The job of a garage door is simple, but essential – and using a garage door maintenance checklist to help you keep your garage in working order is a great idea if you’re looking to extend the life of your garage door. You can also avoid costly garage door repair by performing regular garage door maintenance.
In this article, we’ll take a step-by-step look at garage door maintenance, and provide you with a useful garage door maintenance checklist which will help you keep your garage door in tip-top shape.
Monthly Visual Inspection
You’ll want to start your garage door maintenance checklist by simply performing a visual inspection of your garage door – monthly inspections are preferred, as you’ll be able to see any deterioration or exterior damages/causes and have a good working knowledge of the condition of your garage door.
Begin by standing inside your garage, with the door closed. Look at the springs, rollers, mounting hardware, cables, and pulleys, as well as the hinges, for signs of damage and wear.
Check the cables – are they fraying? Loose? Is your mounting hardware secured? Run the garage door a few times. Does it sound different than it has before? Is there rattling or grinding?
If your garage door doesn’t look or sound right, you may need to look into repairing it – and you should have it inspected by an experienced service technician.
Monthly Reverse Mechanism Test
It’s important that your garage door maintenance checklist includes this step, as it’s crucial for the safety of you, your children, and your pets. Since 1993, new garage doors have been required to have automatic reverse mechanisms that reverse the closing of the door if they encounter an obstruction.
Check this feature by putting a piece of wood, metal, or hard plastic on the floor at the center of the garage door opening. When the door strikes the object, it should automatically reverse itself.
If your door doesn’t do so, it’s outdated (and needs replacement) or is not functioning correctly, and should be serviced by a repair technician.
Monthly Force Setting Test
This is another important safety feature that should be checked in a garage door maintenance checklist. Modern automatic garage doors are designed to transmit very little force when closing – this enhances safety by avoiding injury or damage if something is obstructing its path.
Check this by standing outside your garage door. Use your garage door opener to close the door. Place your hands, outstretched and stiff, below the garage door. When it approaches, hold it up with your hands. Your garage door should stop – and will likely reverse, if it has a reverse mechanism implemented in its design.
If the garage door does not stop and reverse, release the door quickly – your garage door is transmitting too much force, and should be serviced by a technician.
A visual inspection of your rollers is a simple way to determine the overall health of your garage door when using a garage door maintenance checklist. Look at the roller wheels – are they worn or damaged? Is the roller track straight and stiff? Is it sagging or damaged? Roller wheels get a lot of wear – they should be replaced about every seven years, and inspected at least twice a year.
If your rollers or your roller track are in bad shape, it can lead to poor performance, or even catastrophic failure of your garage door, so replace them yourself or have them maintained by a technician if you see damage or poor performance.
You can test the balance of your garage door while performing your garage maintenance checklist inspection by closing the door and disconnecting the automatic opener mechanism.
Stand either inside or outside the door, and raise it manually. It should be easy to raise and lower, with a smooth action that offers little resistance. It should also stay in place when fully open – even without the automatic mechanism.
If you can’t open your door easily or it falls down after it’s been manually raised, it is out of balance – and a trained service technician should re-adjust it for you. This is a very important aspect of your garage door maintenance checklist – if you can’t open your door without power, you could be in for some trouble if you ever have an outage or can’t use your automatic opener.
Bi-yearly lubrication is very important when you’re maintaining your garage door. Your garage door maintenance checklist should have you lubricating your rollers, hinges, and tracks at least once every two years with a high-quality lubricant. WD-40 is a good choice. This will maximize efficiency and minimize noise and mechanical failures.
Don’t overlook your garage door maintenance. Use our garage door maintenance checklist to ensure that your garage door is performing safely and efficiently – and minimize costly garage door repairs by catching damage and performance issues before they become serious.
Also, consider repainting your garage door – “Repaint my garage door?” you may say? Though paint is usually overlooked, a solid coat of paint on a high-quality garage door can help seal it from the elements, protecting its hinges from wear and tear, as well as corrosion.
A solid garage door maintenance checklist will save you a ton of money in repairs in the long run, and contribute to safer, more efficient garage door performance. So take a look at our advice above, create your own garage door maintenance checklist, and get proactive – an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Don’t hesitate to call G&S Garage Doors with your questions!