One of the most overlooked maintenance areas of the home is one you probably use the most if you happen to park your vehicle inside a garage. Automatically opening garage doors toil away pretty much unnoticed until something goes wrong, but you can help keep yours running trouble-free by not waiting for a malfunction. Instead, get into the habit of performing a few regular maintenance tasks as you would with any other mechanical device you own. If your garage door is among the neglected hordes, we encourage you to follow the maintenance tips below.
Before you begin, however, we want you to take a few precautions. Be sure to unplug the door opener so the door can’t be activated. Never touch overhead torsion springs, and clamp locking pliers on the roller tracks below the roller before doing any work so the door won’t fall on you. If you’re removing lift cables, make sure to remove tension from the door spring first.
- Inspect everything – A simple visual inspection can sometimes reveal things that seem out of place or require repair. Look for loose panels or hinges, notice if the door’s rollers and springs look normal, ensure there isn’t any squeaking or excessive noise, and make note of any roughness when opening and closing.
- Tighten it up – If your inspection revealed any loose hardware, get out the sockets, wrenches, and screwdrivers to tighten it up.
- Clean and clear the tracks – Garages aren’t the cleanest place in your home. Dirt and debris can build up inside your tracks. A simple cleaning can really help ensure your door moves up and down without interference. Tracks can get bent, too. If there is any noticeable damage to the tracks, call in the experts.
- Lubricate – One of the most effective and rewarding maintenance tasks is lubricating your door’s moving parts. Your local hardware stores likely have a garage door lubricant specifically designed for the job, but really any lubricating oil on hand will do, and is far better than total neglect.
- Wipe down and paint – Check wood doors for signs of water damage and chipped or peeling paint. Steel doors can get rust spots over time that need to be sanded, primed and painted. Wash the door with a mild all-purpose cleaner, and apply a fresh coat of paint, since your door is taking quite the beating from the sun all year long.
Garage door maintenance can be simple and safe if done according to the suggestions above, but garage door repair can be a different animal altogether. If you don’t have strong mechanical skills combined with an understanding of the dangers posed by powerful spring tension working against gravity to hold up a heavy door, play it safe and call in the professionals.
If after reading this blog post you have (by strange coincidence) developed an interest in a garage door upgrade, be sure to give the team at Norman Graham Builders a call! We’ve performed dozens of garage renovations and garage builds, and will be happy to discuss a project with you. To get started, call us at 717-656-7336 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.