What Maintenance is Needed for a Garage Door?

Garage Door MaintenanceWhen it comes to the maintenance needed for a garage door, you can easily perform these tasks yourself every few months. Keep an eye on the state of your garage door each time you enter and leave the home. This will help you head off any problems before they can develop into something larger.

Cleaning the Garage Door

At least once per year, you should wash the exterior of the door. After a harsh winter or if you live in a climate with salt air, you’ll want to wash it more frequently. Salt can erode parts of the door and create a problem with door parts. If you have wood doors, you should inspect the door for peeling paint. It might need to be sanded and repainted every few years.

Listen Closely to the Garage Door

Along with checking the door visually each time you enter the home, you should be listening to the door as well. Listen to how the motor sounds as it opens and closes. Grinding or squealing noises should be taken care of immediately. It could be the first sign of a problem. When it moves, the door has to move smoothly. A jerky or wiggly door can also be an indication of a larger issue on the horizon. If you see or hear any problems, don’t wait for the next maintenance check. Look into the potential cause before the next inspection.

Seasonal Check for the Garage Door

At the beginning of every season, you should inspect the garage door for safety issues. This will tell you what maintenance is needed for the garage door to stay in working order. Inspecting the door before the start of the season will help you keep track of when you last inspected it. If you have a garage door system with torsion springs, leave that inspection and maintenance to a professional. Those springs are high tension and could cause injury if improperly touched. The door operates by using electricity. According to the International Door Association, some parts shouldn’t be handled by the homeowner.

Safety Inspection

Make sure children are out of the way while you’re inspecting the garage door. Keep your fingers away from the joints and rollers as you open and close the garage door to perform your inspection. The rollers, springs and tracks should be free of debris and move easily. If your garage door uses extension springs, those can easily be replaced without calling a professional technician. Check cables for fraying. The brackets and tracks shouldn’t be warped.

Tighten Bolts

Check the bolts to be sure they are snug in their holes. If the bolt is red or the parts have a warning tag, you shouldn’t touch them. Those should be left to a professional since they are under high tension. Touching them can cause serious injury. As long as the bolts are not red, you can tighten them yourself, and that task should be done at each seasonal check.

Balance the Garage Door

At the maintenance check, see if the garage door is balanced. To perform this check, unplug the door’s motor and release the door from the opener using the hanging string. The door should be opened half way and released slowly. If the door opens or closes, it is not balanced correctly and needs to be adjusted by a professional. Reattach the release and plug in the motor before moving on to the next step.

Lubricate the Garage Door Parts

The moving parts of the door should be lubricated. It helps the parts move smoothly. This doesn’t have to be performed at each inspection but should be done at least once a year. The tracks should be cleaned of any dirt or debris. Use a vacuum to suck out the dirt or wipe it with a lightly damp cloth. Don’t use lubricant on the tracks, since it’ll cause the door to slip. The garage door hinges and bearings should be lubricated. A small dot of non-silicone lubricant can be worked into the mechanism by opening and closing the door.

Optic Sensors

Many new garage door openers have optic sensors that will stop the door from closing if it senses an object in the way. This safety feature should be checked occasionally too. The sensors should be brushed to be sure there isn’t dust or dirt on them. They need to be aligned too. If they are out of alignment, the sensors think there’s a blockage and won’t close the door.

As long as you perform routine maintenance on your garage door, you most likely won’t have many problems that can’t be easily fixed. The maintenance needed for the garage door should be done each season to keep your garage door in great shape.

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