Tips For Garage Door Maintenance

A garage door is the largest moving part in your home. To help ensure that it offers you easy, safe and reliable access, it is important to keep the door and bolt working properly.

A basic maintenance routine can help extend the life of your garage door. The International Door Association* (IDA) recommends checking and testing your garage door system every month. This includes examining the door latch, springs, rollers, cables and pulleys for any signs of wear. The IDA mentions that you should also make sure the door is lubricated and balanced and follow the maintenance steps included in the owner’s manual.

Here are some tips for garage door maintenance.

Balance

The IDA mentions that one of the first tests you should do is to check the balance of your garage door.

To find out if the door is balanced, the IDA recommends the following steps:

Close the garage door.

  1. Pull the door release lever to allow manual operation.
  2. Lift the door about 3 or 4 feet above the floor. If it stays open, your door is properly balanced. If not, consider contacting a technician to adjust it.

Lubrication

The IDA recommends regularly lubricating all moving parts of your garage door during maintenance. According to Bob Vila, this includes rollers, bearings, hinges, springs and chains. To start, put a drop of motor oil on each roller, which will carry the oil to the bearings when they move. Then lightly lubricate the hinges and springs so the system is less likely to get stuck. A home advice column in the Washington Post* indicates that garage door manufacturers suggest using a silicone lubricant or lightweight oil for hinges, springs and chains, but it should not be applied to plastic parts.

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Springs and rails

Giving regular visual inspection of springs, rails and other door parts is a good way to help prevent malfunction due to wear, says the IDA. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know how much longer the springs will last, says Bob Vila. But if you do a monthly inspection, it’s easier to spot problems. If the springs are still in good shape, an older child should be able to open the door manually when disconnected from the engine. If you encounter a problem with the springs, the IDA recommends calling a certified technician for repair or replacement, since the springs are under high tension and could cause serious injury.

To maintain tracks or lanes, check them every month and clean or vacuum any debris that may be in the path of the rollers, says Vila. It also checks for alignment (parallel to each other) to avoid wheel drag, which can cause premature wear, according to the Washington Post. If you notice that the rails are out of alignment, the Post recommends loosening the screws in the rail brackets, straightening the rails, and then tightening the screws again.

Sensitivity

According to DIY Network*, it is possible to adjust the sensitivity of most garage doors. Bob Vila explains that it is possible to check the closing force by putting a 2×4 piece of wood under the door and closing it. If the door bounces upwards when it hits the wood, its sensitivity level is likely to be appropriate. If not, it may be necessary to reduce the force through an adjustment in the garage door system.

Being aware of the condition of your garage door is the best way to help prevent problems. In addition to checking these specific components each month, you should examine your system for wear, rust, broken parts and dirt, says DIY Network. If you encounter any of these problems, the IDA recommends contacting a service technician for repairs.

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