Spring is nearing closer and closer with every passing day, and with it, comes the need for a little garage door maintenance in your home or business. Why Spring, you ask? In simple terms, the temperature fluctuations caused by the changing seasons can lead to rust buildup on your important garage door parts. If left unattended, you could find yourself with a broken garage door spring or worse.
Rust issues aside, most people don’t perform much-needed maintenance during the colder winter months. While this may not hold true if you’re located in Roseville or any other warm Sacramento county. Still, for most people in America, tuning up a garage door probably isn’t a high priority during the winter months while it’s freezing outside.
How to Inspect Your Garage Door for Signs of Damage
Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to perform a quick inspection and tune-up of your garage door. But if you’re not a fixer-upper type of person, it may be easier to just call a garage door repair company for a little help. Tune-ups are one of the most affordable types of repair calls you can make and they can save you a considerable amount of money by preventing costly breakdowns before they occur. But for the DIYers out there, here’s a basic rundown of a simple inspection:
1) Inspect your garage door visually.
Visual inspections are one of the easiest ways to detect potential issues with your garage door. Start by inspecting metal parts including springs, hinges, bolts, brackets, rails, and any other area where rust can build. If you notice any corrosion, immediately clean it off with a solvent and apply lubrication afterward. In addition, if you spot any damaged garage door parts like fraying cables or ripped weatherstripping, be sure to replace them promptly. Be sure to check the exterior and interior sides of your panel for signs of damage as well!
You should also try opening and closing the garage door. It should operate smoothly with minimal to no noise. If you notice jerking or loud noises, these are signs that your door is not operating correctly.
2) Test it for safety.
There are two types of safety features when it comes to your garage door: an auto-reversal and laser sensor. To test the auto-reversal feature of your garage door, place a full roll of paper towels underneath the door. Activate your door and observe. Ideally, your garage door opener motor should sense resistance and automatically reverse once it touches the paper towels. If it crushes the paper towels or takes too long to reverse, your garage door is not safe and needs maintenance as soon as possible.
To test your laser sensor, simply attempt to operate the door and then block the sensor with an object. The door should immediately reverse.
For safety reasons, both features should be functioning flawlessly always.
3) Determine if it’s time to replace your garage door springs.
Broken garage door springs are a common cause of repair calls. In general, you should never wait for your spring or any part of your garage to break before making a service call. The good news with your springs is that you can generally estimate when they should be replaced.
The springs on your garage door are only rated to last a certain period. For example, if your spring is rated for 10,000 cycles and you use it 3 times a day, then you can expect them to last about 9 years. This is assuming you take proper care of your springs.
If your springs are nearing the end of their lifespan or you haven’t taken proper care of them, consider replacing them soon. Without a working spring, your garage door won’t function. And no one likes to have their car trapped in the garage.
4) Lubricate parts as needed.
It’s always a good idea to lubricate your garage door parts on a quarterly or as-needed basis. But don’t just use any type of lube. Two of the best kinds of garage door lubrication are silicone spray or white lithium grease.
Before applying any lubrication, check for a build-up of grime. You can use a gentle solvent and brush to clean the parts before reapplying a light coating of lubricant.
Parts that you should lubricate include: hinges, springs, bearings, latches, brackets, locks, and drive chains. Metal rollers can be lightly lubricated but nylon rollers should not be. Never apply lubrication to your tracks as this could lead to a garage door off track issue.
Keeping Your Garage Door Safe
Your garage door an important part of your home or business. Can you imagine what it would be like not to have one? As a garage door owner, it’s critical that you take the time to ensure your garage door remains safe.
But this doesn’t mean endangering yourself in the process.
Remember, your garage door is a heavy piece of equipment loaded with moving parts. If you don’t feel comfortable performing important safety inspections and tune-ups, then talk with your local garage door repair company to do them for you.
Tune-ups are affordable, keep you and your family safe, and can ultimately save you money down the road.