Did you know that the garage door is the most commonly used form of entry and departure in most homes? It is a fixture that can represent as much as 2/3 of the street-facing façade of a home, and yet most owners don’t think much about garage door (and opener) upkeep or maintenance. Then, something goes wrong, and you suddenly realize how much you relied on that door’s operation, safety, and even its appearance. The good news is that garage door maintenance is easier than you might believe and we have eight simple maintenance tips that can help even the most novice DIY homeowner.
- Cleaning the tracks – For any garage door to open smoothly and safely (whether manual or with an opener), the tracks that the door is connected to need to be in good repair. This starts with a regular (at least twice annual) cleaning. To do this is very simple. Just use a bristled brush to sweep out the tracks to eliminate any jams and then use a damp cloth and a household cleanser to wash them down, finishing with a rinse. Let them dry and you are ready to go.
While cleaning, also make sure that the tracks are level. Just bring a laser level up to the tracks while they are drying and test that they tilt slightly back towards the rear of the garage. If they are not level? You can loosen the brackets holding the tracks slightly, and then tap them gently into the right position before tightening them again. You can also phone an expert to do regular maintenance.
- Lubricating the tracks – According to garage door experts, you need to do at least one track lubrication every year. This means “all rollers, hinges, roller tracks, hinges, and latches [as well as] the pulleys on extension-spring openers and the bearings on torsion-spring openers… [which need] a good squirt with a penetrating solvent like WD-40 or a citrus-based solvent” You will then just wipe it all clean and apply a 3-in-1 lubricant to ensure smooth movement.
- Check on the door – The garage door endures some amazing amounts of exposure and is always at risk for dents, dings, and damages of many kinds. Regular maintenance means looking for dents that can cause the door to pop off the tracks. Also look at the weather stripping along the sides of the doors. This can jam along the sides and cause problems with closing tightly. Wooden doors can also start to degrade and should be painted on a regular basis. Don’t forget to check the weather seals along and around any windows.
In addition to these basics, don’t forget to give the fasteners in the tracks and opener system a good tightening every year and do a safety check on the dual function safety system (particularly gauging the function of the sensors along the bottom of the door). If you are not a DIY sort of homeowner, just find a reputable garage door firm that can provide upkeep on the door and the opener.