Did you know the average life-span of a well-cared-for garage door is close to 30 years, and garage-door openers can last anywhere from 10 to 12 years? While design trend changes and improvements in technology might prompt you to replace yours before then, keeping up with care and maintenance will help you avoid having to make replacements before you’re ready. These seven simple garage door maintenance tips will help keep your door looking great and functioning perfectly for years to come.
1. Lubricate All Moving Parts
Lubricating all the moving parts on your garage door system is one of the easiest ways to expand its life expectancy. Once a year, take 10 minutes to spray lubricant on the opener’s chain or drive screw and on the door’s rollers, hinges, and tracks. Check your owner’s manual or ask your garage door specialist to help you choose the best lubricant for garage doors.
2. Tighten Up Your Hardware
Every time your garage door opens and closes, it creates vibrations that loosen the hardware. Considering that the average person uses their garage door a thousand times a year, it’s no surprise that regularly tightening your bolts and roller brackets is an important part of automatic garage door maintenance.
3. Test the Door’s Balance
When a garage door is off-balance, it creates undue strain on the opener, shortening its lifespan.
To check the door’s balance, first disconnect it from the opener. Manually pull the manual release cord and stop when the door is about half-way up. If the door is properly balanced, it will stop on its own.
If the door slides down or rides up, this is an indication that the spring’s tension needs an adjustment. Garage door spring maintenance is best left to the professionals, so you’ll want to contact a repair company instead of trying to do it yourself.
4. Inspect Your Rollers
No matter what material your rollers are made of, you should still inspect them for damage at least twice a year. The average lifespan of garage door rollers is about seven years, or less if you use your garage door frequently.
If you notice any chips, cracks, or other wear-and-tear, replace them right away. It’s fairly simple to remove and reinstall roller brackets and this is typically considered a DIY repair.
5. Replace Weatherstripping
If the weatherstripping below your garage door starts to decay, it leaves your garage open to the elements. Rain and snow inside your garage can create dangerous situations and lead to damage.
If you notice puddles in your garage, rusting around the door, or drafts coming in under the door, it’s a good sign that your weatherstripping needs some attention.
This is a fairly straight-forward project as long as you prepare properly and make sure you have the correct products. Beware of stripping that claims it fits any door, as this is rarely true. If in doubt, consult with a pro before diving in.
6. Check Your Cables
Inspect your garage door’s cables by looking for damage near the bottom roller bracket. Also make sure there are no broken strands.
If you notice a problem, never try to repair it yourself. The high-tension cables hold enough power to cause injury or even death if they’re not handled correctly. This is definitely a time when it’s in your best interest to skip the DIY and work with a professional.
7. Test the Auto-Reverse
Auto-reverse is a safety feature that automatically raises the garage door if it senses something under it as it’s closing. This is critical for avoiding potentially fatal injuries to children and pets, making annual testing one of the most important garage door maintenance tasks.
Start by placing a brick or other item under the door and making sure it reverses when it touches the object. Then remove the item and try closing the door again, this time passing your leg through the photo-sensitive beam of light that crosses the bottom of the door. This should also cause it to reverse.
Note that garage door openers more than 20 years old might not have this safety feature. If this is the case, it’s definitely time to consider replacing your garage door.
8. Clear Out the Tracks
Check to make sure there’s no dust or debris cluttering the tracks of your door. Don’t use water or any other cleaning chemicals, as this can cause more harm than good. Instead, use a broom to gently sweep them out.
Pay close attention to spider webs or other animal nests as they can collect debris and create serious clogs. Ideally, you should do this twice a year, in the winter and spring.
9. Visually Inspect the Entire System
After you’ve completed all the steps above, give everything a final once-over. Look and listen for any other problems you might have missed.
If your door jerks when it moves up and down, makes unusual noises, or is otherwise acting strange, you’ll want to get to the root of the problem right away. Double-check the most common garage door problems and see if you can troubleshoot the issue. If not, call someone to take care of it before it becomes a bigger headache.
10. Give the Door Some TLC
At least once a year, thoroughly inspect the door itself. Examine wood doors for any sign of warping or water damage. Repair chipped or peeling paint and check steel doors for rust spots.
Finally, wash the door thoroughly with gentle soap and water. This will help keep it looking fresh and add to your home’s curb appeal.
Have You Neglected Your Garage Door Maintenance? Let Us Help!
If you haven’t kept up on your garage door maintenance as much as you should have, it’s not too late. At Bayside Garage Doors, our professionals are standing by to help with all of your repair and maintenance needs. Give us a call at (813) 433-7395 to schedule your appointment today.