Maintaining your garage door is essential for ensuring it functions correctly and stays in good shape for years. From checking the hardware to testing for proper operation, this guide explains all the steps you need to take when it's time to perform garage door maintenance.
A typical garage door system consists of several components:
A basic understanding of how each piece works will help you diagnose potential problems and keep you safe while performing garage door maintenance tasks.
At the heart of your garage door and opener lies the counter-balance system. It consists of the springs, cables, drums, torsion tube, and the associated mounting brackets and hardware. The spring system takes the weight of the door, making it manageable for us to open and close it easily, either by hand or using the garage door opener. Because this system is under extreme tension, you should always have a trained professional repair or adjust the springs and other counter-balance components. These can all pose a risk of severe injury or even death, so it's crucial not to tamper with any of these parts of the garage door.
The garage door rides along its tracks, located on each side of the door, to travel up and down. Hinges on each side of the garage door hold rollers that stay in the tracks.
If you notice your garage door's noisier than usual or doesn't seem to operate as smoothly as it once did, it's time for garage door maintenance.
Basic garage door maintenance consists of:
Regularly inspect your garage door, its opener, tracks, springs, hardware, and other components for signs of wear and tear. Pay close attention to moving parts like springs, which are under a great deal of tension and can wear out quickly if not properly maintained. If you notice any signs of damage, such as fraying wires or worn-out components, have a garage door company replace them to avoid further damage or potentially dangerous malfunctions.
With all those moving parts, it's no surprise that your garage door benefits from regular lubrication with a spray on lubricant. Using a spray on product keeps hands and fingers safe from harm and gets lubricant into tight, high-friction areas. A few parts that are prone to wear and tear are the:
By using a high-quality spray lubricant on these parts, you'll not only allow them to move more freely, but it also sometimes cleans out a little of the dust and debris that builds up inside these types of parts.
You already know how much better the car looks after it's been washed. Your garage door could benefit from much the same treatment. By washing your garage door, you can keep it looking new for longer.
It's best to avoid harsh cleansers. Instead, a few spoonfuls of laundry detergent or dish soap in a gallon of water should do the trick. Be sure to rinse well after washing the door down with a soft cloth and detergent solution.
If you live near the coast or in a climate where you need to salt your driveway, you'll want to clean the door's exterior more frequently.
Most decorative hardware doesn't require any special treatment, but the appearance can degrade over time. You can remove the hardware, paint it, or refinish, and then install it back onto the door.
If you have wood garage doors, you'll want to inspect them once or twice a year for signs it may need refinishing. Look for cracks, splits, weather damage, or any worn areas. It's best to prevent damage by maintaining a weatherproof finish, as it's sometimes difficult to replace just a portion or section of a wood garage door. If you find any areas that seem deteriorated, it's probably time to refinish.
Finally, it's a good idea to keep the area around the garage door's tracks free from leaf litter, personal items, or other objects that might wind up in the door's path. Keeping the door's path free from any things that may obstruct its travel can prevent safety sensor malfunctions and prevent damage to your garage door.
Most, if not all, garage door manuals provide instructions on how to test safely for proper spring tension. But, generally speaking, when it comes to garage door maintenance, what's important is to make sure the springs haven't relaxed to the point that the door's too heavy for the opener to lift. The last thing you need, if you need to operate the door manually, is for the garage door to come slamming down. Not only is it potentially deadly to people or pets, but it could also damage the door or opener.
Once you've completed the test, remember to reconnect the door and opener at the manual disconnect. If your door passed the test, an easy way to do this is to open or close the door manually, then run the opener to get the trolley and drive rail to reconnect.
It's a good idea to test the opener's safety sensor and force sensitivity reversal system. These safety features keep the door working safely, automatically reversing or stopping the opener if it senses an obstruction in the door's path.
If you get any unexpected behavior during the garage door opener safety test, it's best to schedule a service call to make sure everything is operating safely.
Performing regular garage door maintenance ensures your door operates safely and reliably. Identifying and staying on top of minor issues as they occur prevents unexpected failures and repairs. If you encounter anything unexpected or concerning while maintaining your door, please reach out to an experienced garage door company. Proper operation is essential to ensure the built-in safety features on your garage door and opener can function effectively.