Your garage door is probably the largest moving object in your entire house. It is used every day and in all seasons. The maintenance of garage doors is often overlooked, and this can put a lot of stress on an automatic garage door opener. Many things can go wrong with the garage door, and the repair can be expensive, but you can prevent most of the things by seasonal garage door maintenance and save a lot of money.
Here are 7 things you can do to maintain your garage door and extend its working lifetime.
1. Maintain Necessary Equipment
Seasonal maintenance and inspection should be a part of your routine. Hence, you will need a well-maintained tool box having the necessary equipment. One of the most important tools for garage door repair is a pair of torsion spring winding bars. Buy winding bars and branded lubricants from your garage door specialist. Also, keep hand gloves in the box that you might need before applying the lubricant or using any sharp tool.
2. Lubricate the Moving Parts
Keep your garage door parts greased up if you want to reduce any noise issues and prolong their useful lives. Properly lubricating the rollers and other moving parts can significantly reduce the stress on the door opener.
Twice a year, spray some lubricant on the overhead springs, and use white lithium grease on the opener’s screw or chain. Try soaking the rollers or hinges in kerosene, if they seem stuck. Remember not use lubricant on a belt-drive opener.
3. Check the Cables and Pulleys
While you should never tinker with the cables and pulleys that lift the door since these are high-tension parts; you must visually inspect them twice a year. You can inspect by looking for worn ends in the springs, damage near the bottom roller bracket, as well as broken strands on the cable. If you see any problems, call a pro for a safety inspection.
4. Repair the Weather Spring
The rubber weather strip seal on the bottom of your door helps keep out the dust and dirt. Inspect it once in six months to make sure it is in good shape.
If the weather stripping has loose spots or is cracked, reattach it or replace the entire length right away. Garage door weather stripping is sold in large rolls at the hardware store. Just cut to size and fit into the bottom of the door.
5. Paint the Door and Test the Door Balance
Examine the door itself when you are checking the condition of your weather stripping. Whether your door is wood or steel, look for spots that should be sanded, primed and painted.
The garage door opener should be well balanced by its springs so as to not put extra pressure on your gears. If it is not balanced properly, it can make the garage door opener work harder or even cause them to break.
You can test this by pulling the release handle and manually lifting the door till it is halfway open. The door should remain in place and not move without your help. If this does move, then either the door is improperly balanced, or the springs have grown old.
6. Test the Auto-Reverse Features
Automatic garage door openers have an auto-reverse feature designed to detect resistance and to reverse the movement of the door if it hits a person or an object before reaching the ground. This safety feature works in two ways – mechanical and photocells. You can test the mechanical feature by placing a wooden board on the ground in the path of the door. As soon as the door touches the board, it should reverse direction and go back up again.
You can test the photoelectric system with beams at each side by starting the door downward and passing your leg in the door’s path. Your door should reverse and head upwards.
Consult the instruction manual for adjusting the auto reverse function. In case your opener is very old, it may lack the basic feature – and so it might be time you buy a new garage door opener.
7. Inspect and Replace the Rollers
The rollers along the edge of the garage door, whether nylon or steel, should be inspected twice a year and replaced every five years, and even more often if you use the door many times a day.
During your inspection, if you find rollers that are cracked or worn, replace them as soon as possible. Except for the ones attached to the cables, rollers can be re-installed and removed by removing the brackets holding the rollers.
Your garage door makes up about one-third of the exterior of the house, so make sure you keep it clean and fresh. If you do not have time to do the inspection, look for professionals who offer full garage door repair and maintenance services.