In most cases, the garage door is often the single most moving part of a home. As such, garage doors need proper maintenance to make sure they continue functioning efficiently for longer. Major repairs on garage doors should be entrusted to the experts, but homeowners should also take on the responsibility of conducting basic inspections and maintenance. Doing this helps them spot any problems that can lead to serious damages.
Here are basic maintenance tasks that can be executed by the average homeowner to ensure that their garage door stays in good condition.
1. Lubricate Moving Parts
In a bid to extend the lifetime of your garage door, you will need to keep the hinges, rollers, and all other moving parts of the door properly lubricated. Doing so helps reduce the stress on these parts, and the entire door as well. Homeowners should apply quality spray lubricant on these parts at least twice a year.
Applying products such as white lithium grease spray is largely beneficial to hinges and rollers, but be sure to clean any excess. Penetration solutions may also be required for movable garage door parts that may be seized up. Once they loosen up, you can apply the lithium grease.
Lubricating the spring system of your garage door is equally important. This means lubricating the pulleys for extension-spring systems and the bearing for the torsion-spring systems. Keeping the torsion spring well-oiled helps to keep it running effortlessly. For any screws and chains attaches to the door opener, it is equally important to keep them lubricated. However, don’t use any lubricant on a belt-drive opener.
2. Inspect Garage Door Tracks
Check the tracks on the sides of the garage door to ensure they are rust-free and free from any debris. The accumulation of such dirt may easily lead to the failure of the rollers, bearings, and springs. Using a damp cloth to clean will give desirable results. Whenever you have to deal with sticky residue, it is advisable to use a top-quality solvent metal cleaner.
For cold climate areas, snow and ice build-up may be a concern. Often, use a level to test whether the tracks of the garage door are perfectly vertical along their sections. While homeowners can execute any minor adjustments as DIY projects, major track adjustments should be left to the experts.
3. Repair or Replace Weather Stripping
If you are looking to save on energy, ensure you keep your weatherstripping in check. Weatherstripping is fitted around the door opening and on the bottom part to prevent cold and the entry of water and dust as well. Depending on the model of the garage door, the seal at the bottom may be fitted in different ways. Whenever it is damaged or torn, be sure to replace it for energy efficiency. Weather seals come in various colors to match your door style.
4. Inspect Door Opener for Safety Features
Residential garage door openers made after 1993 ought to have an auto-reverse feature designed to halt and reverse the door’s direction whenever there is an object in the door’s path. The safety measure is triggered by a force setting or by safety eyes installed on each side of the door. These eyes should be placed no higher than 6” off the floor.
You can test the force setting by placing an object in the path of the garage door. Whenever the door comes into contact with the door, it should reverse its direction and resume the open position. You can also test the safety eyes by passing your leg along the door’s path once you start to close the door. On noticing your leg, the door should reverse direction and resume the open position. Garage door openers that lack these features should be replaced.
5. Test for Door Balance
Keeping your garage door and the garage door opener in good condition also involves inspecting their balance. If the door is not well-balanced, the garage door opener works harder, which in turn reduces its lifespan.
You can test the balance by pulling the release handle on the door opener and switching it to manual mode. Ensure the door is halfway open, and if it is well-balanced, it should maintain that position. If you notice any movement at that point, then the door is not well-balanced. It could also indicate that the springs are wearing out. Spring repairs should be on the cards, and they should be done by a professional.
6. Tighten Every Hardware
Vibrations and the constant motion of the door results in the loosening of the hardware over time. If necessary get replacement garage door springs, inspect the door fasteners and track brackets to keep them tight. A socket wrench comes in handy in tightening any loose bolts on the garage door.