Keeping your garage door in good working order is something that nearly any homeowner can take on themselves. These 10 simple tips will help keep your garage door working properly, while helping to prevent bigger problems from occurring.
Following these 10 tips on a yearly basis can help you prevent problems before they occur. Check out your garage door and its parts at least once yearly to take care of these issues while they are still small.
The overhead tracks your garage door runs on need to be smooth and dent free to run properly. Dents, dings, and blemishes can wear out the door, causing it to come off track over time.
Inspect the track regularly for dents. If you find any, pound them out with a rubber hammer. If you find any major dents or obstructions, replace the track completely to avoid bigger problems.
In order to work properly, the tracks need to be lined up perfectly with the door, and they need to be level. Use a laser level to ensure they’re straight, and that they tilt slightly toward the back of the garage. If you need to, loosen up the brackets that hold them in place and gently tap them into the correct position or alignment. Tighten the brackets back up and you’re good to go.
Dust and debris can settle inside the tracks over time, which can cause the doors to roll unevenly. This in turn creates the dents, dings, and blemishes that can send the tracks out of balance.
Clean out the tracks at least once a year to remove any debris. Get in there with a stiff-bristled brush to really sweep out anything that could get in the way of the door operating properly. Once you’ve brushed out the debris, wash the tracks with a household cleaner and a damp cloth. Rinse well and let them dry thoroughly.
The rollers, tracks, and pulleys on your garage door and tracks need to be lubricated to run smoothly without sticking. Garage door lubricant is available as a spray you can apply right to the pulleys and tracks to help them run well. You can use the same lubricant on the rollers, or you can use any household lubricant, provided you do it regularly so they keep rolling free.
The nuts, bolts, and other fasteners that hold your track and garage door system in place can loosen up with frequent use. Take the time to check them out thoroughly and tighten up any that are coming loose. Replace any that seem stripped or unable to tighten up properly to prevent the mechanism from coming loose.
Keep your garage door painted inside and out to prevent the elements from damaging it. Inspect it yearly for peeling or cracked paint. If you find any, scrape it away before applying a fresh coat.
Check the owner’s manual for your door; most systems allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the door so it rolls smoothly. Changing seasons, dirt, and the passage of time can all affect the sensitivity so it no longer rolls properly. Adjusting it yearly will keep it functioning well.
Across the bottom of the garage door is a long strip of weather sealant that helps keep out the elements. Over time, this can dry out and crack, which lets the elements in. Check the strip inside and out on a yearly basis; if you see cracks developing, replace it.
Rust is one of the biggest problems you can encounter on a garage door. It stops the parts from rolling smoothly against one another, and can lead to the door malfunctioning. Check all moving parts for rust annually. Lubricate well, and if you notice rust replace the part as soon as possible.
When you inspect and paint the door, be sure to fill in any cracks you may find with caulk. Use an exterior caulk, and fill any gaps completely to keep moisture from getting in and causing expansion that will cause even more problems.
While your garage door may look intimidating, the maintenance is actually quite simple. Follow these 10 tips for maintenance on a regular basis to help avoid problems and keep your door in good working order.