To keep your garage door moving optimally, it is necessary to perform regular maintenance. With regular care you can keep your door running smoothly and decrease the chances of having it breakdown. Your garage door is the largest moving part in your home and is often used frequently throughout the day. Neglecting your door can cause stress on your garage door opener so it is important that you do not overlook it. Performing a simple inspection and maintenance 2 times a year, in early spring and early fall, will help to keep your garage door in top shape. This is a guide on simple garage door maintenance to help you along.
- Watch and Listen
Open and close your garage door. Pay attention to how it moves and sounds. Is it smooth? Does it get stuck or move in a jerky manner? Are their scrapping or squeaking noises? Visually inspect the tracks, cables, and springs on both sides of the door to ensure that they appear symmetrical. If you hear or see anything that is off, that is the number one indicator that your garage door needs some type of repair work.
- Tighten Up Hardware
Most garage doors are in use multiple times daily. This frequent movement and vibration can eventually loosen the hardware of the door. Inspect all brackets holding the door tracks and tighten up any loose bolts with a wrench.
- Clear the Tracks
Check to make sure that the tracks on both sides of the door are free of any debris and rust. You can use a level to check that they are perfectly vertical. You may do some minor adjustments; however, any major adjustment needs to be taken care of by a professional garage door technician.
- Test the Door Balance
Test the balance of the door by using the manual release and manually lift the door to about halfway. If it is well balanced, it should not take much force to lift the door and it should stay in place without your help. If the door does not stay the door is not properly balanced or the springs are worn out. Spring adjustments and replacements should only be done by a professional as they are under extreme tension.
- Inspect the Cables
Never touch high-tension cables, their force can be deadly if you are inexperienced. You can do a visual inspection to look for any broken strands or any other signs of wear and tear. If you spot any damage, call in a professional.
- Replace Rollers
Check for chipped, cracked, or worn-out rollers. Rollers should also be replaced every 5-7 years. You can replace them by removing the brackets holding them to the door but never remove the bottom roller brackets as these are attached to the cable system.
- Lubricate Moving Parts
Lubricating parts is a fast and simple way of keeping your garage door’s moving parts in good working order and will extend their lifetime. On the hinges and rollers, apply a lubricant such as white lithium grease. Also apply grease to the springs and the metal chain or screw of the opener. Wipe off any excess so that it is not dripping.
- Test the Safety Features
Automatic garages have an auto-reverse mechanism. If any kind of resistance is detected the door should immediately stop and reverse direction. This can be tested by placing a 2×4 under the door. If the feature is working correctly the door will reverse upon contact.
Another safety feature to check is the photoelectric eyes. These are about 6 inches off the ground and send an infrared beam across the door opening. If the beam is broken, the door will reverse. You can check this by breaking the beam with your foot when the door is closing. If it does not function as it should, it may be just that the sensors are misaligned, or they are dirty.
- Replace Weatherstripping
The weatherstripping on your garage door helps with keeping out the cold as well as dust and dirt. Overtime it can become brittle and crack. Check its condition twice a year and replace when it appears worn. You can purchase new weatherstripping from a hardware store.
- Examine the Garage Door
Do a visual inspection of your door itself. If you have a steel door, check for any rust spots. If you find any rust, you can sand it down and repaint it to help prevent it from spreading. If you have a wooden door, check for any warping, rotting or water damage. You should regularly wash your garage door with a mild detergent to prevent dirt build up and keep it looking fresh.
Carrying out these 10 maintenance steps twice a year will lengthen your garage door’s lifespan and help to keep it in good working order. The better you take care of your garage door the less likely you will have to deal with large repair jobs in the future! If you are in need of assistance with your garage door maintenance, call ONC Garage Door Services!