All of the spaces in your home need a little TLC from time to time, and your garage is no exception. You wouldn’t allow your HVAC system to fall into disrepair, and if your roof was showing signs of wear, you’d fix it. Your garage door needs the same amount of respect.
To help you understand, consider this: your garage door is the biggest and heaviest of the moving objects inside your house. Plus, it probably gets used two or more times per day. Ensuring that it is well maintained will keep it reliable and safe for many years.
Safety is always the goal
There are unlucky occurrences multiple times every year due to the dangers of malfunctioning garage doors. 18,000 garage door accidents in the United States during 2014. Damaged property, injuries, and death are all things that can occur due to a garage door accident.
A failed component or an unbalanced spring system can cause an incident, and garage door accidents can also occur due to a maladjusted automatic reversal system.
Garage door maintenance should be routine
If you own your own home, it is probable that you have an entire home maintenance schedule already worked out. So, it shouldn’t be too much trouble to add your garage door maintenance to the list that already resides on your computer or smartphone.
It is important to schedule at least two visual inspections during the year. This is the time when you will look everything over and make sure that nothing is worn, frayed, or looking rusty. You could also use this opportunity to test out your reversal system and make sure that it is working as it should.
Step‑by‑step guide to maintenance
The following steps should be added to your maintenance routine to keep your garage door up to par. Try to do them once before the cold weather sets in and another time in the spring.
The visual inspection
- Look at all the components of the door, giving special consideration to the lifting cables which should be positioned near the vertical tracks. Look for anything that is frayed or worn which will need to be replaced. Also, make sure to inspect the drum with the cable wound around it. Make sure everything appears to be well aligned.
- Open and close the garage door a few times, watching for wobbling or shaking. Listen closely for any weird sounds.
- Take a look at the spring system, and make sure that nothing is broken or appears to be on the verge of breaking. There are two types:
- Extension: located over the horizontal tracks
- Torsion: placed above the door and inserted in a steel tube
- Watch the rollers. They should be rolling on the tracks, not sliding, and they should be in good repair.
- Check out the hinges and make sure that there are no loose or rusting bolts. You also want to make sure all of the brackets are in good condition as well.
- Investigate the weatherstripping. Worn or frayed pieces will allow cold/hot air into the garage, give pests access to your home, and can allow water to seep in. You will need to replace anything that is out of shape.
- Test the photoelectric reversal system, and make sure that it is not obstructed or covered in dust.
Moving parts need lubrication
- Two different types of lubricants will be used. The metal moving parts need a lubricant that is similar to 5W30 car engine oil, and the weatherstripping needs a silicone‑based lubricant. Both types can be purchased from Automated Door Systems. Try to do a thorough cleaning before lubricating the important parts so that you remove any of the old grease or oils that were applied in the past.
- The following metal parts need to be greased:
- The spring system: add a little oil on these and remove the excess with a cloth
- The rollers: add a little oil in the ball bearings
- The hinges: add a little oil at the junction
- The tracks: add a little oil in the curve of the track and in the horizontal track
- To lubricate the weatherstripping, follow these three steps:
- Exterior frame: spray lubricant all the way around the interior of the door.
- Between the door sections: don’t neglect these sections or you could experience failure.
- Bottom of the door: make sure to lubricate the piece of weatherstripping at the very bottom of the door.
- The two automatic reverse systems of your electric garage door opener will need to be checked during your routine maintenance session. It may make sense to make this part of your monthly home maintenance program.
- Test the mechanical reversal system by placing a 2’ x 4’ on the floor under the garage door. Close the door. It should automatically reverse as soon as it touches the wood. If not, there’s a serious problem.
- Next, test the photoelectric reversal system by using the remote to close the garage door. As it is closing, move your foot to break the photo beam between the two sensors mounted near the floor on the inside of the track. The garage door should automatically reverse its motion. If not, you should immediately call for service.
- WARNING: If either of these automatic reversal systems fails your tests, you should promptly contact Automated Door Systems for repairs.
It will probably take less than an hour to do your inspections and tests, but in the long run, these simple tasks will be well worth it. They can prevent serious injuries and save you money on costly repairs.
You don’t have to do it alone
If you don’t have the time to deal with your garage door maintenance, you don’t have to! You can contact us at 416-239-7777 (Etobicoke) or 519-829-3777 (Guelph) so that we can provide you with our high‑quality tune‑up service which is very affordable. You will rest easier knowing that your garage door is safe and well‑cared for, and you don’t have to take any time out of your schedule to get it done.
Time for a whole new garage door system? We can send you a quote by email to get you all set up.