Without proper garage door maintenance, you may face expensive repairs or even replacement of your door or opener. Garage doors are the largest moving part of the home, and potentially operate multiple times each day. Although parts are built to last, even under light use, periodic care and maintenance is required. If you regularly maintain your garage door, keep up the good work and you will be rewarded with a long-lasting, reliable door. If you aren’t performing garage door maintenance tasks or having your overhead door serviced, here are some tips to get you started
Although some parts of your garage door need professional service, you can take care of some maintenance items yourself. Every three to six months, visually inspect all components from the inside and out, looking for rust, loose hardware, cable wear, and bent or broken parts. As you raise and lower the door, observe the operation for any hitches or jerks. Spray WD-40 on all tracks, rollers, hinges, springs and latches. Wipe them down with a cloth, then apply a light duty household oil to lubricate. Clean the inside and outside of the door with a household detergent. Car wax applied to a metal garage door helps maintain the finish and keep the door clean (check manufacturer’s recommendations first). If your door is wood, apply fresh paint or sealer each year. Finally, check the weather-stripping around the door and replace any that has cracked or broken.
Although a handy homeowner can do some garage door maintenance, a professional service company must perform some tasks. If your door is torsion spring operated, periodic professional maintenance is critical to keep the spring free from rust and operating correctly. Failure to keep up the spring can result in breakage and possibly damage or injury as a result. Chain-driven doors also need a professional’s touch, to properly lubricate the opening mechanism.
Automatic Door Opener Maintenance
Garage door openers require routine, professional maintenance every year; however, you must also do a few basic tests yourself each month. Optic sensors and the door’s reversing mechanism prevent accidents, and checking them for proper operation takes only a moment. Use a long-handled tool (broom, rake) and wave it between the sensors as the door lowers. If the sensor is working properly, the door will reverse and re-open. To test the reversing mechanism, lay a piece of wood on the ground where the door will hit and close the door. If the reverser is working properly, it will reverse and re-open upon hitting the wood. Listen for any unusual grinding or scraping sounds during operation. Finally, test all remote controls and key pads for proper function.
A professional garage door company has the tools and experience to test all the critical aspects of your door, including balance and force. A pro can give your garage door a tune-up and fix any damaged or worn components at the same time. Experts recommend having professional service at least once each year, just prior to the extreme seasons of weather. If possible, have your overhead door serviced professionally in both spring and fall. With just a little attention to garage door maintenance, you can rest assured that your door will provide reliable and safe operation all year-long.