Most of today’s homeowners take their garage door for granted. Why shouldn’t they? It doesn’t do much more than open and close at the press of a button, which for the average family, can be more than four times a day.
Fact check: Your garage door is probably the home’s most-used door, as well as a gateway to your vehicle(s), assorted personal belongings and more. Now, don’t you think it warrants the same attention and TLC you give the family sedan?
We certainly do!
Basic, routine preventative maintenance can help extend the longevity of your garage door and automatic opener, as well as their corresponding components. The International Door Association (IDA) recommends inspecting and testing the system monthly.
Here is a checklist of DIY maintenance tasks for you to complete.
The first, and quite possibly, most important task you should complete is to visually inspect the door. Observe it during operation, noting any unusual noises, jerky movements or wear and tear. Do both sides of the system look symmetrical?
Tighten the Hardware
The average garage door opens and closes 1,460 times a year (based on a daily operation of four times up and down). This movement can cause the hardware to loosen over time. Tighten all roller brackets and bolts using a socket wrench.
Test the Door’s Balance
If your garage door is not properly balanced, the opener and its components will have to work harder, and they won’t last long. To determine whether the door is properly balanced, follow these steps in order:
- Ensure the door is fully closed,
- Disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord),
- Manually lift the door approximately halfway up. If it doesn’t remain open, the springs are improperly balanced, and you should contact a professional for adjustment. Please don’t attempt garage door spring adjustment yourself.
Once a year, inspect and replace worn weatherstripping along the bottom (threshold), and frame of the garage door. If your door is equipped with windows, replace weatherstripping around the insert’s frames, as well. In addition to saving you money, weatherstripping can prevent moisture, rodents and debris from getting inside the garage.
Lubricate All Moving Parts
The garage door’s springs, rollers, bearings, hinges, and chains could all benefit from applying a small amount of spray lubricant. Most manufacturers recommend using a silicone lubricant or white lithium grease.
Inspect and Replace the Rollers
The door uses rollers, usually 10 to a four-panel sectional, that extend out from the side and lock into track. There are three types: steel, nylon, and reinforced nylon. If your rollers are worn or the door is noisy, replace them with 13-ball reinforced nylon, which will last three times longer than steel or nylon rollers.
Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Feature
To ensure the door automatically reverses direction should it encounter an object, it’s important to test it by placing a 2×4 in the center of the garage (just under the door), and activating the opener. If upon contact with the board, the door fails to immediately reverse direction, the opener should be immediately disconnected and a local garage door repair professional contacted.