Garage door maintenance should be included in your weekend to-do list at least a couple of times a year. Your garage doors get a lot more use than you may realize. In an average household a garage door typically is opened and closed 10-20 times per day. Over a year that’s a lot of opening and closings. Left un-maintained garage doors will eventually fail causing not only inconvenience, but possibly even damage or harm to your vehicles, your home and even to yourself. Consequently it is important to perform garage door maintenance at least twice a year.
Torsion Springs and Rollers
There are a number of mechanical aspects of a garage door that should be checked. Examine the garage door rollers, torsion springs and metal brackets that attach the garage door to the house. Make sure they are all securely fastened and that the rollers turn smoothly in the garage door tracks.
If the rollers are not turning smoothly examine them to determine if they are broken or just simply need a lubricant. If they appear damaged replace them. They are typically easy to remove. If they are just sticking a little, apply some silicon based lubricant to them.
As part of the garage door maintenance process it is also important to examine the tracks and make sure the sections that are bolted together are flush with each other. Frequently a bolt will loosen up that holds the tracks together. If this happens, the tracks may become slightly skewed from each other, or the loose bolt may protrude in the track area, causing the door rollers to sometimes catch on them. This can cause added torque on the garage door opener which may trigger it to reverse direction. Simply tighten up any loose track bolts and make sure the track sections are flush.
It is also a good idea to oil the garage door tracks with motor oil, e.g. 10W40. Use a rag and simply wipe them down.
Also, while examining the garage door tracks use a level to make sure they are level. They should be fastened to the garage door opening such that they are parallel with it. If they are not, adjust them appropriately so that they are.
As part of the garage door maintenance process you should also examine the springs and make sure they are fastened solidly to the garage door and garage door frame. Manually open and close the garage door and see if the door feels extremely heavy while lifting or requires extra effort to close. If it does, then the springs need adjusting. The springs should be adjusted such that when the garage door is lifted halfway open, it stays halfway open. It should not move on its own either up or down, without additional pressure being applied to it. Note: Garage door springs under tension can be quite dangerous and thus adjusting garage door springs should be left to a professional.
It is also a good idea to wipe down the springs with a little motor oil to make sure they do not catch when opening or closing the garage door.
Check the base of the garage door to make sure there is no rust or decay, pending if it is a metal or wood garage door. Also check the weather-stripping to see if it is damaged. If it does not need replacing, at least wipe it down with a vinyl cleaner to protect it from UV damage and to keep it flexible and pliable.
With these few garage door maintenance tips, your garage doors should continue to operate smoothly for months to come.