(DIY) 10 Easy Garage Door Maintenance Tips
Your garage door is the largest moving part in your entire home, and is probably used multiple times per day at any hour all throughout the year. Because of the frequency of use and size of a garage door, it’s common for parts to become loose, damaged, broken, or missing.
To keep your garage door operating smoothly and safely, it’s very important that you take the time to perform regular preventive care and maintenance. We’ll show you what to watch out for on your garage door, so that your garage door is safe for you and your family.
You’ll also save money by extending the life of your Garage Door and its hardware! Here’s out top 10 Easy Garage Door Maintenance Tips!
1. Listen to and Observe Your Garage Door
Noisy Garage Door? The most important preventive step you can take is to watch your garage door in action every time you use it. Is it moving smoothly or is it jerking in places? Does it operate silently or does it make grinding or loud noises? Do both sides of the garage door spring system (springs, pulleys and cables) appear to be balanced and symmetrical? These are some things you can check for while watching your garage door in motion.
If you hear any squeals or annoying noises, try to single out where the noise is coming from and apply lubrication. Most noise typically comes from old rollers or dry hinges, so it’s best to start there.
2. Tighten up the Hardware
The average homeowner will use their garage door more than one thousand times per year. That’s a lot of movement and vibration, which can loosen the hardware.
Examine and tighten all of panel hinges with a socket wrench or drill, commonly a 7/16th attachment on garage door screws. Make sure all of the screws on the garage door are nice and tug, but no need to over tighten. The objective is to prevent any loose screws from coming out.
Wood garage doors are especially prone to having loose hardware, and should be inspected more often. Wood expands and contracts a lot, especially during wet weather, and this can cause screws and bolts to slowly loosen over time. Be sure to inspect your wood garage door at least twice per year to make sure there aren’t any loose screws. Wood garage doors require more maintenance than steel garage doors, due to their weight and material.
3. Test the Garage Door Spring Tension
If your garage door spring or springs are not under the proper amount of tension, the garage door opener will have to work harder, and it won’t last as long – or worse, you could damage the garage door opener or your door itself.
To check the tension of your springs, you should disconnect the garage door from your garage door opener by pulling the release line (usually a red cord).
WARNING: Make sure your garage door is CLOSED before releasing it from the garage door opener.
After you disconnect the garage door from the garage door opener, manually move the door about halfway up. If it doesn’t stay up on its own, then your garage door springs are out of tune. It should also require little effort to raise the door manually if the springs are properly tuned.
Garage door spring adjustment is best left to the professionals, as it is very dangerous and requires handling tremendous force.
4. Rollers are important!
The rollers, whether steel or nylon, need to be inspected twice a year and replaced every seven years or so, and even more if you use your garage door many times a day.
Worn, chipped or cracked rollers should be replaced as soon as possible. Noisy rollers should be replaced as soon as possible, as the bearing noise indicates upcoming failure.
Rollers are an important part of a garage door’s operation. Once the garage door is in the fully open position, all of the weight of the garage door is held up by the rollers (wheels). It is very important to make sure your rollers are in good condition, as bad rollers can come apart and cause the garage door to fall off of the tracks and cause serious harm or damage.
5. Inspect the Weatherstripping
On the bottom of your Garage Door, you’ll see a long rubber strip that protects the inside of your garage from outdoor debris. This is called the Garage Door Weather Strip. If the weatherstrip is caught up or snagged, it may make a loud or irritating noise.
If part of your weather strip is missing, you can look for a replacement at a local hardware store, and buy just enough to replace the missing garage door weather strip.
You can also order a full replacement gasket online and replace the old one with a drill kit.
6. Lubricate the Moving Parts
Keeping your garage door parts greased up will add years of seamless operation to your system – and it takes less than 10 minutes a year!
Use white lithium grease on the opener’s chain or screw, and a spray lubricant, available from your garage door experts or any hardware store, to lube the garage door torsion springs.
7. Visually inspect the Torsion Cables
You should never touch or attempt to repair the Garage Door Tension Cables, they’re under tremendous force from the Garage Door Springs and can seriously injure or kill you! If you notice cable damage or a tangled Torsion Cable, Call a Local Garage Door Company immediately! However, you can safely check their condition by visually inspecting the Torsion Cable. Check for frayed cable strands and damage near the bottom roller bracket.
8. Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Features
There are two mechanisms: mechanical and photocell (the safety sensors). In order to test the mechanical reverse feature, place a block of wood on the ground in the path of the door. When the door coming down touches that object, it should reverse direction and go back up again.
To test the safety sensors with the beams at each side of the track, close your door with the garage door opener and cross your leg through the sensors line of sight. Your door should reverse.
If your garage door opener is over 20 years old, it may lack this important safety feature – and it may be time to buy a new garage door opener.
9. Clear the Tracks
Make sure the tracks on either side of the door are free from debris. We also highly recommend that you clear any personal items away from the Vertical and Horizontal Tracks, this will prevent accidental damage to your garage door.
Many people place brooms and shovels placed up against the wall near the garage door, but they may accidentally fall and obstruct the garage door track and cause damage.
If the garage door tracks look uneven you can use a leveler to check the Tracks and make minor adjustments if needed.
Any major adjustments to the Vertical or Horizontal Tracks must be done by a professional Garage Door Technician. Improper placement of the tracks can cause your garage door to come off of the tracks, which is known as a garage door off track.
10. Inspect Garage Door Panels
Don’t forget to examine the door itself yearly. Wood doors will need to be checked for water damage, warping, and wood rot, as well as chipped and peeling paint.
Steel doors may have rust spots that need to be sanded, primed and painted and you can also check for any cracks or crumples in the metal, if left unchecked minor damage can turn into a big repair!
If you don’t have time to do this kind of check-up, call a Garage Door Professional to Schedule an appointment Today!
Now that you know these easy steps, you can make sure your garage door lasts for years or decades to come.