Your garage door is more than just the thing that covers your home’s biggest entryway; it’s also the largest moving object in your entire home too. So you should at least try your best to take care of it as well as you can. The following ten tips will be enough maintenance to ensure major problems are prevented before they escalate into something worse.
1. Always Look and Listen
Whenever you use your garage door, take a moment to look and listen to what’s actually happening. Is the door moving smoothly without jerking along the way? Do you hear any noises like grinding, scraping or scratching? Is everything moving and sitting symmetrically? Just by being vigilant like this, you stand a good chance of stopping major problems in their tracks.
2. Address Loose Hardware
Did you know that the average homeowner will see their garage door go up and down at least 1000 times throughout the year? That doesn’t happen without all kinds of vibration accompanying that movement. When this occurs, your garage door’s hardware can easily become loosened, setting the stage for problems down the line. So take the time to look over your bolts and brackets and use a socket wrench where it’s needed.
3. Test Its Balance
A garage door that isn’t well balanced is a big problem waiting to happen. For one thing, your garage door opener needs to work much harder, which it can only do for so long.
To address any issues with your door’s balance, disconnect the opener via the release handle (this is generally a red cord). Then manually move the door halfway up on its tracks. If your door doesn’t lock in place, the counterweight system isn’t balanced correctly. This means it’s time to call the professionals in.
4. Inspect the Rollers
Garage door rollers are generally made of steel or nylon. Either way, you should check them at least twice a year to ensure they’re working correctly. Most of the time, you should plan on replacing the rollers every seven years.
Any rollers that have become worn down or even chipped should get replaced immediately. All you have to do is remove the roller brackets (those that aren’t permanently attached) and then slide the new rollers in after removing the damaged ones.
5. Swap out the Weatherstripping
Without something as simple as weatherstripping, your garage door couldn’t do its job properly, because it couldn’t keep the outside elements at bay. So keep an eye on your weatherstripping so you’ll catch when it begins cracking or otherwise wearing out. Replacing it as easy as heading to your home improvement store for more.
6. Add Lubrication
Another simple way to ensure your garage door works properly for years to come is by applying lubrication to its moving parts. Fortunately, this only requires about 10 minutes of your time every year. You can pick up specialty lubrication spray for your overhead springs and white lithium grease for everything else.
7. Inspect the Cables
Never mess with the high-tension cables your garage door depends on. Instead, simply inspect these cables to see if they’ve become damaged or broken around the bottom roller bracket. If you notice any issues, you’d be better off calling in a professional.
8. Test the Auto-Reverse Features
In order for it to work safely, practically all garage doors are made with two auto-reverse features: one mechanical and one photocell. If your door doesn’t have both of these, consider replacing it soon.
You can test the automatic mechanical one by placing a piece of wood, a brick, or some cardboard in the door’s path and closing it. Once the door comes in contact with this object, it should immediately reverse direction.
Your photocell device uses an invisible beam like a tripwire. The moment you interrupt its path, the door should reverse course. Test this by closing your door and then putting your foot in the way of the beam.
9. Clear the Tracks
Small, seemingly insignificant amounts of debris can cause all kinds of problems by getting in the way of your garage door tracks. So be sure to clean them out regularly. While you’re at it, check the plumb line with a level. However, you’ll want a professional technician to address any problems that arise.
10. Clean Your Garage Door
Cleaning your garage door will not only help your home look better, it could add years to the door’s life. Buy some mild all-purpose cleaner and any time you wash your car, spend a few minutes doing the same for your garage door.
Preventing problems with your garage door doesn’t need to be very difficult. If you follow the above tips, you’ll have far fewer problems to deal with over the years