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Garage Door Maintenance 101: Keep Your Garage Working and Looking Its Best

You Could Avoid Major Garage Door Repairs When You Follow These Tips

If you’re a suburban dweller, you likely use your garage door as the main entrance to your home. It’s convenient; you pull your vehicle in, close the door behind you, and carry groceries, kids, and pets straight into your main living space.

With daily use, however, garage doors demand regular maintenance to keep them functioning properly.

By following these tips, you could avoid the expense of major garage door repairs and continue to enjoy easy access to your home.

Twice-Yearly Garage Door Maintenance Checklist

At least twice every year – once in spring and once before winter – perform the following maintenance tasks. Most of these tasks will take only a few minutes of your time.

First, simply take a thorough look at your garage door. Is it faded? Is the finish cracking or peeling? Are there dents in the door? Take note. You may need to repaint and repair your garage door to keep your home looking its best.

While you’re looking at your door, don’t forget to inspect the weatherstripping, which are the rubber seals around your garage door opening. Weatherstripping prevents drafts, blocks moisture from entering your garage, and helps prevent rodents from taking up residence in your home.

Next, make sure your door opens and closes without issues. Test all remotes and keypads. Replace their batteries as needed. While your door opens and closes, listen for noises that may indicate an issue with your garage door parts.

After you close the door with your final remote, it’s finally time to test your garage door’s balance. Pull the release handle on the opener, and lift the door manually to halfway. The door should stay up when you let go of it. If it’s off balance and falls to the ground, it may be causing strain on the automatic opener.

If your garage door is off-balance, if your opener or door is making unusual noises, or if your weatherstripping or panels are damaged, it’s time to contact a professional garage door service for help.

Cleaning and Lubricating Your Garage Door Parts

Keeping your garage door and its parts clean can ensure smoother operation and longevity. Grab your favorite microfiber cloth, garden hose, a mild detergent, glass cleaner, and synthetic lubricant and get to work.

First, clean your garage door tracks, checking for rust as you do. If your tracks are particularly rusty, it may be time to replace them.

Then, wash your entire door, including the windows. An all-purpose glass cleaner and soft cloth is all you need for removing grime and dirt from your windows. A mild detergent and microfiber cloth are ideal for cleaning the door itself. You may want to give your door a final rinse with a garden hose. Make sure to keep your sprayer settings low to avoid damage to the finish.

Next, it’s time to lubricate any moving garage door parts using a synthetic lubricant. Apply lubricant to garage door springs, hinges, metal rollers, the lock, arm bar, and bearing plates. You should never lubricate nylon rollers.

Your final step is to tighten any loose parts. Every time you open or close your garage door, its nuts and bolts may loosen slightly. Tighten these components after you finish your lubrication task.

Test the Auto-Reversal Feature of Your Garage Door System

Your garage door should automatically reopen if it senses an object – including a person or pet – in its path. This is an important safety feature, so don’t forget to test it at least twice a year as part of your regular garage door maintenance practices.

  1. Press the button on the remote to close the garage door. Then, wave an object in front of the beam of the photo-eye sensors. If your garage door auto-reverses, you know the sensors are working.
  2. If your door does not auto-reverse, clean the photo-eyes using a soft, dry cloth and try again. If your garage door does auto-reverse, it’s still smart to clean the sensors. If your door does not auto-reverse even with the sensors cleaned, call for professional garage door repair.
  3. Look at your garage’s organization system. Move any objects that may fall into the garage door’s path or trigger sensors to auto-reverse.

Pro Tip: Before the 1990s, photo eyes were not required. Because of this, many replacement garage doors also require replacement openers due to changing photo eye regulations. If your garage door does not have these sensors, be careful to not block your garage door, as it could cause harm.

Schedule Garage Door Repair and Maintenance

Call the best local garage door repair company when you need professional help maintaining your garage door or keeping it working its best. Although you can take a DIY approach to many maintenance tasks, it’s best to leave repairs, especially major ones, to the professionals.

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