Garage Door Maintenance Tips For Garage Owners

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Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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The garage door is one of the essential parts of your home, and it’s also one of the most neglected. Sure, we use it every day, but how often do we take the time to maintain it? 

Unfortunately, neglecting your garage door can lead to serious consequences – including a collapsed door or a break-in. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with regular garage door maintenance. 

The garage door repair experts claim that by following these maintenance tips, you can keep your garage door in top shape for years to come.

Garage Door Maintenance Tips

1. Watch and Listen

The most important step to maintaining your garage door is to become familiar with it. Observe your door when it is in action, and you may be able to identify when something is wrong. If you notice jerky movements and squeaking or grinding sounds, you can address potential problems before they worsen.

2. Check the Springs

The springs are perhaps the most important part of your garage door and are the most likely to break. That’s because they’re under a lot of tension and can snap if not properly maintained. 

Garage door springs

Image Source: garageservices.ca

If you have a torsion spring system mounted above the door opening, you should check the springs every few months to make sure they’re not fraying or showing signs of wear. Similarly, you should check the springs every few weeks if you have an extension spring system. 

If you’re not sure how to check the springs, you can always contact a garage door repair company to do it for you. However, you should always leave it to the professionals when it comes to replacement.

3. Lubricate the Door

Another important part of maintaining your garage door is lubricating it on a regular basis. This will help to keep all of the moving parts working smoothly and prevent them from rusting.

Garage door lubrication

Image Source: premierdoorcorp.com

You should lubricate the door at least once a year, but more often if it’s used frequently. The best way to keep the garage door parts greased is to use a silicone-based lubricant. You can apply it to the door with a rag or brush. One of the best lubrication products is WD-40. The WD-40 is a multi-purpose product that can be used for various tasks, including lubricating your garage door.

4. Clean the Door

Another important part of maintaining your garage door is to keep it clean. Wood doors need to be checked for water damage, warp, and chipped and peeling paint. Cleaning the garage doors will help to prevent any dirt or debris from getting caught in the moving parts and causing problems.

Clean garage door

Image Source: allaboutdoorpdx.com

You should clean the door at least once a year, but more often if it’s used frequently. The best way to clean a steel or wood door is to use a mild soap and water solution. You can apply it to the door with a rag or brush. Once you’ve cleaned the door, rinse it with clean water to remove any soap residue. You can also wash the fiberglass doors using an all-purpose cleaner.

Remember, wood garage doors require regular maintenance to avoid warping, cracking, or rotting and to maintain a pristine appearance. If visible flaws become noticeable, you can strip and refinish the garage door to improve its looks. Also, steel doors can have rust spots that need to be sanded, primed, and painted.

Remember, the garage door makes up a part of the exterior of your house, so keep it clean and fresh. You can call a garage door technician to fix it all perfectly if you don’t have time to do this check-up. Also, avoid using rock salt, salt sprays, and forms of ice melts on steel garage doors because salt is corrosive, and steel doors and other garage door parts can deteriorate if not washed properly.

5. Check the Tracks

The tracks are another important part of your garage door, and they should be checked regularly. This is because the tracks can become bent or damaged over time, which can cause the door to become off-track. Also, ensure the track are free from dust and debris.

Garage door tracks

Image Source: garagedoorlearningcenter.com

You should check the tracks at least once a year, but more often if they’re used frequently. The best way to check the tracks is to look for any signs of wear or damage. If you see any damage, you should contact a garage door repair company to have the tracks repaired or replaced.

6. Inspect the Hardware

The hardware is the final part of your garage door that you should inspect regularly. This includes the hinges, rollers, pulleys, and cables. Inspect these parts to see if they are frayed, cracked, or chipped, and replace them as soon as possible. Also, ensure you tighten any loose nuts and bolts. Don’t tinker with the high-tension cables if you’re not a professional because they can be dangerous.

You should inspect the hardware at least once a year and more often if used frequently. The best way to inspect the hardware is to look for any signs of wear or damage. If you see any damage, you should contact a garage door repair company to have the hardware repaired or replaced.

7. Test the Door

Finally, you should test your garage door regularly to ensure it’s working properly. This includes testing the opener, the springs, and the door itself.  

You should test the door at least once a year, but more often if it’s used frequently. The best way to test the door is to close and open it a few times. If you notice any problems, you should contact a garage door repair company to have the door repaired or replaced.

 8. Test the Garage Door Balance

If your garage door isn’t balanced properly, the garage door opener has to work harder, shortening its lifespan. Therefore, the door should be well-balanced by the springs so that only a few pounds of force are necessary to lift it.

Garage door balance

Image Source: garagedoorfredericksburgva.com

To test this, pull the release handle on the automatic opener. This will allow you to close and open the door manually. Lift the door to open it halfway and let go. A balanced garage door should remain in place without your help, so if it doesn’t, the door is imbalanced, or the springs are growing old and worn. Call a garage door specialist if your door is imbalanced because fixing this problem involves adjusting high-tension cables and springs.

9. Replace the Weatherstripping

The weatherstripping around your garage door is essential in keeping out water, snow, dust, and debris from seeping into your garage throughout all seasons. Since it’s one of the barriers against the elements, it can endure quite a bit. Therefore, you should check it twice yearly to ensure it’s in good shape.

Most garage doors have weather seals along the bottom of the door, but some include them on the sides too. To check the condition of the weatherstripping, open your garage door to a desired height to access the weatherstripping, then wipe it with a soft rag and all-purpose cleaner. Contact a garage door professional to replace the weatherstripping if you notice the following:

    • A brittle or rusted metal around the garage door

    • Cracks or gaps under or around your garage door

    • Puddles of water around your garage door

    • Drafts coming in through the door

10. Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Features

Auto reverse safety feature forces the garage door to quickly reverse when it detects obstacles, such as a car, animal, or child. It is activated by a pressure sensor or photocells on each side of the door.

Garage door safety sensor

Image Source: premiumdoors.co.za

To test the pressure sensor system, place a small, solid object like a 2 by 4 block in the garage door’s path as it closes. The door should reverse its direction when it touches the block. Similarly, to test the photoelectric sensors, start the door download in a closing direction and pass an object or your leg in the path of the cameras to trigger the automatic reversal. If the garage door tries to push through the object, you should call a professional to reconfigure the pressure sensor or gently wipe the cameras, as debris or dust could block them.

Consult a professional or your garage door opener manual for instructions on adjusting the auto-reverse function. This basic feature is now mandated by building code in many areas, and older garage door openers lacking it should be replaced.

11. Schedule Inspections

Homeowners tend to overlook their garage doors until there is a major problem that is costly to fix. It is good to get involved with the maintenance of your garage door. Schedule yearly maintenance appointments with professional garage door technicians because they can spot the issues you might have missed and provide an instant solution. Also, a yearly garage door inspection reduces the risk of malfunction or a broken door.

12. Replace Your Remote’s Battery

Some maintenance can help you prevent a malfunction in the future. Avoid being unable to open your garage door by changing the batteries in the garage door opener remote. A garage door opener remote’s battery with an average voltage of 1.5V can last up to 2 years, depending on the usage.

Garage door remote

Image Source: overheaddoorco.com

Additionally, some newer garage door openers have battery backups in case of a power outage. Check that the backup battery on your garage door opener is properly working. To test this, unplug the opener and try opening the door with the remote or wall button. If it doesn’t open, you will need to replace the backup battery. Remove the opener’s cover, remove the battery, and replace it with a new one.

Here’s also our guide on how to paint a garage door.

Frequently Asked Questions

Garage door maintenance

Image Source: homedepot.com

1. How often should a garage door be lubricated?

It is important to lubricate garage doors every six months, including the garage door tracks. However, this may vary depending on the parts you want to lubricate. Parts like hinges and rollers can be lubricated every 3 months. This will extend the lifespan of your garage door. If you stay in a harsh environment, for instance, near the beach, you should lubricate your garage door more frequently.

Ensure you use an all-weather product because low temperatures may cause lubricants to become thick and viscous, making it harder to open and close the door. It is also important to lubricate your door’s springs in cold weather because they become brittle at low temperatures. This makes them more likely to break or snap, which can be dangerous and costly.

2. How do I clean and maintain my garage door?

The best and easiest way of cleaning a garage door is to use a mild soap and water solution. Apply it to the door with a rag or brush, then rinse it off with clean water to remove any soap residue. You can use a mild detergent to remove stubborn stains.

Fiberglass doors can be washed using an all-purpose cleaner. If your garage door is steel, look for rusted parts that need to be sanded, primed, and painted. However, pay particular attention to wood doors since water damage and warping are common. Remove peeling and chipped paint, then sand and repaint. If you have a wooden garage door that doesn’t have weatherstripping along the bottom, ensure the bottom edge is well sealed, painted, and then install a weatherstrip.

Also, ensure you lubricate the moving parts at least twice a year and replace or repair any worn parts.

3. What is the common problem with a garage door?

Even though each door is different, some garage door problems are common among homeowners everywhere. These garage door issues include

    • Old or broken springs

    • Garage doors won’t close completely

    • Worn rollers and bearings

    • Garage door opener problems

    • Obstructed photo eye sensors

4. Do I need to maintain my garage door?

Maintaining a garage door is key to keeping it operating efficiently. A malfunction can prevent you from taking out your car from the garage when you need it. Regular maintenance at least twice a year can make such problems less likely. Other benefits include;

    • Maximizing your door’s service life by extending the timeframe between replacements.

    • Ensuring safety by ensuring the safety features remain in good working condition and locking out intruders at all times.

    • Preventing future inconveniences.

    • Improving the visual appearance and increasing property value.

Final Take

By following these key maintenance tips, you can keep your garage door in top shape for years to come. If you have any questions about garage door maintenance or need to schedule a repair, be sure to contact a local garage door company.

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About the author

Brenda Nyawara

Brenda Nyawara is an editor at Archute. She is a graduate architect with a passion for edge-cutting ideas in design, fashion, art and modern world interests.
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