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Do Garage Doors Need Regular Maintenance?

Garage doors go through a lot. They are subject to extreme weather, and most of us run the automatic garage door opener at least once a day. Along with that, a garage door is more complex than the doors we use to enter and exit our homes.

Most people don’t think much about the function of a garage door until it doesn’t work. You hit the button, the door doesn’t open, and you suddenly find yourself much more interested in the workings of a garage door.

What you might not realize is that a little maintenance can go a long way to ensure you never get the surprise of a garage door that won’t open.

Do you think that your garage door needs regular maintenance? If you have a modern wood garage door, then you are correct! Modern wood garage doors are built to last and need to be taken care of in order to maintain their condition. What you might not realize is that a little maintenance can go a long way to ensure you never get the surprise of a garage door that won’t open.


Why Garage Doors Need Maintenance

The first reason is that maintenance will keep the door in good working condition. Regular maintenance can prevent the possibility of a garage door that stops working out of nowhere.

Preventative maintenance can also save the homeowner money. With a little maintenance, you can extend the life of the garage door and the parts that allow it to move.

It is also a safety issue. Garage doors are heavy, and when they fall into a state of disrepair, they can be dangerous. With a little time and effort, you can protect against garage door accidents.

Tips for Maintaining Your Garage Door

If you want to keep your garage door in good shape, you should do a little maintenance at least once a year. As a good rule of thumb, you could add the following garage door maintenance steps to your spring cleaning routine.

Observe the Door in Operation

The first step is to turn the door opener on and observe it in operation. Watch to see how smoothly it moves and listen for any noises. If the door opens in a jerky or shuddering motion, or if you hear grinding or scraping, you have a problem.

Inspect and Tighten Hardware

The motion of an automatic garage door can loosen the hardware over time. Grab a wrench and go check all the hardware on the door and on the tracks. If anything is loose, use your wrench to tighten it back up.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Lubricating the moving parts can do a lot to keep your garage door working well. Check the rollers, any chains, and the hinges. You can buy products that are marketed as garage door lubricants, but you could also use something like lithium grease or an all-purpose lubricant.

Inspect Rollers and Cables

The next step is to inspect the rollers for the garage door. Most garage door rollers will need to be replaced about once every five to ten years. You should also perform a visual inspection of the cables and pulleys. If it does come time to repair or replace the cables, pulleys, or rollers, you might want to hire a professional that does garage door installation. Doing this work on your own comes with the risk of damage to the door or injury to the individual.

Clean the Tracks

Inspect the tracks on both sides of the door to make sure they are clear and free of debris. If they are dirty, clean them out.

Check the Balance of the Door

When the garage door goes out of balance, it can make it more difficult to open. This will mean that it is more work if you try to open the door manually and that it is putting more stress on the garage door opener. The best way to test the balance of a garage door is to release it from the automatic opener and then open the door to about halfway. A properly balanced door should stay open on its own. If not, you will need to balance your garage door or contact a professional to do it for you.

Test the Auto-Reverse on the Door

Most garage door openers will have an auto-reverse feature to protect against the door closing on a person or pet. One way to test it is to place a brick or a piece of wood in the path of the door and then hit the button to close the door. It should start to reverse as soon as it comes in contact with the object. Some garage doors use a photoelectric cell to detect objects in the path of the door before it makes contact. You can test that by pushing the button to close the door and then moving an object in front of the sensors.

Spending a little time on garage door maintenance will keep the door working as it should and extend the life of the parts. This will save you money over time, and it will ensure the safe operation of the door.