In principle, a garage door is a simple piece of machinery. Yet it must move up and down every time you leave the house. In addition to daily use, the rainy and humid weather in the Oregon and Washington will leave a mark on any piece of equipment, including your garage door. That said, routine preventative maintenance on your garage door is the best way to avoid costly malfunctions and potential safety hazards.
At Larry Myers Garage Door, we suggest making garage door maintenance a regular part of your overall household management. To help, we’ve outlined some care tips to help you identify and address problems with your overhead or stable style garage door.
Nuts and Bolts
Opening and closing a garage door causes subtle vibrations throughout the entire mechanism, which can loosen nuts and bolts over time. Test each nut and bolt on the roller brackets with a socket wrench, and tighten anything that feels loose. A single loose bolt can cause significant damage or create an accident.
Keeping moving parts well-lubricated can add years to the lifespan of the door. Grease the opener’s chain or screw with white lithium and coat the overhead springs with WD-40 to ensure smooth opening and closing!
Rollers and Tracks
Rollers are the wheels that run along the tracks on either side of the door. They’re made of steel or nylon and should be inspected a couple times each year. While the door is opening or closing, look for worn, chipped, cracked, or misaligned wheels. To replace rollers you will have to remove and reinstall the roller brackets that are not directly attached to the cable system. Check the tracks for debris and remove them with an oiled cloth. Keep in mind that any major repairs to the tracks will have to be done by a garage door technician.
The cables on even the smallest overhead garage door contain a high level of tension and can be incredibly dangerous for anyone who tinkers with them. Don’t take any chances. If you notice broken strands or any other damage on the cables, call Larry Myers Garage Door to fix it.
The rubber strip along the bottom of the door acts as a weather seal and can become brittle and cracked over time. Weatherstripping is very important in a climate like the Pacific Northwest because it helps to keep moisture out of your garage. Luckily, this piece is rather easy to replace. You can buy it by the foot at most hardware stores, and all you’ll need to do is measure, cut to size, and insert the new stripping into the grooves so that the wide angle of the flange faces toward the inside of your garage.
Auto-Reverse Safety Features
Auto-reverse features help prevent the door from closing on someone and hurting them or closing on an object and damaging it. This safety feature will either be a mechanical sensor or a photoelectric beam along the bottom of the door. Test the mechanical system by placing an object, like a brick, so that the door will close on it. If everything is working properly, the door should reverse direction when it hits the object. To test the photoelectric beam, just pass your foot across the bottom of the door where the sensor is located as the door is closing. The beam should register the movement and reverse the doors direction to go back up. Be sure to remove your foot right away if the sensor doesn’t immediately reverse in order to avoid injury! If the door does not reverse in either of these cases, you should get it looked at by a professional right away, especially if you have kids or pets in your household.
Lastly, check over the surface of the door itself. Garage doors are made out of a variety of material, such as steel, wood, simulated wood, fiberglass, or glass windows, and each requires a different kind of maintenance. Keep your eye out for cracks or splinters, water damage, and peeling paint. You should also keep the door clean, as cleaning it regularly can prevent some of these issues. When you wash your car, give the garage door a hosing while you’re at it.
With these simple garage door maintenance tips (and this helpful infographic) you can make sure your garage door continues to function for years to come.