Top 7 Preventative Garage Door Maintenance Tips
- What’s involved with garage door maintenance
- Garage maintenance tips from cleaning to maintaining
- Roller garage door maintenance
Whether your garage door has recently been installed or you’ve had it for a while, maintenance is essential for prolonging its life and ensuring it’s in tip top condition. Garage door maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult and can save you from replacing the whole thing. If you are happy with your door, these garage maintenance tips are definitely for you.
This article will look in detail about the preventative measures you can take by performing some simple garage door maintenance. With the average price of a garage door from £500 to over £1,000, depending on the material, it’s no surprise that you can save yourself a lot of money just by looking after your garage entrance.
Keep the Tracks Clear
The tracks are part of the mechanism that the garage door slides across in order to open, whether electric or manual. Garage door maintenance is incomplete without caring for these integral pieces. They should always be free of grime, dirt and dust, which can build up over many years of operation. Additionally, the weight of the door in its operation can loosen bolts ever so slightly over a long period of time. These should be checked frequently to ensure the door is operating as it should and won’t cause you any harm.
In terms of garage door maintenance, tracks can be cleaned with a soft cloth dampened with warm, soapy water. You can work the cloth down the length of the track to dislodge any grime. If larger pieces are present, you can use the brush attachment on a vacuum, which is also useful for areas that are harder to reach.
Test the Balance
It’s important that your garage door is balanced properly. An imbalanced garage door puts undue stress on one half of the mechanism, causing it to degrade at a faster rate and potentially break more quickly. It can also cause damage, either to itself or to you. Garage door maintenance for balancing comes in the form of checking to see if it’s opening properly, taking longer to operate, making strange noises or feeling heavier than normal.
To check the balance, close yourself in the garage. If you have an electric door, disconnect the motor. Test the balance of the door by opening and closing it, seeing if it moves freely and without issue. You can also lift the garage door halfway to see what happens. If it slams shut or springs all the way open, you have an imbalanced door. Garage door maintenance for balancing is best left to the professionals, so you should contact one as soon as possible to rectify the issue.
Moving parts always need to be lubricated and garage door maintenance is no exception to this rule. This tip is used in conjunction with the cleaning of the tracks. Before you apply more lubricant, any remaining lubrication should be removed first, or you can risk clogging up the mechanism. You will need to lubricate the following areas: tracks, springs, hinges, and locks.
You can lubricate the moving components that sit on the tracks. A grease or silicone or lithium lubricant can be used for this purpose. The springs, if applicable to your door, can be lubricated at the top with a spray lubricant. In operation, it will spread across the rest of the springs. For steel hinges, you can use another spray lubricant, but plastic hinges should be left alone as anything applied could break them down more quickly. Finally, spray lubricant into the lock to ensure it operates smoothly. After applying, to finish the garage door maintenance associated with lubricating, open and close the door several times to ensure an even spread of lubricant across the moving parts.
Check for Aesthetic Damage
External garage door maintenance involves a visual inspection. Keep your eye out for problems associated with the finish of your garage door. Wood can warp and crack, while steel can harbour spots of rust. If you have a painted door, check to see if anything is peeling or chipped. You can often notice these things either during or after cleaning. Dirt can often worsen these issues.
For rust spots, you will have to sand them down before priming the area and then painting it. Once protected from weather again, it won’t degrade your door or compromise its integrity. For wooden garage door maintenance, the solution is often not so simple, so a professional will need to be sought.
Calibrate the Cables
Generally, you should leave garage door cables alone, but part of garage door maintenance is to make sure they are working properly. A visual check is useful to determine if any cables are frayed or have kinks in them. Likewise, any chains with electric garage doors should be inspected to make sure they’re not catching or are loose. Electric garage door problems are best left to professionals.
Cables should be clean and free from any debris, so a wipe down with a damp cloth could be all that’s needed to keep them working their best. If cables have come away from any pulleys, these should be reattached after you’ve checked for any damage. A little garage door maintenance will go a long way and can potentially help avoid calling out a professional.
Specifically for roller garage doors, the rollers should be checked and replaced after a certain timeframe. While regular inspection is a good idea, roller doors are expected to only operate for around 10,000 cycles, which offers about 7 years of use. After this time, they can become too worn or bent to work properly, slowing up the operation or preventing it from closing fully. If this garage door maintenance is now followed, the opener can also be damaged, which would require a new garage door to be bought.
With roller garage door maintenance, common signs for replacement include:
They vibrate too much
Brace the Brackets
Our final garage door maintenance tip is about the hardware. The fixings will naturally become loose over time as the garage is used. The brackets holding the rollers in place, for example, will need to be secured again once they start to come away. Tighten any bolts and make sure no screws have come out. Also, if the tracks need to be levelled out, make sure they’re tightened after using a spirit level. With roller doors, any loose screws between the sections should be tightened.