Your home’s garage door provides many benefits including: safety, security, convenience, and curb appeal. Yet, it continues to be something that homeowners take for granted, often forgoing its upkeep and maintenance all together. Unfortunately, it is only when it no longer benefits them, that homeowners start taking notice. But by this time it is in need of professional repair by a local service company.
The Benefits of a Well-Oiled Garage Door
Safety: One of the main reasons to maintain your garage door regularly is to ensure your safety and that of your family. As the largest moving object in your home, it would be foolish to continue using the door without knowing its condition. Information on the door’s condition is something regular maintenance can provide.
Security: Garage doors not only protect your vehicle from the elements. They also protect your home from external threats such as would be thieves. As the largest opening to your home, it needs to be properly cared for to ensure your security doesn’t become compromised. A neglected door is inviting trouble. Start maintaining your door today with the help of a professional garage door technician.
Convenience: Your garage door often provides convenient access to your home and as such is used four times per day (average amount for a household with two or more drivers). To make sure your door functions optimally, day in and out, regular maintenance should be conducted.
Curb Appeal: Last, but not least important, there’s curb appeal. Simply defined, curb appeal is the first impression the house makes from the outside, and is a term commonly used by real estate professionals. The most noticeable feature on most homes is the garage door. An old, worn-out door can leave your home looking old, and dilapidated. While a new garage door can leave your home looking amazing.
DIY Garage Door Maintenance
Note: Visual inspections should be done monthly.
#1. Look and Listen: The biggest, and most important, preventive maintenance task a homeowner can do is to just look and listen. Simply observe your 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 noises?
#2. Inspect Your Door’s Hardware: It is important to routinely inspect your door’s hardware, for loose bolts and nuts, which can loosen each and every time your door opens and closes. Tighten all roller brackets and the bolts that hold the rails to the support brackets to ensure the door’s smooth operation.
#3. Test the Door’s Balance: An unbalanced garage door can cause the opener to work harder thus limiting its lifespan. With the door closed, disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord), and then manually open the door about halfway. If the door doesn’t stay open, it’s improperly balanced, and will need to be adjusted.
#4. Replace the Weatherstripping: If the weatherstripping on the bottom of your door is brittled or cracked, replace it right away to keep the elements, and insects out of your house. To install, simply cut to size, and insert into the grooves with the wide angle of the flange inside the door.
#5. Lubricate the Moving Parts: The less friction you have when the door opens, the less work the opener has to do, and the longer its motor will last. Use quality lithium grease on the opener’s chain, and a spray lubricant (NOT WD-40), to coat the overhead springs. Avoid getting any grease or lubricant into the door’s tracks.
#6. Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Feature: In order to test your door’s auto-reverse safety feature, place a 2” by 4” on the ground, towards the middle of the door. When the door touches that object, it should automatically stop, and reverse direction. If it doesn’t, then you should contact a local service provider for prompt repair.
#7. Clean the Tracks: It’s a good idea to make sure the tracks on either side of the door are free from debris. You can use an old toothbrush to dislodge any buildup of grease, grime or dirt. Light spray disc cleaner (WD-40 is okay) into the tracks then thoroughly wipe out the tracks with a clean rag to remove both the cleaner and debris.
#8: Groom Your Garage Door: To maintain your home’s curb appeal, it’s important that the garage door – which comprises more than 30% of your home’s curb appeal, looks its best. To rid it of grit and grime, you can wash steel and aluminum door surfaces with a mild household detergent, then rinse with water.