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Garage Door Maintenance

How to Maintain Garage Door Opener

The key to extending the life of your garage door is keeping it maintained year after year, especially if you experience extreme weather in your area.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at how to maintain garage door opener and its components.

How to Maintain Garage Door Opener

Your garage door opener is an essential part of your garage door, but it’s so easy to take it for granted. After all, you get home every day, push the button to drive into the garage, and never give it a second thought.

Of course, that’s until something goes wrong with it. You don’t want to be dealing with a garage door opener that won’t work as intended, so here’s how to maintain the garage door opener and keep it in top condition. 

Here’s how to maintain a garage door opener.

Be Careful Around Your Kids

To your kids, the automatic garage door opener will be something that’s fun to play with. Many like to play ‘beat the door’ when it’s shutting to race under it or keep opening and closing it with the remote. This constant use will wear out parts on both the door and the opener itself. If they’re racing under the door, they could get seriously hurt. The auto-reverse function on modern garage door openers should stop this from happening, but you should always be careful. 

Teach your kids to never play with the door, and that they should never go under it when it’s moving. Keep all openers out of your children’s reach, to ensure that they can’t open the door without you present. As an added measure, ensure the push-button control for the door are placed high up enough on the wall that they’re out of their reach. 

Keep Photo Eyes Clean

Speaking of the auto-reverse function, this is controlled by the beam of light that’s shot out of the photo eyes, near the bottom of your door. These keep a continuous beam between them, and when it’s broken it triggers the garage door to open back up. Usually, this will happen if something is blocking the path of the door when you’re trying to close it. It’s an important safety measure that you must have on your garage door opener. 

The problem with this is that they often get dirty. They’re close to the floor, so dirt often gets kicked up near them. When the eyes are blocked, the light beam is blocked too. That leads to the system believing that there’s something in the path of the door, so it won’t shut properly. If you clean these off regularly with a soft cloth, you shouldn’t have this problem. 

While you’re looking at the photo eyes, you can see if they’re still properly aligned. The alignment of the photo eye is important, as again this can break the beam and send the signal that there’s a blockage. To check this, tie a length of string between the two eyes, and use a spirit level tool to see if it’s level. If it isn’t, adjust the photo eyes until the string is level, as that will show they are perfectly in line with each other. 

Keep Moving Parts Lubricated

One of the most important things in maintaining a garage door is lubricating all the moving parts. That includes the hinges, rollers, tracks, and more. Essentially anything that moves needs to be regularly lubricated. If they aren’t, you’ll soon see the garage door squeaking and squealing as you use it, and parts will wear out faster than they would otherwise. 

The same goes for your automatic garage door opener. If you use a chain belt operated opener, you’ll need to ensure this is lubricated too along with the rest of the door. When choosing a lubricant, use one that is lithium grease based. This is the best lubricant for garage doors and will ensure that everything runs smoothly. Don’t use a product like WD40, as it’s not actually designed for use as a lubricant and can actually make things worse for your garage door opener. 

Test The Garage Door Balance

Your garage door should open easily, but if it doesn’t that’s going to put extra stress on the garage door opener. When running maintenance checks on the door, check the balance of the door too. 

To do this, unplug your garage door opener and open the garage door about halfway. Step back, and see if the door stays open on its own. If it does, then it’s evenly balanced and you won’t need to worry about it. If not, then you’ll need to adjust the springs. These may need to be replaced, and if that’s the case that’s something you’ll want the professionals to do. It’s a dangerous job, so keep yourself and your family safe. 

Clear The Garage Door Tracks

Your garage door tracks should be clear as if they aren’t that’s going to put more stress on the system as a whole. It’s usually quite easy to clean the tracks out with a cloth, removing any build up in them that would make it hard for the garage door to move. 

As well as this, look for any bends in the track. When using your door, listen to the door for squealing noises. Also, look to see if the door shuts or opens unevenly, as that’s another sign of a bent track. If there are smaller bends or dents, these can be hammered out yourself. If the dents are more severe though, a professional will need to handle them for you. 

Consider Replacing Your System

Even if you take good care of your automatic garage door opener, you’ll need to consider replacing it at some stage. Most experts recommend replacing it if it’s over 20 years old. This is because openers older than that may not have auto-reverse safety features. They may not have rolling codes either, something that’s very important for garage door security. If yours is older than this, look into having it replaced. 

With these maintenance tips, you’ll be able to keep your garage door opener in top condition. It’s important to maintain your garage door, so check it over regularly and take action as you find any problems with it. If you’re ever in doubt, call on a garage door repair team to help you out. 

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