How long should a typical garage door opener last? According to a survey done by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) based on responses from manufacturers, trade associations, and product researchers the average life expectancy of a garage door operator is 10 to 15 years.
A poorly maintained garage door is going to shorten the life of the garage door opener faster than anything else. The springs on the garage door are engineered to do most of the lifting of the door, not the operator. The garage door opener basically is used to put the door in motion so if the springs aren’t doing their job or the door hinges, cables and rollers aren’t in good working condition then the operator is going to be doing more than it was designed to do. And with a poorly balanced door, the garage door opener is going to wear out much faster and parts in the opener are going to need to be replaced much sooner.
Here are some quick tips to help you keep your door in shape and to help extend the life of your operator. And just a reminder: if you are not comfortable or you are unable to do service to your garage door then call us at Midlothian Garage Doors and have us do the preventative maintenance for you. Nothing is too small!
Check the Balance: a properly balanced door will reduce a lot of the strain on the opener. You’ll need to pull the red disconnect cord on the trolley (do this while the door is in the closed position). This will release the trolley so the door can be opened and closed manually. You should be able to lift the door halfway and it will stay there. If the door slams back to the floor then spring tension needs to be added and if the door flies open then the spring tension needs to be reduced. Because the springs can be extremely dangerous and cause injury, always call a professional.
Lube the Door: lubrication of the moving parts on the door will make the door work smoother. Lubricate the hinges, rollers, springs, and pulleys (if your door has pulleys). Use a chain & cable fluid or silicone-based lubricant. Also, spray some lubricant on the opener chain (if your opener has a chain). If you have a belt opener, don’t spray anything on it.
Check the Door Cables: the door will either have extension spring cables or torsion spring cables. Extension springs stretch back along the tracks while torsion springs are on a torsion bar mounted above the door on the header. Over time the cables can fray so it’s best to replace them before they break. Take a rag and run it along the length of the cables. If the rag gets snagged at any point, then that will give you an indication that the cable is probably fraying & should be replaced. Give us a call, and we can handle this for you.
Check the Hinges & Rollers: the hinges hold all of the door sections together while the door rollers keep the sections in the track and keep the door rolling smoothly. Inspect all the hinges for cracks or tears in the metal of the hinges. Stress from the door binding could cause a hinge to break. Look over all the rollers and make sure they are all rolling freely. The average life of a roller is 10 – 12 years depending on how much the door is used and how well the door is maintained. The garage door hinges and door rollers can be replaced on an individual basis if any damaged or broken ones are found.
Annual maintenance should be done to extend the life of the opener and garage door. By showing a little attention to the door and opener you’ll not only get a few more years out of them but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your garage door & opener are operating properly and safely.