DIY Garage Door and Opener Check Up

Your garage door is the largest moving feature in your home and can experience a lot of wear and tear over time. Many of us use our garage doors several times every single day which can easily amount to over a thousand uses per year. Good upkeep is important to ensure that your door is running optimally and safely. You should do a garage door and opener checkup at least once a year, preferably twice. This is a simple task that even the most armature homeowners should be able to complete. It doesn’t take long either, in about 10 minutes you should be able to perform this simple check.

What should you be checking?

Start with the hardware. Inspect all the door’s brackets, nuts, and bolts. Over time these can start to loosen due to vibrations from the door movement. Ensure that these are all tightened up nicely.

Inspect the rollers. The rollers will eventually deteriorate. If you have plastic rollers, these will only last about 2-3 years. You should replace them with nylon rollers as they have a longer lifespan, roughly between 12-20 years and allow for a quieter operation. Defects on the rollers will be clear as you will be able to see signs of cracking or chipping. Rollers are fairly simple to replace if you are up for it, otherwise you can contact a professional for them to do this for you. It is relatively inexpensive.

Visually inspect the cables. Cables can begin to wear out, so you need to make sure they are still in good condition. Check to see if any signs of damage are apparent such as broken strands. If they are damaged, don’t try to replace these yourself. Cables carry a lot of tension, and you may seriously injure yourself if you are not knowledgeable on how to change these.

Check the springs. Look for any visible damage of the springs. Look for visible wear, any separation in the spring and abnormal stretching. Never change springs by yourself. Spring tension is highly dangerous and should only be handled by a pro.

Lubricate parts. Lubricate the chain or screw of your opener, belt drive openers do not require lubrication. You should also apply a lubricant to the rollers and springs of the garage door. We recommend using a white lithium grease. This will help the parts to move smoothly and quietly as well as extend their lifespan.

Inspect the weatherstripping. The rubber weather seal at the bottom of the door generally needs replacing every couple of years. It gets worn out over time from the weather elements and wildlife like rodents. Check for any gaps or signs of cracking.

Check the door balance. Disconnect the door from the opener using the manual release handle and lower the door to about halfway. If the door is balanced correctly, the door will stay in this position. The springs are under too much tension if the door rises back up and if the door falls the spring tension needs to be increased. You should not attempt to adjust the tension yourself. This is dangerous and requires a professional.

Test the sensors. First ensure that the sensors are not covered in dirt and debris. A gentle wipe with a non-abrasive cloth will do the trick. Then you should test the auto reverse safety feature. Place 2×4 underneath the door and make sure that the door stops and reverses. This is an important safety feature that is required for all automatic doors and if it fails it could result in a serious injury.

Checking for all the above will keep your door in good working condition. If you find problems such as cable or spring damage, call ONC Doors for repair. We are fast, reliable, and always ready to help! We also offer tune-ups if you want us to take care of all of this for you!