22 Jan Garage Door Maintenance Tips
Garage door maintenance is often overlooked, but twice-a-year seasonal inspection and maintenance should be part of your routine. Garage doors that are neglected can put a lot of stress on an automatic garage door opener, and spending an hour or two in the early spring and late fall each year may save you a $1,000 repair bill. Here is an easy routine that you can follow.
Watch and Listen to the Garage Door in Operation
Problems with your garage door and automatic opener are often shown by jerky movements and scraping sounds. A well-maintained, well-tuned garage door is relatively quiet as it moves up and down. Look at both sides of the system – the springs, pulleys, and cables – and make sure they look symmetrical.
Clear the Tracks
Inspect the tracks on both sides of the door to make sure they are free of debris and rust. You can also use a level to check to make sure the tracks are erect on their vertical sections. Small adjustments can be made yourself, but major track adjustments are a job for a professional.
Tighten the Hardware
Because the typical garage door moves up and down hundreds of times each year, the motion and vibration can loosen up hardware. Check out the brackets holding the door tracks and the garage door opener unit to the framing, and use a socket wrench to tighten up any loose bolts you see.
Inspect and Replace the Rollers
The rollers along the edge of the garage door should be inspected at least twice a year and replaced every 5-7 years. During you inspection, replace any rollers you find that are chipped, cracked, or obviously worn. Except for the bottom rollers that may be attached to cables, the other rollers can be removed by taking off the brackets holding them.
Check the Cables and Pulleys
On extension spring openers, check the condition of the cables and pulleys that attach the springs to the door. Most experts advise that cables and springs should not be touched by homeowners since these high-tension parts can be dangerous. But check for broken strands on the cables and damage near the bottom roller bracket, and call in a professional if you see any problems.
Lubricate the Moving Parts
Keeping the rollers and other moving parts well lubricated will reduce stress on the rollers and door opener and prolong their useful lives. Twice a year, apply some spray penetrating lubricant, such as WD-40, on the rollers and hingers, then wipe the parts dry and apply a light 3-in-1 oil.
Test the Door Balance
If your garage door is not properly balanced, the garage door opener will have to work harder, and it will not last long. The door should be so well balance by its springs that only a few pounds of force is necessary to lift it. Test this by pulling the release handle on the automatic opener, then manually lift the door so it is about halfway open. The door should remain in place without your help. If it doesn’t, the door is improperly balanced or the springs are getting old and worn. Work on the springs should be left to a professional.
Repair or Replace the Weatherstripping
The rubber weatherstripping along the bottom of the door helps keep out the cold as well as dust and dirt. Check it twice a year to make sure it is in good shape.
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