5 Essential Tips for Maintaining Your Garage Doors

garage door maintenance

Garage doors consist of large moving parts and complex mechanisms that wear out over time. Without maintenance, your garage door can become a safety risk and eventually break down. Since you use garage doors daily and even several times a day, here are five essential garage door maintenance tips:

1. Inspecting a Garage Door

Inspect your garage door for operational issues or damage at least twice a year. First listen for loud/unusual noise while it is running and then look at various parts on each side. Here are a few warning signs to look for:

  • Misalignment of parts
  • Asymmetry of apposing cables and pulleys
  • Rust and deterioration on cables/springs
  • Smooth vs. jerky movement
  • Worn, chipped, or cracked rollers
  • Brittle, cracked weatherstripping
  • Tighten hinges, loose bolts, and fasteners

If you notice there is debris in the tracks, clear it out. Objects stuck in a garage door track can cause damage or increase the rate of wear. Use a level to inspect the tracks; if adjustments are needed, contact a professional technician.

2. Service Components

With the garage door opener turned off, adjust the chain or belt drive mechanism. The nut on the bolt securing the mechanism can be adjusted using a wrench. Turn the nut clockwise to tighten, until the chain/belt is separated from the rail by about ¼ inch.

You can also adjust track brackets by loosening the nuts that secure them to the track. This reduces friction between the door and door stop. Other types of service you can do include adjusting door opening and closing speed, fixing stuck wheels by ensuring there’s sufficient room between the door and tracks, and replacing the batteries and bulbs of your garage door opener.

3. Safety Test

To determine if your garage door needs professional service, test its:

  • Balance: Disconnect the garage door opener and lift the door manually about halfway. Then let it go. The door should not slip. If so, it’s out of balance and requires professional service.
  • Automatic Reverse: Place an object directly below the door and turn it on. The door should instantly reverse when it touches the item; call a technician immediately if not.

Also test the photo sensors on either side of the garage door base. LED lights will indicate if they are properly aligned. If you see no light or a red indicator, the sensors need to be adjusted. Sensor tests should be performed in at least three different locations on the beam’s path.

4. Lubrication

In just 10 minutes, you can lubricate garage door parts to add years to their life. The garage door opener’s chain or screw should be lubricated with white lithium grease. Overhead springs should be coated with a spray lubricant. A garage door lubricant can be used (lithium or silicone based) on hinges, rollers (especially metal with sealed bearings), bearing plates, pulleys, torsion springs, and rail bottoms. Tracks don’t need lubrication but should be cleaned regularly.

5. Cleaning

Don’t forget to maintain the garage door itself; including making sure it’s clean. Wood doors should be wiped clean with a dry cloth, and check for warping and water damage. If necessary, repaint or stain the surface, or use a wood filler to patch any holes; then sand it lightly and add paint or stain.

For vinyl and other synthetic materials, use a soft cloth and recommended cleaner. The door can be rinsed with a hose and dried with a microfiber cloth. Clean the inside with a soft dry cloth.

Rust spots on steel doors should be sanded, primed, and painted. A mild all-purpose cleaner should be used for regular cleaning.

Schedule Garage Door Repair or Installation

If you have additional questions about maintenance, or want to schedule repair service or new garage door installation in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County, or San Bernardino County, call 800-893-1107. Mesa Garage Doors can be reached 24/7.

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