The garage door is like many things in the home, wherein we don't pay much attention until something goes wrong. Pushing the button on the opener and leaving for work is an automatic daily task that we usually don’t think about, but having the garage door come off the tracks and crash onto the hood of your Buick might draw some attention. In order to preserve your Buick and your garage door, it's important to follow this checklist for regular maintenance.
One of the best ways to keep your garage door sparkling and functional is by giving it a regular cleaning. This is an often overlooked aspect of upkeep, but it takes just minutes. Taking the time to carefully rid your garage door of dirt and debris will help it last longer and allow you the opportunity to inspect all the working parts to make sure they’re in functioning order.
Wood Door Inspection
Wood garage doors need a slightly different maintenance approach than metal doors. As a plus, an old or damaged wood door can be brought magically back to life with some TLC. For instance, you can scrape off flaked paint and give a wood garage door a new color that breathes new life into your property. Rotten wood needs to be replaced, and the door should be glossed with a new coat of stain every couple of years.
Wooden garage doors are exquisite but require different maintenance approaches. (Photo credit Deco Design Center)
Any good garage door maintenance involves inspection of the rollers. A door with defunct rollers operates like a car with a flat tire – it’s wobbly, uneven, and annoying. Check your garage door rollers to see if they're corroded, chipped, or sticking to the sleeve they're contained in. Sometimes they'll need to be replaced. At other times, simply lubing them up will remedy the noise stickiness.
Virtually all the moving parts on your garage door should be inspected. (Photo credit Wikipedia)
Springs are dangerous, both when they break and when DIY maintenance is involved. While a professional should be called in to replace torsion springs (or anything on your garage door marked red for that matter) you can make it part of your maintenance checklist to inspect them. Check both springs to look for signs of wear, fragility, or rust. Just lubing them up can repair some issues. Springs will wear out, but proper maintenance lengthens their use.
Check the Track
The track is the road for your garage door. Making sure it's intact is an important part of garage door maintenance. Make sure there's no debris impeding the path of the rollers and that the track isn't cracking or defective in some way.
Inspect Bolts, Hinges, Cables
The bolts, hinges, and cables of your garage door should also be checked for any impeding defects. A bolt simply breaking off is rare, but it happens. Cables can lose tension and hinges can come unscrewed, so give it all a good detailed glance.
Test Door Balance
Testing the evenness or balance of your garage door is also a telltale way of examining if other areas of the garage door unit are starting to fail. The steps for testing a door’s balance include:
- Closing the garage door
- Disconnecting the door from the opener, generally by pulling the red release cord.
- Opening and closing the door by hand to see if it opens smoothly and naturally. Lubricating the rollers or springs may help with the opening and closing transition.
- Open the door halfway and let go of it. The door shouldn't rise or slam to the ground. It is off balance if it does.
Red release cord common on garage doors. (Photo credit: okdiscountgaragedoor.com)
If the door fails the balance test, it's best to bring in a professional to examine the problem or perform the needed repairs. If the door is level and balanced, reattach it to the opener by pulling the cord and pulling the lever back towards the opener.
The importance of regular lubrication of your garage door components can’t be stressed enough. Use a non-silicon based lubricant like motor oil on metal parts, but be sure that nylon rollers or the door track don't come into contact. For nylon rollers, simply lubricate the bearings. For the garage door track, use brake cleaner and a cloth.
Maintaining your garage door may seem like a tedious task, but it can and will extend the life and appearance of your entire unit. A garage door and its parts left to rust, oxidize, and fill with debris can have adverse consequences that greatly affect the safety of you, your family and your possessions. Follow this 3-step plan for cleaning, inspecting, and lubing your garage door unit for best performance and durability.