Tips for Garage Door Maintenance
The garage door is the biggest moving part of almost any home. It is often used multiple times a day. Regular maintenance is essential to keeping a garage door in good working condition. Garage breakdowns can cause your car to get trapped and be huge headaches. Regular maintenance a couple times a year can help to avoid such problems. Many of these tasks are simple and require little experience. Following these tips is a great way to help your garage last for many years to come.
Examine Garage Door Hardware
A garage door’s hardware requires regular inspection to identify wear and tear. The first place you should check is the garage door and tracks. You can use either a screwdriver or a wrench to tighten up any loose bolts or other moving parts. Make sure to inspect for wear on any garage door rollers. If you have steel rollers they will not only look worn but look lopsided. You will need to replace the rollers as needed. It is also important to check your cables to see if there is wear. This can happen over time naturally. If they look worn you will have to call for service. It’s important to note that you should not try to replace garage door cables. They can cause serious injury if not handled by a professional.
Inspect the Door
This tip is simple but very important. About twice a year you should take the time to inspect the operation of the garage door. There are some important questions you should ask yourself as you open and close the door. Does the garage door make more noise than usual? Is the movement smooth or jerky? Do all the parts seem to be aligned? If you notice anything that is out of the norm you will need to dig deeper into your inspection. If you are going to conduct some routine maintenance you may need supplies like brake cleaner and safety goggles. An important safety tip to follow: Make sure to unplug an the garage first and then proceed with any maintenance. If you have the door open you may need to place something on the door to prevent the door from falling back down.
Service the Chain or Belt
If you notice any unusual sounds as your garage door moves you will need to check the drive chain and or belt. First, make sure to disconnect the power. Raise the door to about halfway. Then detach it from the opener and close by hand to work on the chain. Find the bolt that connects the chain and use a wrench to loosen. Continue this process with each nut turning clockwise. At this point the chain should pick up slack. At this point you will need to tighten the belt make sure to not make it too tight. Doing so could lead to a break. Proceed to reconnect the door and the power supply. Using garage lubricant properly can help keep away corrosion on metal parts. Make sure to check your manufacturer’s recommendations on how and when to use this lubricant.
If you’re in doubt, there are many reputable garage door service companies out there that you can ask for an estimate.
Perform Safety Tests
There are a number of safety tests that you can perform on a garage door to make sure it is good working condition. The Garage Door Balance Test is the first test to conduct. Unplug your garage so that it will open manually. Lift the door up about halfway and then release it. If the door starts to slip, it is not in balance and you need to call a technician.
The next test to conduct is the mechanical reverse feature test. Start by placing a piece of wood on the ground in the way of the door. Press the button for the garage go back down. When the door hits the piece of wood it should automatically reverse. If it does not you will need to call a technician.
Finally there is the photocell test. Find the sensors located at the bottom of the garage door. Check to see if the sensors are properly aligned. You will know they are aligned if they light up. Start the garage door and as it goes down wave something in front of the sensor. The door should automatically reverse. Test multiple times and call a technician if you have problems. It is important to note if your garage door is more than twenty years old it may be missing some of these safety features.
Groom Your Garage Door
Simply looking at your garage door is an important maintenance step. It is important to keep the garage door looking good. A wooden garage door should be wiped down with a clean, dry cloth. Periodically you should check the door to see if it needs repainting or staining. If you have small holes you can patch them up with wood filler. If you have a vinyl or synthetic door you will need to find an appropriate cleaner. You should rinse thoroughly and dry with a cloth towel. Periodically brush down cob webs with a broom. Wood doors should be checked on a regular basis for water damage. Steel doors should be checked for rust spots.
Replace Battery and Bulbs
Garage doors have both batteries and bulbs that periodically need to be changed. Unplug your garage door and open the door with the wall button. If it does not open this means the battery needs to be replaced. If your remote is not working there is a good chance the battery in it needs to be changed. When replacing light bulbs make sure to check the recommendations for wattage.
Your garage door often represents a large part of the exterior of your home. Take the time to follow these maintenance steps to insure it continues working properly. It is important to keep safety in mind and make sure to call a technician for those tasks that require more experience. If you do so, your garage door should remain in good working condition for a long time.