10 Maintenance Tips for Garage Doors
The majority of Americans consider the garage door to be the main entrance to their house. For a moveable object to be moved twice a day or more, it’s ought to tear and wear. As well as requiring some hard work to keep it in good working condition. Paying enough attention to keeping the garage door in good order will pay off down the road and provide you with the security and convenience you need and to meet your standards. Having a garage makes our lives easier. But when it becomes dysfunctional, it can form a risk to your family or your belongings. The repeated use of the garage door lead for it to quickly wear out. If you think about it, there is not a part of your house that experiences tear and wear as much as your garage door. That’s why you need to learn more about how your door functions in order to create a maintenance routine that will protect the door cable and the door opener from wearing out. Here are the ten important tips that you should consider extending the garage door lifespan.
1. Be Ready
The first step is to have the required materials ready in case you need to do a quick repair. Some of the maintenance tips that you need to do won’t require an expert or any special skills to perform them. But they will require some important tools. Avoid last minute trips and buy everything that you might need in order to be ready for any hiccups along the way. You might need a wrench set of different types and sizes to be able to loosen and tighten all the screws, nuts, bolts, and so on… a tape measure will also come in handy in case you need to take specific measurements instead of getting a wrong piece that won’t fit. A hammer, screw gun, flat blade screwdriver, lubricant and a cleaner, white lithium grease, and garage door rollers. Some spare springs might also be needed for maintenance and quick repairs. If you had to hire a specialist, they come prepared with their set of tools. But it’s still good to be prepared with your own tools in case something from their set breaks down or they discover that they need something that they have forgotten to bring.
2. Pay Attention
It’s advised to visually inspect your door every now and then. Paying attention to the details of your door and how it operates will give you clues on whether or not it needs any repairs or maintenance. Even though you might not be a trained technician, but you can learn by practicing how to anticipate any dysfunctions that may happen along the way. Your door should be efficiently sanded, primed, and painted. It’s also a high priority to check for rust spots if you have a metal door. But if you have a wooden door, you will need to pay attention to water damage and that it’s properly sealed to prevent the door from losing its shape. That’s why you should dedicate a space in your schedule every month or bimonthly to check your door thoroughly. While you are at it, consider giving your door a good wash. Remember that your garage door is a big part of how the exterior of your house looks. So, taking the time and making the effort to keep it clean with a good all-purpose cleaner will make a huge difference in how your house looks. Doing this will make your house presentable.
3. Use Your Ears
Many issues can be differentiated by listening to how your door operates. If your door is noisy during its opening and closing, then there must be something with it. If it jerks in certain places, that means that the problem might be in the springs’ pulleys. Observe closely the symmetry between the pulleys and the cable on both sides. Experts at OKDiscountGarageDoor.com advise that the best way to avoid big bills is by observing how your door closes and how does it sound while doing that. If you can’t put your finger behind the real issue, you won’t be able to fix it yourself. So, it’s better to call in an expert once you notice any issue with your door to prevent the problem from manifesting and growing into something bigger that will cost you more money. Taking the time to check your door and to observe how it operates is the best money-saving tip any homeowner can follow as a precaution to prevent the door from breaking down completely.
4. Check The Balance
Your door should open and be raised off the ground for a few feet without one end drooping more than the other one. If you can notice a bit of asymmetry in how your door opens, you need to check the balance. To be able to check the balance successfully, you will need to disconnect the opener. You can do that by looking for the red cord and pulling the red handle at the end of it. Once you successfully disconnect the opener, raise your door half the way through. If the garage door falls down a bit or starts to close on its own, that means that the door is out of balance. Your door should be able to maintain a straight line whether you disconnected the opener or not. You only need to disconnect the opener to make sure of its off-balance if you are unsure. Imbalanced doors put so much pressure on the gears. This could result in over wearing your door in the long run. Ignoring these issues for some time could even result in breaking the door completely. In order to fix all these problems, you will just need to change the springs. Making the decision between hiring a specialist or not in these cases only falls on you. The task might seem simple, but the main challenge lies in the dangers that come with changing the springs.
5. Inspect The Safety Features
The first thing you care about when you become a parent whether for a fur baby or a real one is safety. Your door should have two essential safety mechanisms; the first one is mechanical and the other is photocell. If your door doesn’t have these two features, it’s outdated and it needs to be replaced with a newer version that has these two safety measures. You can test the two mechanisms by following a few easy steps without having to hire a specialist. For mechanical safety, you can place any object under your garage door. If the feature is there and working, your door will not close on the object, it should stop and open back up. The other feature requires photoelectric beams that sense objects on their ways. While your door is closing, stick your leg underneath it. If the photocell feature is working properly, your leg will become in contact with the photobeam which will stop your door from going any further.
6. Lubricate The Door Parts
All mechanical parts that are constantly moving require lubricants to keep working properly. Think of your garage door as your car. If you are constantly lubricating the moving parts in your door, it will run smoothly and efficiently for a longer time. These ten minutes that you can use them to lubricating these parts, could add a lot to your door lifespan. Remember the grease we have mentioned? This is what you can use as a lubricant for your door. You can spray it on the door opener chain, rollers, hinges, bearings, and most importantly, the tracks. For the springs and the cable, you will need to hire a professional. Cables are used to lift the whole weight of the door. If something went wrong, they have enough power to cause real damage that can reach death sometimes. So if you are suspecting that your cables are out of order or have broken strands, it’s better to seek professional help instead of risking your life.
7. Replace Weather Stripping When Needed
The U-shaped astragal or the weatherstrip is a small piece of rubber that can be found at the bottom of your door. It keeps the door safe from all damaging weather elements. It works by preventing rain, debris, and rodents from entering your garage. This strip needs to be changed every now and then. You can check it while you are doing your monthly or bimonthly check-up and decide if it needs to be replaced. If you found that it started cracking and falling apart, then it’s time for you to change it. Remove it with a flat blade screwdriver before installing the new one. That’s when you will need your measuring tape. The stripping sold by the foot. So, before you go out to buy a new one, remember to measure the width and the length of the old one.
8. Rollers Change
During your inspection, look out for worn-out rollers. You will know that it’s time to change the rollers when you notice that they are cracked, worn, or chipped. You should inspect your rollers twice a year. But if you tend to use your door more often, then you should do it more than that. Regardless of the type of rollers you have, all rollers should be changed every seven years; whether you have nylon rollers or steel ones. Remember that you shouldn’t do anything when it comes to the cables, so, if your rollers are attached to the cable system, it’s better to call a specialist.
9. Inspect, Lubricate, But Never Change The Springs
Springs are part of the cable system that we have mentioned that isn’t safe to be poked around. But still, you need to do your inspection twice a year to make sure that they are safe from rust, worn ends, or fraying. If you notice any of these signs, you would need to call a professional company that can help you with changing the springs. But for a small task like lubricating the springs, you can do it by using spray lubricant. Take your safety measures and spray the lubricant around the springs and let it set before using your garage door. Make sure that you buy a good lubricant that will not form any premature rust or leave any residues that can block your door or its tracks.
10. Examine The Hardware And Clear The Tracks
With the constant movement that your garage door is subjected to, it’s inevitable for some parts to become loose with time due to the movement and vibration. It’s very important to thoroughly examine the hardware. You will also need your wrench set to make sure that you tighten the brackets on the rollers, bolts, and screws regularly. The right direction is right for tightening these bolts and screws, and the other direction is for loosening them, so don’t get these two mixed together. If you have decided on dedicating some time to check and examine your door, don’t forget to clear the tracks. The lubricant you used might have left some residues that you need to clean. Other than that, you can check for any trash or debris that are stuck in the tracks. You might think that your garage door is not functioning properly due to a deeper issue, but it could start to operate perfectly after you are done cleaning with the right materials. Making sure that the tracks are straight and aligned is an important part that also should be added to your maintenance routine.
Proper examination with a simple maintenance routine goes a long way. Instead of paying for an expensive consultation and end up with big bills for repairs, you can just follow the mentioned tips and tricks to avoid this hassle. You just need to pay close attention to the way your door operates. You will also need to make sure that every part is functioning properly. And don’t forget to change the worn-out parts once you notice them.