10 Ways to Keep Your Garage Door in the Best Shape of Its Life
A garage is a beautiful thing to have.
If you have a garage, your vehicles will be safe from the ravages of inclement weather. This means you don’t have to brave snow, sleet, or rain when you want to take your car out for a fun and exciting joy ride.
What makes a garage even better is a garage door.
To keep your garage door in excellent working order for years to come, you must take the time to perform regular preventative care and maintenance. Showing your garage door a little love and attention can even save you oodles of money down the road.
Here are the steps you must take to keep your garage door in excellent working order:
Check for Warning Signs
Regularly observe your garage door in operation so you can spot warning signs when they happen.
Check to see if springs, cables, and pulleys on both sides of the system are symmetrical. If one part is higher or lower than the other, something isn’t right.
Make sure that the door moves smoothly with no jerky movements. Look closely at the hinges and other parts and make sure they’re rust-free.
Another sign that your garage door needs fixing is if your unit emits screeching or other strange sounds that it doesn’t usually make. If this describes your unit, it’s time to enlist a qualified professional’s services because a garage door in the peak of health won’t make any unusual sounds.
Taking decisive action when your garage door makes more noise than a NASCAR dragster, or a wailing banshee will end up saving you truckloads of your hard-earned money.
Tighten Up Those Nuts and Bolts
Garage doors go up and down zillions of times each year.
Each time you use the unit, vibrations loosen up the parts.
That’s why you must look closely at all bolts and roller brackets and tighten any that need tightening with your trusty socket wrench.
Check the Condition of the Tracks
Check to see if rust, debris, or other residues are gunking up the tracks.
If there’s any track damage, contact a garage door professional ASAP before the problem gets worse. You can also use a level to check the plumb.
Any major adjustments to tracks must be made by a professional garage door technician.
Lubricate Moving Parts
Make sure any part of the garage door that moves is lubricated.
This includes rollers, springs, chains, and pulleys. Use white lithium grease as a lubricant. The good news is this only needs to be done twice a year.
It only takes ten minutes to do, too.
If parts seem stuck, squirt a little penetrating solution like WD-40. After you do that, wipe it clean and apply your lubricant.
Use a spray lubricant to apply a light coat to the springs.
Test the Garage Door Balance
If your garage door isn’t properly balanced, it’s going to have to work that much harder.
This will dramatically shorten the life of the unit. You can test the balance by disconnecting the opener by pulling the red cord on the release handle.
Then, manually move the door about halfway up.
If the door doesn’t stay in place, the balance is off. This means it needs to be adjusted by a professional.
Inspect the Rollers
The rollers need to be inspected twice a year and replaced every seven years.
There are two types of garage door rollers: nylon or steel. You need to inspect them twice a year and replace them every seven years. If you use your garage door a lot, the inspections should be more frequent.
If the rollers are chipped, worn, or cracked, they should be replaced right away. If any roller brackets have become detached from the cable system, remove and reinstall them.
If the rubber weatherstripping on the bottom of your door is cracked, replace it immediately to keep the cold air out of your garage.
You can buy weatherstripping at hardware and home improvement stores. All you must do is cut it to the size you need. Then, insert it into the grooves with the wide-angle of the flange inside the door.
Check the Cables
You should never mess around with the high-tension cables that lift your door because there’s enough raw force in them to cause serious injuries.
However, you can check their condition. If they need servicing, call a pro. Check for damage near the bottom roll bracket and broken strands.
Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Features
There are two types of these features built into the unit: photocell and mechanical.
To test the mechanical safety feature, put a piece of wood directly in the path of the door. When the downward descending door touches the wood, it should quickly reverse direction and go back up again.
To test the photoelectric safety feature, block the photo-eye with an object over six inches tall. Then, press the garage door opener’s close button.
If this safety feature is working correctly, the door shouldn’t close.
If your garage door is more than two decades old, it might not have this safety feature, which definitely means you should consider an upgrade.
Check the Condition of the Door
Wood doors need to be periodically checked for water damage, warping, and peeling and chipped paint.
Steel doors with rust spots need to be sanded, primed, and painted. To keep the door looking its best, wash it regularly with a mild all-purpose cleaner.
Know When to Call the Pros
These are all the things you need to check if you want to keep your garage door in excellent working order.
If you don’t have time to do this inspection, call a garage door professional to do it for you.