Only 7% of homes in the United States completed in 2019 have no garage or carport.
A garage is one of the most desirable features a home can have. It allows you to keep your car safe from the elements, and it can provide storage space or a workshop for hobbyists.
For any home with a garage, garage door maintenance is a crucial part of your seasonal housework. At least twice a year, you should spend a few hours on garage door care and inspection.
Between the moving parts and hardware on a garage door, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve created this guide to help you keep your garage door running smoothly.
Read on for our top six garage door maintenance tips!
Watch During Operation
Most often, when people open or close their garage door, it’s from their car where they can’t watch it closely. This is one of the simplest ways to check if your garage door is in good working order, however.
When you’re starting the inspection process, watch and listen carefully as you open and close your garage door. The most obvious signs of issues include shaky or inconsistent movement, as well as strange noises.
If you notice the garage door jerking, scraping, or grinding, it’s a good indicator that something isn’t right. Additionally, you might notice the door doesn’t move up or down symmetrically, with one side higher than the other.
When you think about how many times a year you enter or exit through your garage door, it adds up to a lot of repetitive motion. As the garage door opens and closes, the vibration and movement can loosen or even wear on hardware over time.
Check all the nuts and bolts on your garage door to make sure they’re tightened all the way. These will be on the brackets that keep the tracks attached to the wall and ceiling, as well as the ones keeping the door assembled to the frame.
If you find any loose bolts, tighten them until snug, making sure not to overtighten them. If any hardware is stripped or worn out, consider replacing it.
Clean and Lubricate Moving Parts
There are several moving components on a garage door, all of which can wear down if left without maintenance for too long. The tracks often use roller wheels, and most doors use a pulley system with a spring or chain.
Check the tracks for any debris or obstruction, like spiderwebs, leaves, etc. Clean the tracks out with a scrub brush and a damp washcloth.
Once the tracks and rollers are clean, use a garage door lubricant on the rollers and pulley. Garage door lubricant is available in a spray can, but if you don’t have any, general lubricants like WD-40 will also work.
If your garage door uses a belt drive to open, avoid getting lubricants on it, as this can interfere with opening and closing. Cleaning a garage door periodically can extend its life expectancy and prevent damage.
Check Auto Reverse
One of the most important safety features of garage doors is the auto-reverse function. If something or someone is in the path of the overhead garage door as it closes, it will stop and reverse direction.
Never place yourself in the path of a closing garage door to see if it stops when bumping into something. Instead, use a scrap wooden board to test this function by placing it on the ground. The door should stop and open back up when it makes contact with the board.
In addition to the door stopping if it bumps into something, it most likely has a light sensor that goes across the bottom of the opening. To test this part of the auto-reverse, start closing the garage door and use your foot to break the beam of the light sensor.
If your door doesn’t automatically reverse during any of these tests, schedule a professional inspection immediately.
Replace Weather Sealant
Across the bottom of a garage door, there is a strip of rubber insulation that keeps the seal tight. This is to keep your garage safe from the elements, as well as keep pests from getting inside.
Open your garage to inspect the weather sealant for cracks and wear. If there are any spots where the sealant doesn’t completely touch the ground, these garage door materials are available by the foot in hardware stores.
Depending on what material your garage door is made of, the sealant may be attached with nails or flange hardware. Be sure to check if your garage door uses weather sealant on the sides as well as the bottom.
Schedule an Inspection
Finally, if you have any concerns about your garage door, or even if you just don’t want to miss anything, hire a professional. If you neglect caring for a garage door, it can eventually lead to a costly repair.
A home garage door professional will be able to spot problems that you might miss. Once or twice a year, it’s a good idea to have a technician look over your door, which often costs less than an oil change for a car.
Garage Door Maintenance Made Easy
If you aren’t sure how to go about garage door maintenance, this article will guide you through the easy steps you can take. Keeping the hardware clean and checking the door’s functions is a good place to start.
If you want the peace of mind that your garage door is working properly, we can help.
We are a family-owned business with over ten years of experience serving communities nationwide. Contact us today to find out what we can do to make your garage door last as long as possible!