Automatic garage doors are often ignored until something major happens, but just like every other piece of your house, they need routine maintenance. If it's time for you to maintain your garage door, check out these six tips to help you along the way.
Start by Testing Your Garage Door
To really identify any problems with your garage door, you need to test it. About once every one or two months, test your automatic garage door by watching as it opens and closes a few times. While you do this, study the garage door to see if it moves evenly and smoothly. Listen for any strange noises, which could point to a broken part.
Lubricate Moving Parts
You also need to lubricate any moving parts on your automatic garage door. If left unlubricated, they can become stiff and strain to move. Use an aerosol spray lubricant on the rollers, hinges, springs and bearings. For chain-driven systems, it's fine to use grease on the chain, but don't use grease on the other parts as it can lead to a build-up of gunk, making it more difficult for them to work properly.
Clean Door Tracks
The door tracks are one of the most important aspects of the garage door because they allow it to smoothly open and close. Debris, such as dirt and leaves can easily gather in these tracks, so keep an eye on them and ensure they are clean. While cleaning, look for any damage to the track, which can also affect how well the door moves. Hammer out small dents and dings with a mallet, or contact a professional for more serious problems.
Replace Worn Weather-Stripping
While you examine your garage door, inspect the weather-stripping, which is designed to protect the door and keep the elements out of your garage. If you heat or cool your garage, damaged weather-stripping could even lead to higher energy bills as the energy escapes. Make sure to replace any damaged or missing weather-stripping, especially along the bottom of the door, which sees more contact with water.
Examine Safety Cables and Springs
Safety cables can become frayed and springs can become loose, so check them to ensure they are still in good condition. If you spot a damaged safety cable or spring, however, do not attempt to replace it yourself. The safety cables are designed to stop the springs from flying off when removed, but if the safety cables are damaged, they could fail. This can lead to serious injury if the spring quickly comes off and hits you. If you need to replace a safety cable or spring, contact a garage door specialist.
Fix Cosmetic Concerns
The last piece of maintaining your garage door is to fix any cosmetic problems. This includes adding a fresh coat of paint or stain to keep it looking good and protected from the wind, rain and sun, especially if you have a wood garage door. If you spot a ding on one of the panels, you can usually replace the single panel instead of replacing the entire garage door. However, if your garage door has major cosmetic problems throughout, you might as well invest in getting a new one. A severely damaged garage door affects the appearance of your house, and the damage may even affect how well the door protects your garage.
Staying on top of garage door maintenance is the best way to keep it looking great longer. However, if your garage door does require repair or replacement, contact a specialist in your area. Get all your questions answered and get a quote for a new garage door or a repair.