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Garage Door Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Door in Great Shape

06/5/2017

Springtime for Garage DoorAs we inch closer to summertime, homeowners tend to operate their garage door much more often than they would of in spring. From kids riding their bikes to summer outings, many families will use their garage door opener 2 or 3 times more often!

This may not seem like such a big deal but it’s not uncommon to see an uptick of garage door repair issues towards summer time.

Let’s say you open your garage door 4 times per day in the summer. This is fairly normal – a couple times for leaving and returning from work and a few times from the kids playing outside. That means your garage is opening and closing 8 times total every day. This frequent operation adds up to over 700 opens and closes over the course of the summer!

That’s a lot of wear and tear your garage door. And if your door breaks, it may end up trapping your car, bikes, and anything else in there with it. That’s a surefire way to put a damper on your summer farm!

Fortunately, with these garage door maintenance tips, you can help minimize the chances of your door breaking down this summer.

DIY Garage Door Tune-Up

To begin your tune-up, start with a visual and auditory garage door inspection.

1) Visual Inspection

Starting on the exterior, examine your panel for signs of rust or damage. Corrosion can eat away at your door and ultimately cause a breakdown. Make sure to remove rust promptly. Dents are also problematic. You can take care of most dents with this simple DIY garage dent removal trick, but major damage may require a technician.

If your panel is made of wood, damage can really ruin the look of your beautiful overhead door. Wood doors can be refinished and coated with a protectant, but it’s important to know if your door is composite wood or real wood first. Caring for your wood door with the wrong material could damage it even more, so hire a professional if you’re unsure.

Once you’ve finished inspecting the exterior, it’s time to look at the garage door parts found on the interior of the door.

First, check your garage door springs found above the panel. There may be one or two depending on the type of door you have. If you see any signs of rust, be sure to carefully scrub it off with a solvent and reapply a silicone or white lithium grease lube. You can also inspect other metal parts like hinges for signs of rust and correct where necessary.

Once you’ve finished looking for rust, make sure to check for other signs of damage. The cables found on the top of your door can sometimes become frayed – replace them if so.

You should also make sure that bolts, nuts, and screws are tightened – but not too tight.

2) Sound Inspection

Fortunately, this one isn’t too difficult. Garage doors should emit a certain level of sound depending on the type of panel and opener you have. But there shouldn’t be a significant amount of noise when operating the door. If you hear grinding, creaking, groaning, crunching, or any other excessive noise, then there’s something seriously wrong with your panel.

Most noise problems are due to one or more of the following:

  • Lack of lubrication or rust build-up
  • Bent or damaged parts
  • Garage door opener issues

If the noise sounds like groaning or creaking, this is typically a sign that you may have a broken garage door spring soon. Springs are only meant to last a certain amount of time. Not lubricating them can reduce their overall lifespan even further.

For other types of noise, try to pinpoint where it’s coming from by operating the door a few times and listening closely.

If you located any potential issues in your visual or noise inspection, you can attempt a DIY garage door repair but it’s often easier and safer to hire a technician to correct the issue. A tune-up by a professional repairman is much more affordable than waiting for the door to break and having to pay for repairs instead.

Finishing Up with Some Garage Door Lubricant

After you’ve thoroughly inspected your door, it’s time to apply a light amount of lubricant to help protect parts from rust and ensure smooth operation. Most homeowners forget that their garage door does require lubrication a few times year, depending on how often it’s used. If you don’t apply lubricant to the door, then the parts could seize up and eventually it will break down. You can avoid this by spending just a few minutes lubricating the parts every year.

As a final note, make sure you use only silicone spray or white lithium grease. Don’t use WD-40 as lubricant. It is a solvent that will eat up lubricant on your garage door parts and result in metal on metal grinding.

Do lubricate:

  • Springs
  • Metal Rollers
  • Hinges
  • Bearings

Don’t Lubricate:

  • Tracks
  • Nylon Rollers

Never lubricate tracks as it could cause a door off track problem that will require a technician to fix. If the tracks are dirty, you can use a cloth and gentle solvent to wipe clean. And remember, you only need a very light amount of lubricant. More is not better.

By taking proper care of your garage door, you can ensure it will remain functioning for many years to come.

Note: Some garage door parts are dangerous. Never place your hands in or around springs and exercise caution around a moving overhead door. Garage doors are extremely heavy. You don’t want one falling on you. When in doubt, consult with a professional garage door repair company for assistance.

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