The best way to prevent repairs and early replacement for your garage door is to perform routine maintenance. It doesn't take much effort or time, and the results will go a long way to keep your door working properly longer. If you haven't maintained your garage door in a while, check out these six great tips.
Start With Some Lubrication
The first thing you should do if you haven't maintained your garage door opener in a while is to lubricate it. This is especially important if you've been noticing squeaking or grinding sounds when the door is in use. You'll want to lubricate all the moving parts and the tracks in which the rollers run. Use an aerosol lubricant. The light texture allows it to get into every nook and cranny to lubricate better. Plus, aerosol lubricants won't attract debris and dust, which can cause the parts to get stuck or sluggish.
Check for Loose Bolts and Nuts
Each time you use your garage door, it shakes the bolts and nuts slightly. Eventually, this causes them to become loose. Check each bolt/nut and tighten any loose ones. Tighten them enough so they are secure without causing additional damage. While you're at it, don't forget to check the screws on the hinges and tighten them. If the hinges are worn, you may need to replace the screws with bolts to create a stronger hold, or you may need to completely replace the hinges.
Test the Sensor
Automatic garage doors are designed to sense when something is in the way, so they can stop, preventing injury or damage. One way they do this is with a photoelectric eye, which shoots a beam across the door to a reflector on the opposite side. When maintaining your garage door, check the eye, and remove any dirt or grime with a clean rag. Also, make sure the eye and the reflector are properly aligned. Another safety feature of garage doors is when they do hit something, they should stop and go up again. You can test and adjust the sensitivity to ensure it is sensitive enough but not so sensitive it stops for no reason.
Examine Tension Springs
The tensions springs counter the weight of the garage door. Without them, the garage door would just slam shut. Each time you open or close the garage door, you put a lot of strain on these springs. While they are durable, they don't last forever. If you notice your springs are loose or one is working better than the other, contact a professional to have them repaired or replaced. Doing this yourself could lead to severe injury.
Clean Out the Tracks
If your garage door keeps getting stuck, is moving faster on one side or it keeps bouncing back up when you try to close it, check the tracks. If debris collects in there, it can affect how the door moves in many ways. If there is a lot of debris in the track, the garage door may even think it's hitting something and reopen for safety reasons.
Replace Worn Weather-Stripping
One last feature of your garage door you'll want to check is the weather-stripping. Replace any damaged or missing weather-stripping. This is especially important if you have a wooden garage door, heat and cool your garage or if you keep temperature-sensitive items in your garage. Worn weather-stripping can allow water to penetrate wooden garage doors, causing decay and rot. It can also allow energy to escape, making your garage door hotter or colder than you want.
Like any part of your home, your automatic garage door needs routine maintenance. A few steps here and there can prevent expensive repairs. For more information about maintaining or repairing garage doors, contact a technician in your area today.
What kind of locks do you have on your garage door? Did you know that there are different types of locks to choose from to secure the garage door? The locks that are securing your garage door are probably overlooked - some people don't even bother locking their garage door. If you store tools, lawn care equipment and sporting goods in your garage, your garage is a target for burglary and it should be protected. Find out how I secure my garage door to ensure that the thousands of dollars worth of tools that I own are not stolen from me.