5 Tips For Garage Door Maintenance

Posted on: 31 January 2018

It's easy to ignore your garage door until something goes wrong. However, a poorly maintained garage door is a weakened door, which becomes a huge vulnerability to your home. If you haven't been maintaining your garage door, check out these five tips for garage door maintenance, so you don't need to pay for repairs as frequently.

Test the Door Annually

In some cases, you may use your garage door every day, but that doesn't mean you're testing it every day. You should run a test of how your door opens and closes at least once a year. This is the best way to stay on top of potential problems, so you can make minor repairs before they become expensive. While opening and closing the garage door, watch how it moves. If it hangs low on one side or starts and stops, there may be something wrong. You'll also want to listen for any unusual sounds. Garage doors are loud, but you shouldn't hear grinding or scraping.

Examine the Springs

If the door doesn't open properly or at all, there may be something wrong with the springs. Your garage door should have extension springs or torsion springs. Torsion springs are wrapped around a bar above the garage door. Extension springs sit on both sides of the door. Make sure the springs are connected. For extension springs, examine the safety cables that run through the springs. If you notice fraying, the cords should be replaced immediately. Do not try to replace springs or safety cables yourself, as it can be dangerous.

Lubricate Moving Parts

If you noticed squeaking or grinding when you tested the door, some lubrication may do the trick. Lubricate all moving parts, including gears, rollers, and springs. This prevents friction, which allows the door to function smoothly. There are many types of lubrication, however. You want to choose white lithium grease and silicone-based lubricants. These types of lubricants are excellent at penetrating deeply, so the lubrication lasts longer and works better. Plus, they are less likely to create buildup, which can cause problems as the buildup gums up the moving parts.

Clean Tracks and Rollers

While lubricating the rollers, it's a good time to clean the rollers and tracks too. The tracks on which your door moves can become filled with debris such as leaves, sticks, mud, etc. This is a common reason the door may stick on one side or to not open at all. Once you've cleaned the tracks and rollers, look for any possible dents. You can hammer out dents yourself with a mallet, but for larger dents, it's best to call a professional so you don't damage the structure further or loosen it.

Test the Sensors

If the door doesn't close once opened, there may be a problem with the sensors. Safety sensors sit on each side of the garage door, creating an invisible beam. If anything disrupts this beam, the door won't shut, or it will open before it hits the object. If you suspect a problem with the sensors, clean the sensors and make any minor adjustments (sensors can get bumped and dislodged by bikes and other equipment). If the door sensors are too sensitive or not sensitive enough, you can adjust them. The goal is to have the door reopen when it almost hits the object. If it is too sensitive, minor debris in the track may trigger the door to open.

Your garage door needs frequent maintenance to keep it secure and working properly. Annual tests will keep yours running well, so you will need fewer repairs. If you do need a repair, contact a garage door specialist at a company like J & B Door in your area today.