Your garage door is the largest moving part in your entire home, and is used multiple times per day at any hour and in all seasons. To keep your garage door operating smoothly for decades to come, it’s very important that you take the time to perform regular preventive care and maintenance. Here are a few things that all homeowners can do:
Look and Listen
The most important preventive step you can take is to observe your garage door in action every time you use it. Is it moving smoothly or is it jerky in places? Does it operate silently, or does it make grinding or scraping noises? Do both sides of the system (springs, pulleys and cables) look symmetrical?
Tighten up the Hardware
The average garage door moves up and down more than a thousand times a year. That’s a lot of movement and vibration, which can loosen the hardware. Examine and tighten all roller brackets and bolts with a socket wrench.
Test the Garage Door Balance
If your garage door is not properly balanced, the garage door opener will have to work harder, and it won’t last as long. After you disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord), manually move the door about halfway up. If it doesn’t stay put, the counterweight system (springs) are improperly balanced. Garage door spring adjustment is best left to the professionals.
Inspect and Replace the Rollers
The rollers, whether steel or nylon, need to be inspected twice a year and replaced every seven years or so, and even more if you use your garage door many times a day. Worn, chipped, or cracked rollers should be replaced as soon as possible. You do this by removing and reinstalling any roller brackets that are not directly attached to the cable system.
Replace the Weatherstripping
If the rubber weather seal strip on the bottom of your door is brittle or cracked, replace it right away to keep the elements out of your house. Weatherstripping is sold by the foot at hardware and home improvement stores. Just cut to size and insert into the grooves with the wide angle of the flange inside the door.
Lubricate the Moving Parts
Keeping your garage door parts greased up will add years of seamless operation to your system – and it takes just 10 minutes a year! Use white lithium grease on the opener’s chain or screw, and a spray lubricant, available from your garage door specialist, to coat the overhead springs.
Clear the Tracks
Make sure the tracks on either side of the door are free from debris and, if you are so inclined, you can use a level to check the plumb. Any major adjustments to tracks must be done by a professional garage door technician.
Maintain Your Garage Door
Don’t forget to examine the door itself. Wood doors will need to be checked for water damage and warp, as well as chipped and peeling paint. Steel doors may have rust spots that need to be sanded, primed, and painted. Wash your garage door regularly with a mild all-purpose cleaner at the same time you do your car. Remember, your garage door makes up about one-third of the exterior of your house, so keep it fresh and clean.
If you just don’t have the time to do this kind of check-up, call the garage door professionals at Midlothian Garage Doors to schedule a tune-up service call. We are happy to come out and help!