As a homeowner, you know it is important to stay on top of maintenance.
Your garage door also needs maintenance to prevent failure.
When your garage door breaks, it often means the door won’t open and your vehicle is stuck in the garage. Proper routine maintenance can avoid these sudden failures and disruptions to your life. Your garage door will open and close reliably until all of the sudden it doesn’t.
Proper maintenance will extend the longevity and increase the reliability of your door, door opener and all the door system’s parts. Any extra stress on the system, from rollers, broken hinges, improperly adjusted springs, or anything else will add strain to the system and shorten the life of your springs, opener, and rollers. Ensuring that your garage door is well-maintained is crucial, especially since it is a point of entry for your home and keeping your car, bikes, and toys secure.
How do you maintain and service your garage door? The easy answer is, call a professional and ask for a tune-up or routine service. A trained technician will be able to quickly inspect your door, hinges, rollers, opener, cables, and spring system to determine if any preventive maintenance is required. They will be able to determine if any minor components are broken.
For example, the average garage door has 12 hinges, if one or two hinges crack or break, the door will likely still function normally. Until one day, the crack widens, the door binds, and when you open the door it bends a panel or pops off the track. This small broken hinge results in a much more costly repair of replacing the door or if you are lucky an individual panel.
How To Maintain Your Garage Door Yourself
- Inspect all the hinges on your door. The Hinges are typically metal located along the seam between your garage door panels. Look for any small or large cracks. The hinges are made of stamped sheet metal and can break easily under stress if the door is not adjusted correctly. A minor low speed impact from a car backing up or a bicycle or even a ladder falling on the door can crack a hinge.
You should also make sure that all of the screws that secure the hinges to the door panel are tight. Use an impact drill to tighten any loose screws. A loose hinge could allow a panel to warp and bend under the tension of the door system.
- Inspect all the rollers on the door. The rollers mount to each outbound hinge on the sides of the door panels and they roll along the track. There are three types of rollers.
- Old rollers. They have metal wheels and bearings that age and wear out quickly.
- New high quality rollers. They have white nylon wheels, sealed bearings and are durable and quiet. They resemble a roller blade wheel and roll smooth
- Cheap rollers. These are black plastic wheels mounted directly on stamped steel shafts with no bearings. These rollers will wear out quickly and add unnecessary friction and strain to your door system, reducing the lifespan of your springs and door opener.
Rollers can oftentimes be damaged. If the roller has a damaged bearing it can wear out leaving a gap and make the roller wheel spin freely and loosely over the shaft of the roller. If the bearing is broken, when you push on the door, the wheel and metal shaft will move separately, they will not be connected. You may be able to see through the bearing with extreme damage. See the image below.
- Check to make sure your garage door cables are in good condition. The braided cables should spool and unspool freely on the drum at the top of your door. If cables are frayed or kinked or otherwise damaged they should be replaced immediately.
If a cable breaks while the door is lifted, the door will drop and cause catastrophic damage to the door panels and components. This will likely result in a costly door replacement.
The door cables carry all the tension of the door springs and bear the weight of the door which can weigh up to 200 pounds.
Due to the safety concerns of this it is highly recommended you seek a trained professional with the necessary training and expertise to safely replace your garage door cables.
- Lubricate your door system. All the moving parts of your garage door system require regular lubrication and inspection.
Our technicians are trained to lubricate parts during the inspection, this ensures all components are both visually inspected and lubricated.
The visual inspection will identify any further issues that require attention or replacement. The springs should also be lubricated, this will help to increase their lifespan. .
In newer homes it is common for garages to be finished and painted. The garage door is usually installed prior to painting and this results in the springs being painted over. This often prevents lubricants from effectively penetrating the spring and will reduce the spring lifespan.
- Check the balance of the spring system. In order to check the tension on the springs and weight of the door follow these steps.
- With the door in the closed position, disengage the automatic opener. Usually you pull a handle on a string to do this.
- Manually lift the door to halfway open position. The door should stay halfway open without any assistance. If the door drops or raises up on its own, it requires some adjustment. Or if the door raises rapidly from the closed position or does not stay open when opened all the way, it also likely requires adjustment.
Doors with spring tension out of adjustment are inherently putting more strain and pressure on your opener. The increased strain will increase noise and reduce the lifespan of the opener. The opener is the most expensive component of your garage door system besides the garage door itself.
If your springs require adjustment you should seek a professional trained to handle the extreme tension and risks involved with adjusting high tension springs.
Why Is Proper Garage Door Maintenance Important
1. Convenience: Your garage door is often your most frequently used point of entry and exit to your home. If it’s not functioning correctly, your car might be stuck in the garage and it will be very disruptive to daily life. Regular maintenance ensures that your garage door consistently operates as needed.
2. Avoid Unexpected Repairs: Neglecting your garage door can lead to unexpected and costly damage and repairs. Routine maintenance will help avoid small issues turning into major costly damage.
3. Safety: A malfunctioning garage door can pose a significant safety risk to you and your family. Every year, thousands of people sustain injuries in garage door-related incidents. A faulty garage door may inadvertently close on a person or a vehicle, causing damage and injuries.
5. Prolonged Lifespan: Proper maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your garage door. Unaligned tracks, lack of lubrication, faulty safety sensors, and loose bolts will prevent your door from opening and closing as expected and lead to a shortened lifespan and costly repairs or replacement expenses.
If you need assistance with garage door repairs or maintenance in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, look no further than 360 Garage Door. Contact us now for a free estimate!