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Spring Is Here! Time for a Routine Garage Door Tune-Up

Springtime for Garage Door

It’s the trope that once winter’s over and we emerge from our cabin-fevered, cozy houses, we get to work cleaning and fixing all the stuff we let lax while we let winter’s bad behavior do its thing. For most of us, this gets a little overwhelming – where’s the time? 

With all the spring cleaning chores to do on your list, it’s easy to ignore your garage door. It’s not in a living space or anything, so it’s easy to let that list item fall of the end. However, seasonal changes wreak havoc on your garage door – especially chilly, rainy winters. But by paying a little attention to your garage door, you can help avoid costly repairs down the road.

Garage Door Spring Inspection Checklist

So, what are we looking for when we walk around the garage door to try and spot problems?

  1. Check out the tracks, top to bottom. Any bends, breaks, rust? Are they loose from their wall anchors?
  2. Look at the cables on either side of the door. Anything frayed or rusted?
  3. Check the hinges on the garage door panels. Any rusted, corroded ones? Or maybe any whose fasteners have been lost to the winter weather?
  4. Take a look at the torsion springs above the door. Any visible signs of wear, rust or deformation?
  5. Follow the trolley track back to the motor, disconnect the trolley, and use the door manually. Is it easy? Are the rollers moving quietly and smoothly?
  6. Reconnect the garage door opener and place something directly underneath it. Then close the door. Does the automatic reverse mechanism work?
  7. Look at the garage door panels. Are there any dents? Tears? Surface rust or even corrosion?
  8. Check the condition of the garage door’s weather and bottom seals. Are they fallen out, brittle or ill-fitting?

The last thing you should do is test the battery backup on your garage door opener. This will need replaced every two years or so, and you don’t want to be surprised when it does. Unplug the garage door opener’s power source and then try to use it. It shouldn’t be a problem. If it is, you need a new battery pack for the opener. On most models, the opener will help you out with a light that indicates the power backup for the opener motor is dead.

Fixing Any Issues You Find on Your Garage Door

There are many problems with a garage door that you’re able to deal with on your own. Two hard nos, however:

  1. Any and all problems with the garage door’s torsion springs.
  2. Structurally-compromised door panels.

Two soft nos are:

  1. The door is off-track and needs realigned.
  2. The tracks are structurally compromised. I.e. torn away from the wall, have a severe bend or break.

However, there are a few things you can (and should) do yourself:

  • Rollers cracked, broken or rusted? These are simple to switch out after a quick trip to the hardware store. Choose nylon – they last longer than metal and can’t rust or corrode. They also tend to make for a quieter garage door.
  • Fasteners looking not-so-fastened? You can replace any corroded screws, nuts and bolts on your own. If you have any that are mysterious to you, take them to the hardware store with you so a pro can hunt the right one down.
  • Is a track bent just a bit? This can be a DIY repair so long as you have the right tools and can do it safely. Check out SACS GARAGE DOOR REPAIR tutorial on fixing a bent garage door track on your own.
  • Automatic reverse mechanism not working? It’s almost definitely some gunked up sensor eyes. Take a damp cloth and gently wipe off each sensor. Once they can communicate again, your auto reverse will work just fine.
  • Do you have a damaged panel? As long as the panel is not structurally compromised, you can remove rust or fix dents on your own. Remove any surface rust with a gentle scrub from a wire brush. Clean off the debris and seal the area with something like Rustoleum or equivalent paint-based coatings. As for dents, we’ve got a tutorial on how to remove dents from aluminum and steel garage doors yourself, too!
  • Weather stripping clearly not doing its job anymore? This is a simple switch-out situation. Grab new seals from the store (they’re cut to fit), go home and remove the current seals. Use these as a template for your new ones. Slide those new ones in, anchor the seals with the screws, and that’s it – fixed!

It might seem like quite a few things to add to your spring to-do list, but it’s going to save you money and bother down the road in door repair costs alone. Worst-case scenario, you ignore your garage door for a couple years and allow a problem to get so big you need the whole garage door replaced. So maybe don’t save this one as the last item on your spring cleaning list. 

And if you need some help from the pros, we’re always here! Like actually – we’re on-call 24/7. Don’t forget our hard and soft DIY nos, though – those definitely warrant a call for our professional garage door repair technicians.

Estimating Garage Door Repair Cost for Your Home in 2016

Keeping your garage door properly maintained is an important responsibility for all homeowners. A door that is taken care of has a reduced chance of breaking down when you need it the most.  Plus, it’s much safer. The cost to fix a garage door varies depending on the type of parts and panel you own. For the most part, repairs are very affordable, with most service calls costing between $100 to $300. Because most garage door parts are not expensive and the time it takes to repair doors is short, service calls tend to not cost much. Emergency overnight calls and brand new garage door replacement are generally the most expensive. Your technician should always be able to provide you an accurate quote upfront.