Did you know that your garage door is your home’s largest moving object? It’s probably also your most frequently used and most costly door in your home.
Despite this, garage door maintenance is probably at the bottom of your to-do list. However, small maintenance tasks performed regularly can significantly extend the usable life of your garage door.
Garage doors are comprised of multiple moving parts. Tracks, rollers and hinges can all become misaligned with daily use and normal wear and tear. Without the proper precautions, even the sturdiest and most expensive garage door can suffer from a lack of TLC.
If you’re smart about protecting your investment, make garage door maintenance a priority with these seven simple tips.
Schedule a regular service
You wouldn’t skimp on getting your car serviced when recommended, so you should show your garage door the same level of care. Electronic garage doors need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis to work efficiently. Although you’ll be able to implement some things yourself, scheduling a service with a professional will keep everything in proper working order.
A garage door service should be booked in on a yearly basis. These checks can identify and resolve common issues such as reduced motor power, worn springs and loose cables. Even well-maintained garage doors will suffer from the wear accrued through daily use. Through regular services, you’ll be able to pick up on any issues before they become too costly to repair or dangerous.
Check & tighten hardware
It’s common for your garage door’s hardware to loosen over time, so don’t forget to check and tighten the hardware every three months or so. Using a socket wrench inspect and tighten all roller brackets and bolts where needed.
Lubricate tracks, hinges & chains
All moving parts should be well lubricated for maximum efficiency from your garage door. Lubricate every three to six months for the best results. This will also ensure tracks, hinges, chains and other moving parts are dirt and moisture free.
Use products such as Liquid Wrench to lubricate or solvent sprays like WD-40. Spray in the rollers and wipe clean to remove oil build up, dirt, dust and leaves which can all cause your garage door to jam. If steel hinges are fitted, lubricate with an all-purpose machine oil. Plastic hinges can be wiped and cleaned and all guide tracks should be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Visual inspections can help you detect early signs of potential issues. Annual weather-stripping checks will determine if seals need to be replaced. Weather-stripping runs along the bottom of the garage door and should tighten when the garage closes. Over time it’s natural for this area to become brittle and worn out – especially for coastal homes. If you want everything inside your garage to remain protected and to prevent flooding, ensure any cracked weather-stripping is replaced.
Examine all garage door springs to make sure they aren’t rusty or broken. Rollers, cables and panels should also be thoroughly inspected. Steel and nylon rollers will generally need to be replaced every five to seven years.
Avoid repairing or replacing any springs and cables yourself. These jobs are better left to the professionals.
Conduct a balance check
Is your garage door balanced? It seems like an odd question, but unbalanced doors can hinder the efficiency of your garage. Garage doors that aren’t balanced properly place extra strain on the opener, reducing its effectiveness over time.
To check the balance, disconnect the garage door opener and manually move the door halfway up. This can be done using the red cord hanging from the opener system. If the garage door doesn’t stay put, it’s a sign the counterweight system springs are unbalanced. To fix this, the springs will need to be adjusted by your local garage door service agent. Unbalanced doors can be a safety and security risk.
Like everything else in your home, garage doors require a little TLC to keep them looking and working at their best. To keep your garage door in good condition, clean it monthly. Regardless of what material it’s made from, avoid using a power washer or harsh chemicals as this can strip the paint. Instead, warm soapy water (dishwashing liquid is fine) and a thorough rinse are sufficient.
For coastal homes, regular cleans are vital to eliminate any salt build up. Keeping your garage door in good condition will also have a positive impact on your home’s kerb appeal.
Check safety features
Garage doors are fantastic security investments. However, with many doors being automated and remote-controlled, it’s important to check all safety features to guarantee they’re in working order. Inspect the emergency manual release in the event of a power outage and test the infrared motion system.
If your garage door looks like it’s seen better days, it’s not too late to get it back in shape. Maintenance when needed and regular servicing will keep your garage door working well for years to come.
For more ways to ensure the longevity of your garage door check out these solutions to five common garage door issues.