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Garage door maintenance is probably among the last things on your mind when it comes to keeping your home in check. You open it when you need to get something out or put the car away, and you close it when you?re finished ? and that?s about it.
However, if you?ve ever had the ?pleasure? of needing a repair or replacement, you?ll know that they don?t come cheap. A full replacement can run well into four figures depending on the size, functionality and design choices and I, for one, am happy enough with the one I have.
I think you?ll agree that an hour or so, twice each year is a small price to pay for continued long service of your garage door and the following tips cover everything you need to know to keep it perfect working order, potentially long after the warranty expires.
Garage Door Maintenance Really Does Only Require Inspection Twice a Year
It is hard to call this a routine when it only happens twice a year, but it is well worth adding to your calendar. Ideally, you should carry out the inspection tips discussed below once towards the start of spring and then again late in the autumn/fall. In spacing out your inspections in this way, your garage door maintenance takes into account the various outside conditions that affect smooth operation.
Start by Observing the Door in Action
Whether manual or automatic, a simple sight and sound test goes a long way. The key here is to pay attention ? you?re doing an inspection here, not just going in and out in a conventional manner.
In particular, you want to look out for any movements that you wouldn?t class as smooth, and any noises that sound like scratching or grating. When the door has opened fully, you?ll then want to take a closer look at any moving parts. Cables, springs and anything else that make it work should look clean and symmetrical if everything is in order.
Clean the Tracks on Each Side
As the largest of the moving parts and the one that keeps the garage door in place, you should clean out the tracks as part of the routine. If you?re lucky, this will take a couple of seconds and require nothing more than a wipe. However, you need to pay special attention to any debris that may have become lodged in there. Not only will it prevent smooth opening and closing, but it can be responsible for longer-term damage is left unchecked.
Tighten Screws and Bolts
If you use your garage door with any kind of regularity, it is not unreasonable to expect some movement in fixtures and fittings along the way. Hopefully, anything that has come loose will only have done so on a structural level. If that?s the case, you?ll just need a screwdriver and spanner to tighten them back up.
Check the Rollers
Given that you?ve cleaned out the tracks, it makes sense to check the rollers that use them as part of your garage door maintenance routine. A quick clean should suffice, but you should also take this opportunity to inspect them for any damage.
Most rollers last for around seven years before they need to be replaced. In most cases, you can do this yourself as their brackets are just screwed on. However, you should be careful to check what else a roller bracket is attached to ? at least one set will generally be attached to your garage door cabling, and bracket removal can quickly turn dangerous for an amateur.
Check Springs and Cables ? and Don?t Try to Fix Them
You?ll probably notice any issues with springs and cables before your maintenance routine kicks in. If any of them are particularly severely damaged, the chances are that the garage door either won?t open or close, or will perform noticeably poorly.
Nevertheless, you should give them the once over, and if you do notice any damage, it might be worth calling in the garage door repair experts. As noted in the last tip, these cables and springs operate under the kind of pressure that could cause you some severe damage if removed without proper precautions being taken.
Keep the Moving Parts Well Lubricated
A bit of WD40 goes a long way in garage door maintenance, and a decent amount as part of each inspection should be more than enough to keep everything running smoothly for the six months between each check.
Get the Balance Right
A good garage door is a balanced garage door, so you should check that as part of your routine too. The best way to do so is to open it halfway and see whether it remains in place when you leave it untouched. If it slams shut or swings downwards, that?s a tell-tale sign that the balance is out.
This could be down to poor balance in general or might be a sign that your springs are on the way out. Once again, this is outside of what I would attempt to fix personally, so restoring a balance is something that I would get a garage door repair person in for.
Check the Insulation
Like any door that is exposed to the elements, part of your garage door?s job is to keep those elements out. The insulation strip along the bottom of your garage door does plenty of work but is the part of the door that may require the most frequent replacement.
- Seals gaps up to 5 - 13mm under the garage door
- Prevents draughts, and water comming under the door
- Comes with a cartridge of sealant to fix the threshold to the ground
- Strong enough to drive over
- Can be cut to size
If you can remember the last time you replaced it and it still looks good, you can get away with another quick wipe. In some cases, you might need to reattach some areas that come away, but that?s easy enough as you probably didn?t use all of the sealant that came with it if you opt for a replacement like the one featured above.
If it is beyond repair, you shouldn?t have any issues with replacing it without any outside help. Doing so is inexpensive and, as long as you check it regularly as part of your garage door maintenance schedule, it should last a good few years.
Clean and Paint as Required
If you?re the kind of person that even considers garage door maintenance, I?d assume you like it to look good. You?ll already have some cleaning equipment on hand from the tips above, so use them on the door itself to make the door look more appealing.
In cases where even the most enormous tub of elbow grease won?t suffice, it might be time to crack out the paint and give it a new coat. Take your own needs into account here ? your paint needs to be waterproof for obvious reasons, but you?ll get better results if you tailor your choice of paint to the materials and local conditions.
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Last update on 2020-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API