress and tension on the system. A top preventive choice for lubrication is using white lithium grease.
Lubrication and cleaning of the overhead tension springs and extension springs should be done twice a year. A lubrication schedule should be implemented so that the garage door will work properly for years by preventing sticking and friction issues.
5. Test Balance
Balance is very important when it comes to garage doors. If the door is not balanced properly, it won’t last as long because it will be harder for the system to go up and down. To check, move the door halfway up after disconnecting the opener by pulling the release handle. You will know that the springs are unbalanced if the door don’t stay put. You’ll have to call in a professional to adjust the door springs.
6. Repair Weather Stripping
The rubber weather seal strip keeps out the cold, dirt, and dust. If there are any cracks or if the weather stripping already looks brittle, replace it.
7. Check Safety Features
Usually, modern automatic garage door openers have a safety auto-reverse feature to reverse and stop the direction of the door when an object gets in the way before reaching the ground.
These are the two mechanisms of this feature:
- Mechanical – The door should go back up again when an object touches it.
- Photocell – It has beams on each side, which can detect when an object passes the door’s path. It will then reverse its movement.
8. Paint, Clean, Wash
If you have wood garage doors, then periodic painting is necessary to cracks, chipping, water damage, and warping. If your door is made of steel, look for rust, then sand, prime, and paint it if needed. If it’s fiberglass, wash it with an all-purpose cleaner.
Garage doors are often overlooked and taken for granted by many homeowners which can easily result in unnecessary wear and tear that requires replacement of the system. Make sure to check all the parts of your garage door and apply these maintenance tips to ensure safety, convenience and reduced costs by extending the life of your homes garage door system.