Spring is just around the corner and so it’s time to prepare your garage. The beginning of spring is a good time to do some door maintenance to keep your door working safely and efficiently. It’s recommended by professionals to carry out regular maintenance at least two times a year, once at the beginning of spring and fall. It is important to do this to ensure that safety features are working correctly and all parts are in good working condition. If your door becomes neglected, there is a chance you will be reducing its lifespan and you are increasing your risk of it breaking down.
What should you do during regular maintenance checks?
- Look and listen
The first thing you should do is watch your door open and close as well as listen to it. Pay close attention while it’s in operation to check for any unusual noises or movements. If there is any jerky movement or squeaking or grinding noises you should have it inspected by a professional.
- Inspect the tracks
Do a visual inspection of the tracks. Are they laying perfectly vertically? Do they have any bends? Make sure that the tracks are clear as they can become clogged up with dirt, dust and small pieces of debris. You can take a small brush and brush everything out. If your tracks are bent or misaligned you should have them fixed by a professional to prevent any further damage to your door.
- Check the rollers
Rollers will eventually wear out and can become damaged. Check all door rollers to ensure that none are showing signs of wear such as chipping or cracking. Rollers that are worn out can affect how smoothly and quietly your door opens and closes.
- Inspect cables
Check the cables for signs of wear. If you notice any broken strands or other damage, you should have them replaced as soon as possible. If a cable snaps it can cause the door to become unbalanced and crooked.
- Tighten hardware
Make sure that all of the hardware is tightened. Parts can become loosened over time from the vibrations of the door operating. Go over all the bolts to ensure they are nice and tight.
Lubricants such as white lithium grease are recommended. Apply to hinges, rollers, metal opener chain, and spring.
- Check door balance
If your door is balanced correctly, it shouldn’t be very difficult to lift manually. Also, when manually lifting, the door should stay put if you leave it about halfway. To check this you should use the manual release to detach the door from the opener. An unbalanced door can cause many problems and should be rectified quickly. It will cause additional strain to parts of your door that can cause them to break and can also force your opener to work harder than it should which will reduce its lifespan.
- Inspect the weatherstripping
Weatherstripping helps to control the temperature of your garage. It can also help with keeping out debris, dirt, dust and pests. Good quality weatherstripping that has been installed correctly can last two or more years. You know that it’s time to get it replaced if you can see any cracking or gaps forming. When the garage door is closed, you shouldn’t be able to see any light coming in from the outside.
- Test all safety features
Garage doors can weigh hundreds of pounds. It’s vital and can be lifesaving to have properly functioning safety features. Check to make sure that the auto-reverse feature is working. This can be easily tested by putting a 2×4 under the door. The door should stop and reverse as soon as it makes contact.
The other safety feature with automatic doors is the photoelectric eyes. There are two sensors located on either side of the door, roughly six inches from the ground that send an infrared beam across the door. When the beam is obstructed by an object in the way, the door should stop and reverse. You can check this by putting something in the way of the beam while the door is closing. If these safety features are not working, have a technician repair it immediately. Unfortunately, there have been cases where people and pets have been pinned and crushed under their garage doors. These features are there to prevent very serious injuries or even death.
Visually inspect door panels and clean door
Check the condition of the garage door panels. If the door is wood, look for any warping or rotting and if the door is steel check for signs of rust. Give your door a good wash by using a mild detergent to remove any dirt and keep it looking clean and maintained.
Following these spring maintenance guidelines should keep your garage door in top shape for the spring and summer seasons and alert you to any problems that should be taken care of by a technician. Catching issues early is important to prevent them from worsening and leading to additional repairs. ONC Doors can help with all door maintenance and repairs in Toronto and the GTA. Call now for assistance!