Like everything else in your home, your garage door needs to be checked upon regularly to keep it in top condition. While you can’t keep the same garage door going forever, you will be able to keep it in good condition for longer by learning these tips on maintaining a garage door with regular checkups.
Maintaining a Garage Door With Regular Checkups
Here’s what you need to do to keep the garage door working and in good condition every season.
1. Do A Visual Inspection
The very first thing you need to do when checking your garage door is to watch it in motion. Open and close it a few times with the opener, and see how it looks. You want it to be smooth and fluid. Are you seeing any jerky motions? That’s a sign that the springs, pulleys, or cables may need attention.
As you do this, listen to the door too. It shouldn’t squeal, or make grating sounds. It’s easy to tune them out as you use the door every day, but you’ll want to find the source of the noise before the problem gets worse.
2. Clear Out The Tracks
Your door needs to travel up and down the tracks every time it moves, so you’ll want to keep them in good condition. Take a look at the tracks, and see if there’s any dirt or debris blocking them. If there is, clear it out and ensure they’re free of obstruction.
At this point, check if the tracks are plumb with the door using a level. If they’re slightly out, you can make some adjustments yourself. If you find the tracks are significantly bent though, you’ll need to call a professional. They may need to replace them for you.
3. Inspect Your Rollers
The rollers sit at the edge of the garage door, and you’ll need to make sure you check them. They should be in good condition, free of chips, cracks, or wear. Typically, you’ll start seeing this show up in your rollers every five to seven years, so you’ll want to change them out when this happened.
Typically, you can change a roller by just removing the bracket that holds them to the door. However, never remove the bottom roller brackets. These are attached to the lift cables which are under tension, making them dangerous. This is another job for a garage door professional.
4. Tighten Up Hardware
Over time, the hardware in your garage door will start to loosen up. That’s thanks to the vibrations that are involved in opening and closing the door. This isn’t a problem if you’re doing maintenance at least twice a year, though.
Check for any loose bolts in your garage door, and use a socket wrench to tighten them up as needed. Check the brackets holding the door tracks to the wall, as well as the fasteners holding the garage door opener to the framing.
5. Check Your Cables And Pulleys
The cables and pulleys on your garage door are what give the connection between the springs and the door, allowing it to lift. There are two types of springs that your garage door could have. Extension springs are long thin springs that are installed along the horizontal portion of the door track. Torsion springs are installed on a metal rod above the door opening.
You’ll want to take a look at this system, seeing if the cables are looking worn, or the springs are looking looser than usual. If you do see any problems, you’ll need to call a professional rather than handle them yourself. These hold a lot of tension, and it’s dangerous to attempt repairs on your own.
6. Lubricate All Moving Parts
Now you’re ready to lubricate the garage door. This is an essential step in your maintenance process, as it keeps everything moving. If you forget to do this, it can cause parts to seize up and stop working, potentially causing more damage.
You’ll want to get all moving parts with white lithium grease. A spray-on solution is best, as it allows you to coat everything evenly. Spray it on the rollers and hinges, and then wipe off any excess with a cloth. You’ll also want to lubricate the extension spring openers and the bearings on torsion spring openers.
7. Check The Door Balance
If a garage door isn’t properly balanced, it’s going to be harder for it to open every time. It’ll have to work harder, and that means that parts will wear out sooner. Luckily, you’ll see that you can check for this problem very easily.
Unplug your garage door opener, and open up the door manually to about halfway. If the door is properly balanced, the door should stay open. If it isn’t, it’ll slide shut on its own. Call a professional to help you diagnose the problem.
8. Check The Auto Reverse
Next, you’ll need to check the auto-reverse feature. This is a vital safety feature on garage door openers, so you need to ensure they’re working properly. Again, this is quite easy to do.
Simply get a 2×4, and place it in the path of the garage door. Then, hit the remote to close it. If it’s working correctly, it should sense that something’s in the way, and reverse back up again. If it doesn’t do this, check the photo eyes on either side of the door. They may simply need cleaning, or realigning, so they can properly sense anything in the way.
9. Clean The Door
Finally, take a look at the door itself. Over time it may develop dents, rust, and other issues. You’ll want to correct these, as it’s better for your curb appeal and will ensure the door looks its best. Sand rust spots on steel doors and re-paint them. Give fiberglass a wash with an all-purpose cleaner, and sand and repaint wood doors.
Now your garage door has been fully inspected and is ready for another six months of use. Make sure you keep doing these checks to keep the door in good condition for as long as possible.