How to Maintain a Garage Door and Opener

By: azadmin
January 11, 2018

The garage door and automatic opener are so simple and effortless to use – just press a button and the door opens and closes – that it’s easy to take them for granted. That is until you pull into the driveway and press the button to no avail. Then, suddenly, its urgent for it to be fixed; asap.

Fact check: Your garage door is probably the home’s most-used door, as well as a gateway to your vehicle(s), assorted personal belongings and more. Experts agree that the average family operates it four times a day. Now, don’t you think it warrants the same attention and TLC you give the family sedan?

We certainly do!

Basic, routine preventative maintenance can help extend the longevity of your garage door and automatic opener, as well as their corresponding components. The International Door Association (IDA) recommends inspecting and testing the system monthly. Here are some of the tasks they recommend you complete.

Caution: Some maintenance should only be performed by a garage door repair professional. Do not attempt to adjust the springs as these are under an immense amount of strain. Any red bolts should also only be adjusted by a professional.

Quick Visual Inspection

The first, and quite possibly, most important task you should complete is to visually inspect the door. Observe it during operation, noting any unusual noises, jerky movements or wear and tear. Look for corrosion or damage, as well; especially in the springs. If you notice anything amiss, arrange for repairs from a professional.

Check the Safety Features

All automatic garage door openers, manufactured past 1993, are equipped with safety features that are designed to immediately instruct the door to reverse direction should it encounter something or someone. Typically, this feature includes photoelectric sensors or “photo eyes.”

Photoelectric sensors are composed of two sensors, installed on both sides of the door, about six inches above the ground. If something breaks their connection, they instantly alert the opener to reverse the door’s direction. To ensure these and other safety features are working properly, complete the following tests monthly.

Test the Door’s Balance

If your garage door is not properly balanced, the opener and its components (i.e., springs and cables) will have to work harder, and they won’t last long. To determine whether the door is properly balanced, follow these steps in order:

  1. Ensure the door is fully closed,
  2. Disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord),
  3. Manually lift the door approximately halfway up. If it doesn’t remain open, the springs are improperly balanced, and you should contact a professional for adjustment.

Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Feature

To ensure the door automatically reverses direction should it encounter an object, it’s important to test it by placing a 2×4 in the center of the garage (just under the door), and activating the opener. If upon contact with the board, the door fails to immediately reverse direction, the opener should be disconnected and a local garage door repair professional contacted.

Time for Some Elbow Grease

About once a year, it’s helpful to inspect and replace worn weatherstripping along the bottom (threshold), and frame of the garage door. Replace weatherstripping around any window insert’s frames, as well. In addition to saving you money, weatherstripping can prevent moisture, rodents and debris from getting inside the garage.

It’s also important to periodically lubricate moving parts, including the springs, bearings and hinges. Use either a silicone-based lubricant or white lithium grease. Take care not to get any product on the rollers or tracks. However, you should wipe the latter down at least once a year using a clean, damp cloth.

Another good thing to check? The rollers. Usually a four-panel sectional door will be equipped with 10 rollers that extend out from the side and lock into the track. While there are three types of rollers on the market today – steel, nylon, and reinforced nylon – 13-ball reinforced nylon are preferred by the professionals. If you notice the rollers are worn or the door is noisy, that’s a good indication they are needing to be replaced.

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