Top 10 Maintenance Tips for Garage Door Owners

Your garage door is the largest moving part in your entire home, and is used multiple times per day at any hour and in all seasons. To keep your garage door operating smoothly for decades to come, it’s very important that you take the time to perform regular preventive care and maintenance. Here are the top 10 things that all homeowners need to do:
1. Look and Listen
The most important preventive step you can take is to observe your garage door in action every time you use it. Is it moving smoothly or is it jerky in places? Does it operate silently or does it make grinding or scraping noises? Do both sides of the system (springs, pulleys and cables) look symmetrical?
2. Tighten up the Hardware
The average garage door moves up and down more than a thousand times a year. That’s a lot of movement and vibration, which can loosen the hardware. Examine and tighten all roller brackets and bolts with a socket wrench.
3. Test the Garage Door Balance
If your garage door is not properly balanced, the garage door opener will have to work harder, and it won’t last as long.
After you disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord), manually move the door about halfway up. If it doesn’t stay put, the counterweight system (springs) are improperly balanced. Garage door spring adjustment is best left to the Mid-Valley Garage Door service professionals.
4. Inspect and Replace the Rollers
The rollers, whether steel or plastic, need to be inspected twice a year and replaced every seven years or so, and even more if you use your garage door many times a day.
Worn, chipped or cracked rollers should be replaced as soon as possible. You do this by removing and reinstalling any roller brackets that are not directly attached to the cable system.
5. Replace the Weatherstripping
If the rubber weather seal strip on the bottom of your door is brittle or cracked, replace it right away to keep the elements out of your house. Weatherstripping is sold by the foot at hardware and home improvement stores. Just cut to size and insert into the grooves with the wide angle of the flange inside the door.
6. Lubricate the Moving Parts
Keeping your garage door parts greased up will add years of seamless operation to your system – and it takes just 10 minutes a year! Use white lithium grease on the opener’s chain or screw, and a spray lubricant, available from Mid-Valley Garage Door, to coat the overhead springs.
7. Check the Cables
You should never tinker with the high-tension cables that lift your door because they have enough force to maim and kill. But you can check their condition so you know when to hire a pro. Check for broken strands and damage near the bottom roller bracket.
8. Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Features
There are two mechanisms: mechanical and photocell. In order to test the mechanical feature, place a piece of wood or a brick on the ground in the path of the door. When the door coming down touches that object, it should reverse direction and go back up again. To test the second, the photoelectric system with beams at each side, close your door and just pass your leg in the door’s path. Your door should reverse.
If your opener is more than 20 years old, it may lack this basic safety features – and so it’s time to buy a new garage door opener.
9. Clear the Tracks
Make sure the tracks on either side of the door are free from debris and, if you are so inclined, you can use a level to check the plumb. Any major adjustments to tracks must be done by a professional garage door technician.
10. Groom Your Garage Door
Don’t forget to examine the door itself. Wood doors will need to be checked for water damage and warp, as well as chipped and peeling paint. This step is especially imprtant in humid areas such as Antioch and Discovery Bay. Steel doors may have rust spots that need to be sanded, primed and painted. Particularly dry climates like those in Tracy and San Ramon will find less rusting.
Finally, wash your garage door regularly with a mild all-purpose cleaner at the same time you do your car.

12 thoughts on “Top 10 Maintenance Tips for Garage Door Owners

  • Thanks for the tips for maintaining a garage door. My wife and I are getting a new garage door, and we want to make sure we know how to care for it. I like that you mentioned to make sure you check your cables regularly to see if there are any broken strands or damage. That could end up causing an accident, so I will make sure to check it often to keep my garage door totally safe.

  • I really like your tip on replacing the rubber weather seal strip at the bottom of the door. Lately I’ve been noticing that the cracks in the seal of our door has been letting in little puddles of water. I really need to get that fixed soon since that can be a potential mold hazard.

  • Thanks for pointing out that you should leave the high-tension cables to the professionals but that you can look for wear. The other day, my garage opened really slowly so much so that I didn’t know if it would actually make it all the way up. I’ll have to check those cables then find someone who can do some maintenance on my garage door.

  • Thank you for all the maintenance tips for garage door owners. My husband and I just got a new garage and we want to make sure we take care of it. That is good to know that we should lubricate all the moving parts at least once a year. I’m glad that can help add years of seamless operation to the system.

  • Thanks for the word of caution to never mess around with the high-tension cables that lift a garage door. I’ve noticed that my cables are developing a strange brown color to them, and I’m worried that something might be causing the cables to deteriorate. I’ll call a professional repair service right away to check out the cables of my garage door.

  • My mom told me that every time she opens or closes her garage door, it makes a grinding noise. I like how you said that when this happens, it might be a sign that it needs maintenance. I will help her contact a professional company to come and fix it.

  • Everything is very correctly written in the article, thank you! Garage door malfunctions can quickly spell disaster if they’re not handled properly, so this guide could spare so many homeowners a major headache.

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