Your garage door is something you likely use every single day. It is the largest moving part in your entire home, and is used multiple times a day, at all hours and in all seasons. Hopefully, it operates smoothly for decades – or until you decide to replace it on your own terms. But how often do you really think about your garage door? Probably only when there is a problem with it. But a little bit of preventative maintenance – maybe 20 minutes once or twice a year – could help keep your door in good shape, so you don’t need to think about the entire rest of the year.
First, trust yourself! The most important preventive step you can take is to observe your garage door in action when you use it. Notice if it is moving smoothly or if it is jerky in places. Listen for grinding or scraping noises. Watch to see if it appears to raise and lower symmetrically. With a little bit of awareness, you will likely recognize many problems before they become problems.
Before you start checking your garage door, remember that many of these elements are under pressure and it can be very dangerous to try to adjust or fix them on your own. Spring, hinges, pulleys, cables, and more. If you see that something needs attention, please call a professional before attempting repairs yourself.
1. CHECK THE PHOTO EYE SENSORS – These are located on either side of the garage door. They should be no higher than six inches off the ground. Make sure they are both at the right height and securely attached to the wall. Then, check that they work! Place something so that it blocks at least one sensor. If you use the opener to try to close the door, it should not close.
2. CHECK THE MECHANICAL REVERSE – Place a brick on the ground under your door and press the close button. If the brick is touched and the door returns to the open position, the sensor works.
3. CHECK THE BALANCE – An out of balance garage door can cause excessive wear and tear on the lifting mechanism. Completely close your garage door. Put it in manual mode. Make sure that it opens and closes smoothly. Then, release it midway – it should hang there, rather than fall back to the ground.
4. CHECK THE SPRINGS – Garage doors have springs above the door when it is closed and above the upper tracks on both sides. Check the spring visually and take this opportunity to lubricate them.
5. CHECK THE PULLEYS – Take a look at the pulleys for any signs of wear and tear. As with the springs, only inspect these visually. Adjusting them without professional help is dangerous.
6. CHECK THE CABLES – Once again, do not try to adjust the cables at all. They are under tension and can snap off violently. Just visually inspect them for any signs of wear, especially near the bottom of the roller bracket.
7. CHECK THE ROLLERS – These are often forgotten because they hide in the tracks, but they do a lot of the daily work. Look closely to find any signs of deterioration. Cracks, chips, dents, and bends can all adversely affect your door.
8. CHECK THE TOP AND BOTTOM FIXTURES – Inspect the brackets at the top and bottom of your garage door for any loose screws. Because your garage door is always moving, these parts can easily become loosened. But do not loosen screws in the bottom brackets – those brackets connect to springs, which are always dangerous.
9. CHECK THE HINGES – Make sure that they are all firmly attached and do not show significant damage.
10. CHECK THE WEATHER STRIPPING AND BOTTOM RUBBER – Time and the elements lead to the inevitable wearing out of the weather-stripping that protects the inside of your garage. If it is cracked or seems brittle, consider replacing it.
11. CHECK THE TRACKS – Look along the tracks where your garage door runs. Check for anything stuck in them or any bent or dented sections.
12. CHECK THE DOOR – Take a look at the door itself. Does it need new paint? Is it warped? Is there rust or a dent? Just give it a once over.
Remember, this is not a list of DIY repairs! Many of these garage door elements are dangerous to fix or adjust. This is so that you might notice if anything needs maintenance before it causes a serious, dangerous, or expensive problem. Garage door repairs are generally better left to professionals. With these tips, you will hopefully have a better idea about when you need to call on one of those professionals. And we are ready to assist! Contact us here.