The garage door. It’s the biggest door in the house. For many of us, it’s the door we go through when we leave the house. But for many of us, it’s also the door that gets the least attention, maintenance-wise.
Accordingly, we’ve gathered the top five easy ways to maintain your garage door. These will keep it opening and closing effortlessly every time you’re ready to go outside and face the world.
1. Observe the Door Opening and Closing
Get out of the car and stand five or six feet away from the garage door in a position where you can easily see the right and left sides. Engage that remote and watch the door open and then close.
Does it look like both sides are going up and down simultaneously? Symmetrically? Does it jerk as it rises or even momentarily stop moving? What does it sound like? Are there any grinding or scraping noises?
A garage door should both open and close almost silently. Noise is not a good thing. It should also open and close smoothly, with both the right and left sides raising and lowering at the same time. If your garage door is not performing according to these standards, you may need to have a professional take a look at it.
2. Clear Out the Roller Tracks
Dust, pollution or even dead leaves and other vegetation can get caught in the roller tracks of your garage door. Take a moment to inspect them and remove any foreign objects. If your door has been closing rough or jerky, it’s possible the reason is the debris in the roller tracks. Use a damp cloth to wipe them out, a car vacuum to suck them out, or a lawn leaf blower to blow them out. Your choice.
3. Lubricate Moving Parts
It only takes a few minutes to ensure that your door opens like it should by lubricating the moving parts once a year. Whether the opening mechanism is a chain or a screw, apply white lithium grease to it. Then coat the overhead springs with a spray lubricant specially made for garage doors. Both are available from a garage door specialist.
4. Tighten Hardware
How many times a year do you open and close your garage door? While you may not know the exact number, it’s probably at least four digits. All of that movement can jar the hardware loose. Take a few minutes to check the roller brackets and any screws or bolts, then tighten any that need it.
5. Test Safety Measures
For mechanical safety measures, put a log or brick on the ground in the path of the door while it is open. Then hit the button to close the door. It should stop and reverse itself when it comes in contact with the obstacle. If not, call your garage door professional immediately.
For a photocell safety measure, hit the button to close the door and pass either your leg or a thick object in front of the photocell. Again, the door should stop and reverse when the object interrupts the photocell beam. Also again, contact the pros if the door keeps moving in spite of the obstacle.
Be sure the keep children and pets at a safe distance when testing these safety features.
Of course many of us can do these simple maintenance items ourselves. But if you don’t feel confident enough to do it, contact your garage door professional. Better safe than sorry.