Whether you’ve decided to participate in New Year’s resolutions or not, we can all agree that the new year is an important time to incorporate best practices—especially when it comes to upkeep around the house and garage. Like many home projects, maintaining your garage door is a matter of checking it on a regular basis and periodic maintenance tasks. By keeping up with these periodic tasks, your garage door will work properly and more efficiently for a long time. Just spending a few minutes a month can extend the lifetime of your door and save you money. With this in mind, here are some tips to maintain your garage door in 2018.
1. Observe Regularly
To prevent small issues from growing into large problems, observe and listen to your garage door regularly to see if anything sounds abnormal. Check for jerky movements, or any scraping or grinding noises. Also, inspect your garage door to make sure that it is sitting symmetrically on the tracks. If you see a problem, check to see whether or not it is a minor fix, if so, you might be able to repair it yourself without the need to call a technician.
2. Tighten Hardware Periodically
Since your garage door moves up and down at least twice a day, it is important to tighten hardware periodically to ensure that it operates smoothly. It’s important to keep in mind that constant vibration from regular use can loosen hardware, and knock the door out of alignment or loosen it from its moorings.
3. Balancing the Garage Door
A balanced garage door works efficiently, but when it becomes unbalanced it has to work harder. You can check the balance by pulling the release handle to disconnect the opener from the door. Then manually move the door about half of the way along the track. If it stays put, it is balanced. If not, then the springs need to be adjusted. This is a task that a professional garage maintenance technician will have to repair for you.
4. Inspecting the Rollers
Rollers should be inspected twice per year and replaced if they get cracked, chipped or worn. Typically, they should last about seven years. To remove rollers, remove the bracket and then install a new roller.
5. Lubricate Moving Parts
Moving mechanical parts need grease to reduce friction and damage. Using white lithium grease on the chain and a spray lubricant on the overhead springs once a year will keep it moving perfectly. If you can't find the grease in stores, ask your technician where you can purchase it.
6. Checking Cables
The high-tension cables hold the entire weight of the garage door, so don't try to work on them yourself. However, you can check the condition of the cables periodically to see if you need to call a maintenance technician. Look for any damage or broken strands near the roller bracket at the bottom.
7. Clear the Tracks
Weather and wind can push debris into the garage door tracks, which can be resolved through regular overhead garage door maintenance in order to keep the tracks clear. When it's windy, especially in the fall, check tracks for any debris such as leaves or sticks that can restrict movement. To keep the tracks cleared out, you can use a soft cloth to remove debris.
8. Clean Garage Door
The outside of the garage door gets the most wear-and-tear from weather. For signs of water damage, check the paint and spot check the door itself for any signs of warping. If the door is metal, pay close attention to detail for rust spots. To keep the surface from showing signs of rust and water damage, wash your garage door monthly.