A garage door is like any other piece of machinery or mechanical system, it needs regular maintenance in order to last to its full potential. And not only will the garage door last longer, but it will save you money in the long run as well. That is why we are going to go over some basic garage door maintenance tips. Now, here at Stateline Garage Door LLC, we service the Huntsville/Athens area as well as Northern Alabama and Southern TN. This area is in what is called the Appalachian Region. So we have included a few of these tips that though are good for everybody, they especially applicable to our neck of the woods.
Let’s start off with how often should you perform maintenance on your garage door and garage door system. Assuming you have not had anything go wrong so far ( your door hasn’t jammed or acted up), you should inspect your garage door twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. This allows you to get ahead of any extreme heat or cold that can damage your garage door.
Begin with a simple visual check. A garage door cycles thousands of times per year. With that type of frequent movement and vibrations, the roller brackets, bolts, and many other small parts become loose or damaged. Inspect all the garage door components – springs, cables, rollers, and pulleys – for signs of wear or damage. Look for any frayed cables, loose hardware, or misaligned tracks. Tighten any loose bolts you find.
If you find any broken rollers, you will need to replace them. On average, your garage door rollers will need to be replaced once every seven to ten years. Of course, if you use your garage door at a high day-to-day frequency, you may need to replace the garage door rollers sooner. This is an easy replacement to make as you can simply remove the brackets, slide the old rollers out, and then slide the new ones in. CAUTION- the bottom roller plate is under immense tension and should not be removed! A slight bending of the track with pliers will allow you to pry them out for replacement.
Dirt and debris can accumulate in the tracks, causing the door to function erratically. Clean the tracks regularly and ensure they’re free from debris. Use a wire brush or toothbrush if you have some stuck-on debris. Once you’ve cleaned the tracks thoroughly, wipe them down with a clean, damp cloth to rinse off the cleaning solution. Dry the tracks completely using a clean, dry cloth. Ensure there’s no moisture left as it can lead to rusting or impaired function.
If you notice any small dents or misalignments in your tracks, you can gently use a pair of pliers to straighten them out. However, if the tracks are badly out of alignment or damaged, it might be time to call in professionals.
With regular movements, garage door cables can become worn, frayed, rusty, or kinked. To inspect, look at the bottom roller bracket to make sure they’re still intact and not damaged. In case they are not working efficiently, it is important to call a garage door repair specialist, as the high‑tension cables used to lift your door are nothing to mess around with on your own.
Just like any machinery, the moving parts of your garage door need lubrication for smooth functioning. Every six months, apply lubricant to rollers, hinges, and springs. Use a clear all-purpose spray, or dedicated “garage door lubrication” Avoid using silicone on any parts with ball bearings.
If your door isn’t balanced, the garage door opener has to work harder, which can shorten its lifespan. To test, disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle and then manually lift the door. Run the door up and down a few times to make sure it moves easily within the track. If your garage door is running smoothly in the tracks, run it up about halfway and let go. If your garage door does more than a little movement, that means your door is out of balance and the torsion spring (also known as a tension spring) may need to be adjusted or replaced.
In line with lubricating and testing the balance of your garage door, you should visually inspect your garage door springs to see how rusted they are or if there are any weak spots in the coils. During the cold winters here in Athens, your garage door spring can break due to the metal shrinking in the cold. If you find some rust, you can just lubricate and be on your way. However, if your garage door springs are really rusty, you might consider replacing them before they snap.
This one is especially important to those of us here in the Appalachian Region. When we get a rainy season water can get into your garage. The rubber seal at the bottom of your door ensures that your garage remains protected from external elements. If you notice any sections that are broken or brittle, replace them. If your garage floor is uneven or has shifted to where your weather seal is good, but, it still does not seal to the floor, we recommend getting what is called a threshold. A threshold seal can act like a flood barrier and be placed at the bottom of your garage door helping you keep rain from penetrating your garage.
Modern garage doors have an auto-reverse feature for safety. Test this by placing a piece of wood or a brick on the garage floor and closing the door. The door should reverse upon touching the object. If not, it’s time to repair or replace your opener.
A clean door is not just about aesthetics. Dirt and grime can interfere with the operation. You will want to make sure the dust and dirt on the outside of your garage door do not get into other areas, like the roller tracks. You should wash and clean your garage door at least twice a year. Wash the door to clean away any dirt or debris that could get into the tracks or wear on the door. Do not use bleach as it is too harsh of a chemical and can damage the paint on your garage door.
If you notice slack in the opener chain or belt, it could affect the operation. Refer to the owner’s manual and adjust as necessary or call in professionals if unsure.
While DIY maintenance can handle most issues, it’s essential to get your garage door inspected by professionals annually. They can identify and address potential problems before they escalate.
By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure a longer life and smoother operation for your garage door. Always prioritize safety while conducting maintenance tasks. If you ever feel uncertain or think something’s wrong, don’t hesitate to reach out to Stateline Garage Door in Athens, AL. We’re here to help!