During your routine cleanups, there is one place that always needs maintenance work, and that’s your garage. However, many people tend to miss the maintenance that your garage door requires. This is something that you should include in your home safety checks. When you overlook this, a lot of stress can be placed on your door opener. Since garage doors have so many moving parts, it isn’t something that you just set and forget after installation.
Performing routine garage door maintenance will help you get longevity out of your garage door, and we are here to tell you how often and what you need to do to keep your garage door in working order.
How Often Should I Perform Routine Maintenance On My Garage Door?
It’s best to service your garage door twice a year. This routine maintenance will keep your garage door in working order and prevent larger issues from occurring. So it’s best if you can spot and fix the small repairs ahead of time.
When Should I Perform My Garage Door Maintenance?
The most optimal time to do your routine maintenance is in the fall and spring. It’s good to check on things before winter approaches, especially in snowy climates like Calgary. You’ll want to ensure you won’t be having to make big repairs in the cold or have to leave your car outside for days on end because your overhead door won’t open. It is also good to check in on the door after winter’s end when the temperature and moisture levels change. The cold weather can cause certain aspects of the door to wear out quicker.
What To Look For?
It’s best to start your routine garage door maintenance with a quick inspection. Start by clearing the area and making sure there is adequate light getting into your garage. Take a quick peek at all the parts and then operate the door as usual. Make sure you watch and listen carefully as it goes up and down. Often automatic garage doors can start wiggling and making scraping sounds if something needs to be tuned. This will help indicate if a few bolts need tightening or you need to call in the professionals for a bigger fix. If you can hear something, start by taking a closer look at the tracks, springs and cables and go from there. Otherwise, start your maintenance as usual.
Where To Start
It’s best to look at your garage door with an order of operations in mind. Since many of these parts rely on each other it’s good to have an excellent checklist to work off of.
Clearing The Tracks
Inspect the overhead door tracks on both sides. Ensure that they are free and clear from debris, dirt and rust. If you notice a lot of rust on the tracks, clean it with an acidic cleaner such as vinegar, lemon and salt, or hydrogen peroxide. Too much dirt and rust build-up can jam the rollers causing other major problems to occur. Once the tracks are clear, you can even take out your level to guarantee they are flush with their vertical segments. If small adjustments need to be made to level them out, do so, but if they are very crooked, it’s best to call our expert team at A1 Doors to come and take a look.
Tightening The Hardware
Next, you’ll want to go around checking for any loose nuts and bolts. Go along the brackets that hold the door’s tracks to the wall and ceiling and tighten up the screws. Since the garage door goes up and down countless times a year, the vibration and constant motion will be sure to loosen the hardware even a little. So, it’s beneficial to check and adjust the fasteners that anchor the garage door opener to its framing. This will ensure it is tightly secured and won’t fall down.
Roller Inspection & Replacement
You will want to take a good close look at the rollers along the edge of the garage door. Make sure to inspect them during your routine maintenance and typically replace them every five to eight years. You will want to look for any chips or cracks on the rollers, and if you find any, you will have to replace them. The replacement of rollers is quite simple. Start by removing the brackets that hold them to the door. However, be cautious of not removing the bottom bracket on each side of the door. These brackets are attached to the lift cables, which are under extreme tension, and you could get seriously injured.
Most of the time, the tension springs just need to be balanced. But if the springs wear out enough, they can snap, putting an uneven weight distribution on the door. In turn, leaving your door hanging lop-sided, midair. Plus, it exerts more tension on the cables. Causing the cables to wear out, which could cause the garage door to come crashing down. To figure out if you need a spring adjustment, pull the emergency release cord to disconnect the trolley from the rail. Then manually raise the door to about waist level. If the door slides down or starts going up on its own, it will indicate that the springs need adjusting.
Checking The Cables and Springs
If the door is balanced it’s still vital to check the cables and springs that lift the door open and closed. If you repair the springs and cables yourself, be careful as they are under extreme tension and wear more easily. The cables attach to the bottom roller brackets on the door. They connect the springs and the door to help safely raise and lower it. The torsion or extension springs do the heavy lifting, so it is essential that they are in good working order, or accidents could occur.
Lubricating your garage door’s moving parts are necessary to keep your garage door in working order. It will ensure your garage door will operate quietly, getting rid of any squeaks and scrapping. Plus, it will help it run efficiently when raising and lowering the door. Overall, putting less stress on the mechanics of it.
Lubricate all the metal and moving parts, which includes the hinges and rollers. Spray on the grease and wipe off the excess to make sure it won’t attract dust and dirt. It’s also best to avoid spraying the chain and track. It can attract dust and dirt and gunk up, making it stiffer. The best grease to use that will not attract too much dirt or dry out and harden in colder weather is a lithium-based grease; it works best for moving parts under these conditions.
Test The Sensors
It’s also a good idea to make sure the auto-reverse or sensors on your garage door are working. These sensors provide a safety feature. If something is in the way of the door, it won’t close and will auto-reverse back up, saving you or your car from potential disaster.
To check the photoelectric system feature, wave an object that won’t get damaged, such as a towel in the sensor’s way. Start the door to lower and it should sense the towel and reverse back up.
You can also check the door’s mechanical feature by placing a two-by-four on the ground in the door’s path. When the door touches it, it will sense something is in the way. This will cause the door to again auto-reverse back open.
If these features break, call your garage technician to come in and replace them. This safety feature is mandated now in new homes and should be up to code.
Checking The External Controls
If your garage door still isn’t responding even after you’ve checked over the rest of the mechanisms and the power source is connected, it may time to review the external controls.
Check the keypad, remote and wall switch to see if one isn’t working, but the others are. In this case, you will just have to replace the one that isn’t responding. If it’s the remote, it usually only needs a battery replacement. If one of the controls has an antenna, ensure that it is in range or isn’t damaged. However, if it still isn’t responding, you may want to reset the remote or keypad. You can usually find instructions for resetting these controls in the owner’s manual. Or look online for the brand of garage door opener you have installed.
As a last resort, if you have gone through and troubleshot all of these issues and it still isn’t working, call in your experienced garage door technician at A1 Doors to diagnose the situation. They can rewire a new wall switch or install an entirely new garage door opener for you, relieving you of these issues.
Replace Weather Stripping & Garage Door Seals
It’s important to also check things like the weather stripping around the bottom and sometimes the garage door’s sides. If you notice any cracks or tears, it’s time to replace it. The weatherstripping keeps cold air along with dust and pests from getting into your garage and, if it’s an attached garage, from getting into your home.
Clean & Spruce Up
If it’s nice out clean the door and give it a fresh coat of paint if necessary. You want the door to look as good as the home it’s in. There’s no point in doing all this work to fix and maintain the working parts if the door isn’t looking fresh.