Your garage door is important to the access and safety of your home. It can add a touch of style and convenience to your residence while keeping your house more secure. Knowing the best way to properly care for your door or doors is crucial for prolonging their working life.
Regular garage door maintenance is essential for the best and most convenient operation of your doors. Without it, you could face some unfavorable consequences, such as safety concerns or mechanical breakdowns.
Learn more about how to maintain your garage door to keep it performing at its peak potential.
Preventative maintenance should be a part of every homeowner’s routine. Taking some time each year to look over your garage doors and have an expert perform any needed repairs can be highly beneficial for both operation and appearance.
Explore this garage door maintenance checklist:
About once a month, you should inspect the following components of your garage doors:
Look specifically for clear signs of wear and damage, including loose hardware and worn or frayed cables.
Clean the Surrounding Area and Doors
A part of garage door preventative maintenance that is easy to overlook is keeping the area clean. You’ll want to ensure there is nothing stored near your system, especially if it will interfere with your door’s controls. Keep the space tidy and avoid blocking your garage door for the safest and most reliable operation.
You should also clean the door and its tracks to help slow deterioration. Ensure there is no build-up of dirt or other outside elements along the tracks that could impact the door’s functionality.
Disconnect your automatic opener using the release lever, and then manually lift your garage door. It should lift easily and smoothly with little resistance, and it should remain open. Any sign that your door is challenging to open manually or that it does not stay open could be an issue with the door’s balance.
Check the Reverse
All garage doors are equipped with a reverse mechanism that’s required for compliance. This mechanism ensures that people or objects under the door when it is closing are not crushed. Test this mechanism by placing a 2×4 or another object in the threshold of the door. Try to close the door. It should reverse when making contact with the 2×4. If it does not, your mechanism is not working properly and should be inspected by a professional.
Check Photo Eyes
Your photo eyes are what create the beam across your garage door’s threshold. When this beam is broken, the garage door automatically reverses. This is meant to protect your car, people or objects from getting crushed by the door. Test it by using a broom to break the beam’s path while the garage door is closing. If the door does not reverse, you should call a professional to address your photo eyes.
With the garage door closing, hold out your hand and catch the door’s bottom edge. With just a little force and effort on your part, the door should automatically reverse. This force setting is meant to prevent the door from closing on people or objects. If it does not immediately reverse, or if it requires added force or pressure to reverse, the setting isn’t working properly.
Inspect Tracks and Weather-Stripping
Another important part of garage door maintenance is inspecting the tracks. If you notice dirt and debris build-up, clean it out so that it does not interfere with the door’s operation. If you see any strange bends or cracks in the track, you may need additional maintenance from a professional.
Also, look at the weather stripping along the bottom of your doors. If it is damaged, it will not seal out the outside air, and you may need a replacement.
Your garage door’s rollers, tracks and hinges need lubrication to remain at peak operation. If your garage door is not operating smoothly or quietly, those are signs you need to add lubrication.
Applying garage door lubrication requires balance. You want to add enough lubrication that your door operates the way it should, but you don’t want to add so much that it begins to capture dust, debris and dirt.
Benefits of Regular Maintenance
When you follow these garage door maintenance tips, you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Protect your investment: Garage doors are an investment, and you’ll want to keep them functioning optimally for as long as you can. By taking steps to keep your garage door in working order, you can elongate the life of your equipment.
- Improve security: When your garage door is operating improperly, it can open your home up to a number of security issues. Preventative maintenance can help ensure your door is safe and secure.
- Boost safety: An important benefit of ongoing maintenance is boosted safety. You can rest easy knowing your family can safely move in and out of the garage without worrying about the system malfunctioning or dealing with any broken components.
- Enhance reliability: When you use your opener, you expect your garage door to operate correctly. Preventative maintenance can help enhance your system’s reliability and ensure you can get in and out of your space quickly without delay.
- Cost-effectiveness: By performing routine maintenance on your garage doors, you can save a considerable amount of money on unnecessary repairs and replacements down the line. Take the cost-effective route and tend to your system at least once a year.
- Improve appearance: When you take the time to care for your garage doors, they will operate and look better. Your garage is a major component of your home’s curb appeal, and taking great care of it should be a priority for homeowners.
Check For Warning Signs
How do you know when you’re experiencing a garage door issue before a full breakdown? Watch and listen for telltale signs that you have an impending garage door emergency. Notice these warning signs early, and you can avoid the inconvenience and cost of emergency garage door repair:
If you notice your garage door raising and lowering at strange times, there could be a number of reasons. It may be that your photo eyes are off and that your garage door is reversing when you try to close it. It could also be that your reverse mechanism is malfunctioning. It could also be some sort of issue with your garage door opener. A professional garage door technician can quickly diagnose the root cause of these issues and make recommendations on how to fix them.
Is your garage filling with leaves, dust, dirt and grime at a higher volume than usual? This could be an issue with the threshold seal and weather-stripping of your door. This issue is about more than just keeping your garage clean. If that dust, dirt and grime cling to your tracks, rollers and other garage door components, it can create serious issues for your garage door’s operation.
Your garage door is under a lot of weight and tension. It’s designed to handle this weight and tension, but even the best-performing garage door begins to struggle in time. Listen to it raising and lowering. If your garage door is becoming noisier, it may be a sign that the tracks are misaligned, or that another component in your garage door needs replacing.
Are you hearing rattling or noticing loose hardware, bolts or other garage door parts? Your garage door works best when everything is tight and working smoothly. You can handle the tightening of some bolts and hardware on your own but call in a professional if you notice loose springs, rollers or other parts. Also, if you tighten the hardware and it quickly loosens again, that’s another sign that you have a larger problem.
Slow Response Times
When your garage door is delayed or stalls when you try to open and close it, it can be frustrating. If you notice slow response times, lubricate the system and check for any misalignment. If it is still not working properly, you may need to turn to an expert to take a closer look and find the root cause of the problem.
Not Closing Completely
Pay close attention to when your garage door shuts and ensure it closes completely. If it does not go down the entire way, there could be a gap along the ground, leaving the garage unsecured. You would not want to leave your garage open for anyone or anything to enter inside, especially if there is direct access to your home.
A door not closing completely also means that the weather-stripping cannot do its job. You could end up wasting energy through air leaks or dealing with excess debris on your garage floor.
When Should You Upgrade Your Garage Door?
Preventative maintenance has so many great advantages. However, some situations will require more than a tune-up, and you may be better off replacing your garage doors entirely.
If you experience any of the following with your existing doors, consider getting an upgrade:
- Repeat repairs: If your garage door is in constant need of maintenance, it’s likely time to replace them with a newer system. Repeat repairs can add up, and they may end up costing you more than if you upgraded.
- Extensive damage: Damaged panels or a broken garage door can have many different negative effects on your home and family. Busted garage doors often look very unattractive and hurt your home’s curb appeal. They can also pose a serious safety concern and impact the functionality of your system.
- Old age: How long your garage doors will last will depend on a few factors, such as how often you utilize them and perform preventative maintenance. Some garage doors can operate effectively for 30 years, while others will start to decline after about 10. If your doors are more than a decade old, consider upgrading to something new.
- Energy inefficiency: There are many ways your garage doors could be underserving you regarding energy usage. If your system is older, it likely requires more energy to operate than newer models. The door itself may also fall short in effectively sealing air leaks and insulating your home. When you upgrade, you can enjoy more energy efficiency and, in some cases, lower utility costs.
- Outdated appearance: Another reason you may want to replace your existing garage door is if it has an outdated or unsightly appearance. Upgrading to something new can boost your home’s curb appeal and complement the rest of your design and architecture.
When upgrading, be sure to turn to an expert and never replace your doors or components by yourself. A professional can do this more safely and efficiently.
Upgrade Your Garage Door With Quality Overhead Door
At Quality Overhead Door, we believe in durable products that you can rely on. We can help homeowners in Ohio and Michigan find the perfect garage doors to complement their homes without hurting their wallets.
Our team of experts is here to help you with a range of professional services, including installation, repairs and ongoing maintenance. From panel replacements to motor tune-ups, we can help keep your system working at its best all year long.
Are you interested in learning more about our garage door and maintenance services? Contact Quality Overhead Door today!
Additional Resources On Garage Door Repair:
- Summer Home Maintenance Checklist
- My Garage Door is Broken. Can I Fix it Myself?
- Guide to Seasonal Garage Door Maintenance
- Garage Door Maintenance Checklist
- Do I Need Annual Garage Door Maintenance?