7 Tips to Maintain Your Garage Door
Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Imagine you’re rushing to work, and your garage door gets stuck. Not very pleasant, right? Garage door maintenance often gets overlooked, but homeowners should opt for a twice-a-year inspection and check-up.
Garage doors that get neglected can lead to many problems, like putting a lot of stress on an automatic garage opener. Therefore, spending an hour or so in early spring or late fall can save you from paying for expensive repairs down the road.
If you find regular garage door check-ups inconvenient, time it with other seasonal activities like getting your lawnmower in and out for storage. We have listed seven tips on how to keep your garage door working hassle-free.
It’s a habit of homeowners, especially those with an attached garage, to enter and exit their homes through the garage door regularly. If that’s you, you should break that habit. Experts advise homeowners to use their house doors more often as it can increase the lifespan of their garage doors.
The garage door typically has five to 10 uses per day. At ten uses daily, you may have to replace the springs every two and a half years. But if it’s two cycles a day, your spring replacement can easily be done every seven or eight years.
Keeping the rollers and other moving parts lubricated will reduce the stress on your rollers and door openers and extend their lifespan. Apply a high-quality spray lubricant twice a year on the rollers and hinges and wipe off any excess after.
The reason behind applying lube is that dust tends to build up on parts and create noise. Lubricating your parts regularly will break down that gunk and prevent rust and corrosion. Professionals recommend using WD-40 for greasing.
Test the Door Balance
Springs balance your garage door and ensure its smooth operation. An unbalanced garage door will make the opener work harder, shortening its lifespan in the long run.
The way to test the balance is by closing the garage door and pulling the release handle, which disengages the automatic opener. Afterward, you should manually lift the door so it's halfway open and watch if the door remains in place.
If it creeps up or down, the door isn’t balanced, or the springs are worn. To repair it, turn to a professional.
Test the Auto-Reverse
Auto-reverse is a safety feature that makes the garage door quickly reverse if it detects an obstacle, be it a car, animal, or child. It gets activated by a pressure sensor or photocells on each side of the door.
For an optimal garage door function, you should test your auto-reverse by placing a 1-inch block on the floor under the door. To test the photoelectric system sensors mounted 4-6 inches above the floor on every side of the garage door frame, start your door downward and move your leg in the door’s path.
The door should reverse and move up. If the auto-reverse fails, disconnect the door opener and call an expert to fix it.
Clean and Paint
As you check out the other components, don’t forget to inspect the door itself. If you have a steel door, look for rust spots that should be sanded, primed, and painted. Fiberglass doors are easier to maintain as all they need is to be washed with an all-purpose cleaner.
Wooden doors should be carefully observed as warping and water damage are common. To keep them intact, remove chipped and peeling paint, then sand and repaint.
If your wooden door doesn’t have weatherstripping along the bottom, make sure this edge is well sealed or painted, then install weatherstripping.
Inspect Your Door-Opening System
Problems concerning your garage door and automatic opener are often seen in jerky movements and grating sounds.
A well-maintained garage door is quiet as it moves up and down, and you shouldn’t see jerky motions. Look at both sides of the system and inspect the springs, pulleys, and cables to make sure everything is functioning properly.
Replace the Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping, as its name suggests, is a rubber stripping placed along the bottom of the door to help you keep out the cold as well as water, dust, and dirt.
Check it twice a year to make sure it’s in good condition. Garage door weatherstripping is sold at hardware stores in small or large sizes and home improvement stores.
If your door has weatherstripping along the sides, check its condition and reattach any loose spots or replace the entire length of stripping if it’s no longer doing its job.
Preserve your Garage Door
With the information and preventive measures, you can avoid problems with your garage door. Garage door maintenance may be the last thing you consider doing but performing a couple of things once or twice per year will keep your door effective and operating.