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Handy Tips to Keep Your Garage Door Functioning Beautifully


Looking for a fresh look for your garage door? You could just install a brand new garage door. That’s a great idea — since a new garage door has one of the highest returns on investments for all home improvements. But most homeowners only buy 1 or 2 new doors in their lifetimes — about every 20 years or so. If your door isn’t that old, there are other more affordable ways you can upgrade and repair your garage door. Here are a few ideas of how to give your garage door a fresh face lift without totally replacing the door.

Oil Your Garage Door Regularly

Every few months, you should oil all moving parts of your garage door. This includes the chain, rollers, springs, and hinges. This is an easy DIY garage door repair that not only keeps your garage door functioning beautifully — but minimizes the need and cost of future repairs. Always be sure to use an approved garage door lubricant. Never use WD40 which can cause the parts of your garage door to prematurely rust and wear out. Apply the oil with a brush so you can get into all the cracks and crevices. Be sure to wipe up any remaining oil with a rag.

Give it a Wash

Garage doors can take a beating, especially with the intense weather California gets these days. The scorching sun of Sacramento definitely takes its toll. Acidic rain, heavy winds, and tropical storms can also pack a wallop. Grease and dust can get into the joints, the door frame, and the woodwork, giving it a dirty, run down appearance.

It helps to give it a good wash. While a spray with the hose is a good idea every few months, up your cleaning ante with a vinegar and dish soap rinse every once in a while. Get a brush and really work into those crevices. Avoid strong detergents because these might harm your door.

Add a Stain Glaze & Finish

If you’ve got a wooden door, it’s a good idea to add a layer of stain glaze several times a year. The best strategy is to apply the glaze in sections. A painting brush works well. Apply it just as you would a coat of paint. This stuff tends to dry pretty fast, so it works best in humid or cloudy weather. Avoid sunny or hot days.

After the stain glaze dries, apply a stain finish. It should dry pretty fast, about 15 or 20 minutes, depending on the weather. Spread a clear finish on the door for a smooth, shiny look. It really does add a beautiful glimmer to the garage door.

Test Out Your Garage Door

Open and close the door with the automatic opener. Notice how smooth it functions. Does it produce any rattle or creaking? Next, release the opener and manually raise and lower it. Check the door’s balance. Does the door hang from one side to the other? Notice how easy the door goes up and down. If there’s any balance issues or difficulty, you might consider calling a professional.

Schedule a Professional Inspection

It’s also a good idea to have your garage door looked over by a professional on an annual basis. They can test its functioning, let you know if any springs, cables, or rollers need replaced. This way you can stay up on repairs before they become emergencies. You’ll have a beautifully functioning garage door that will be safer and quieter.

Install a Smart Garage Door Opener

One of the best upgrades you can give your garage door is 21st century technology. A smart garage door opener lets you open your garage door remotely from anywhere. This kind of convenience completely changes the game. Leave the door open on your way out to work? Did your kids forget to close the garage door? You get an alert on your phone and can close it remotely. You have complete access to your door wherever you are — at the doctors office, the golf course, sitting by the ocean, drinking pina coladas on vacation. And the best part is you can install a smart garage door opener on any existing garage door for just a few hundred dollars. Isn’t it time to step into the 21st century?

Should You Repair a Garage Door Spring?

We walk our readers through many garage door repairs, but a busted spring is not one of them. We do have some advice — this is not a DIY repair. It’s too dangerous! The spring is what makes lifting a several hundred pound garage door feel as light as a box of cereal. It’s under an incredible amount of tension. If it should snap, say when you’re trying to repair or disconnect it, it can release with sudden violence. Garage door springs have been known to send people to the hospital — even the morgue. Do yourself a favor and call a professional. Even if you notice slack in the spring, rust or brittleness, have it inspected by someone certified who knows what they’re doing. Don’t become a statistic!