Just like all of the other systems in your home, your garage needs a little TLC. If you neglect to maintain your HVAC system, your roof, or your kitchen appliances, you end up with costly repairs down the road. Your garage door is the same.
To put it in better perspective, your garage door weighs between 100 and 200 pounds. Plus, you probably use your garage door at least twice per day. Ensuring that it is properly cared for will keep it reliable and safe.
Safety should always be important
There are unfortunate incidents every year due to malfunctioning garage doors. In 2014, there were 18,000 garage door accidents in the U.S. That does not include the accidents in Canada, Mexico, or other parts of the world. These accidents cause damage to property, as well as injuries to adults and children. In some horrifying cases, they caused fatalities.
There are a few reasons why a garage door may cause an accident. It can be because one or more of the components failed, the spring system can up unbalanced, or the automatic reversal system may be maladjusted.
Make garage door maintenance part of the routine
As a homeowner, you probably have a whole schedule of home maintenance tasks on your laptop or set as reminders in your phone calendar. It should be no problem to add garage door maintenance to the list, and you only have to budget for about an hour of maintenance time.
A couple of times per year, you should do a visual inspection of all the garage door components, making sure nothing looks worn, rusted, or frayed. Then you should take a few minutes to lubricate all of the moving metal parts of the garage door. Finally, you will want to test the automatic reversal system to ensure that it is working properly.
Maintenance tasks, step by step
To keep your garage door well-maintained and working properly, you should do the following steps twice per year. Schedule one for right before the cooler weather sets in, and the second for the beginning of spring.
Your visual inspection
- Visually inspect all the door components, paying special attention to the lifting cables located near the vertical tracks. Make sure that nothing is frayed or worn, and you should also take a look at the drum with the cable wound around it to make sure everything appears to be properly aligned.
- Open and close the garage door a few times, watching for anything that might be unstable or out of alignment. While you are watching, listen closely for any new or different sounds.
- Look at the spring system. Check for any signs of breakage or wear and tear, such as fraying. You will have one of two types of spring system:
- Extension: These are located over the tracks
- Torsion: You will find these above the door within a steel tube
- Observe the rollers. They should roll on the track, not slide, and they should be in good repair.
- Look at the hinges to make sure that none of the bolts are loose or rusting. You also want to make sure all of the brackets are in good condition.
- Check out the weatherstripping. Anything that is worn or frayed will allow cold/hot air into the garage, give pests access to your home, and can allow water to seep in.
- Take a look at the photoelectric reversal system. Make sure that it is not obstructed or covered in dust,and do a quick test to make sure that it is working properly.
Lubricate the moving parts
- Two different types of lubricants are needed. The metal parts, such as the springs, track, and rollers need something like 5W30 car engine oil. On the other hand, weatherstripping around and under the door needs a silicone-based lubricant. Both types can be purchased from Doan’s Overhead Garage Doors. You should do a thorough cleaning before lubricating the important parts which will remove any of the old grease or oils that have been applied during the previous lubrication sessions.
- The metal parts that need to be cleaned and greased include:
- Spring system: a little oil is all that’s needed - wipe away excess immediately
- Rollers: bearings require oil
- Hinges: lubricate junction points
- Tracks: require a little oil at the curve and across the straight section
- To lubricate the weatherstripping, you will need to:
- Apply to the exterior frame and all along the interior side of the weatherstripping
- Apply between the door sections, especially if the sections have PVC weatherstripping
- Apply it all along the surface of the weatherstripping to stop it from sticking to the threshold of the door
Check for safety
- It is important to check the two automatic reverse systems of your electric garage door opener during your routine maintenance session. However, many manufacturers recommend testing this system on a monthly basis.
- You can test the mechanical reversal system by placing a 2’ x 4’ flat on the threshold of the open garage door, under where the door closes. When the door closes, it should immediately reverse upon hitting the wood.
- The second test is for the photoelectric reversal system. Use the remote to close the garage door, and as the door begins to close, stick your foot in front of the photo-eye unit located on the side of the door. (They should be installed on each side of the door at about 4 to 6 inches from the ground.) The door should immediately reverse when your foot passes in front of the sensor.
- WARNING: Contact Doan’s Overhead Garage Doors for immediate assistance if either of these tests fail.
Ultimately, it takes only about 30 minutes to handle all of your garage door maintenance needs. However, that small investment of time could mean big things for you in terms of financial savings on repairs and maintenance. Of course, it also means that you and your family will be safer in the long run.
Need help with the maintenance?
Not everyone has the time to deal with garage door maintenance, but the good news is you don’t have to! Just contact us at 1-800-780-3883 for more information about scheduling a tune-up service. Not only is it fast, but it’s more affordable than you might assume. You can rest assured that your garage door is safe and well-cared for without having to take the time out of your busy schedule to handle it.
If you think it’s about time to update your whole garage door system, we would be happy to send you a quote by email.