Tips for Maintaining Your Garage Door
Chances are you use your garage door every day. In fact, it’s probably one of the first and last things you use every day. So how do you keep that appliance working at its best? I don’t know about you, but growing up, the garage door was always a mystery to me (and my mom). I know we both just hoped nothing would go wrong with it, because we really had no idea how to fix it.
As I got older and am now facing home ownership on my own, I knew the garage door was something I had to figure out. There had to be some basic maintenance I could do to ensure it was working properly…right? I decided to call a few garage installation companies to see if any of them had any helpful tips to recommend (shout out to Crawford Garage for being so helpful), and here are the tips I gathered.
Tip #1: Wash Your Garage Door Yearly
My new friend recommended washing the outside of your garage door yearly (or more often, if you live in a salt air climate). All you need to do is dilute about a cup of detergent into a five gallon bucket of water, and use a soft sponge to wash down the door. Then rinse it down with a hose. For a wooden door, just use a dry, soft rag to wipe it down. You may also need to repaint or restain your garage door once a year, and you should check out the quality of your paint job during your yearly washing.
Tip #2: Check all the Parts
After the first tip, I thought I was a total champ. Clean the front of the door? I totally got that. This is the part where my fear of garage doors really came back to me, because the next thing I was told to do was check all the parts of the garage door about every three months for wear or damage. Luckily, this step was broken down for me.
First, check the springs in your garage. There are two types of springs in your garage door: the torsion springs and the extension strings. The torsion springs are the round mechanisms that sit atop the upper corner of your garage door. By law, they should be painted red. Torsion springs should only be handled by a professional. If you notice wear and tear in a torsion spring, call someone in to have it replaced. Torsion springs last about 6-7 years with regular use (opening and closing the garage door a couple times a day)
Extension springs are long springs stretch horizontally along the two tracks that the door sits on. Check those for any wear and tear, and have them replaced if needed. Extension springs last about 6-10 years, depending on how much you use them, so they shouldn’t need to be replaced often. When they do need to be replaced, however, plan on having both done at the same time. They usually wear out evenly.
After you’ve checked the springs for wear, tighten any screws that might have come loose and check the door’s balance. Do this by unplugging the power source to your door, and pulling the cord hanging from the middle of the garage door’s tracks. Once you’ve done this, pull the door to mid height and let it go. If it drifts up or down, your door is unbalance. Move the door to a completely open position. If it drifts downward, your torsion springs aren’t tight enough. Pull the door to the ground, if it drifts upward, your torsion springs are too tight.
Tip #3: Lubricate Yearly
Once a year or so, the parts in your door ought to be lightly lubricated. First, clean out the roller tracks your garage door sits on. Do this using water and a non corrosive cleaner. Don’t lubricate the track itself, because this could make the garage door slip and become unbalanced. For all-metal garage doors, lubricate the roller with motor oil. If you have a nylon roller, don’t use oil on it. Just lubricate the bearings around it.
If you keep the parts of your garage door well oiled and maintained, you shouldn’t have too many problems with it. The springs need to be replaced every five to ten years, but other than that, there isn’t much to your garage door than simple maintenance (which is a huge relief to me).
Guest Author: Mary Kremer
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15 thoughts on “Tips for Maintaining Your Garage Door”
it would probably help to look in your area and make calls to snomoee that has one for lease, dont you think? Besides, you didnt say where you are, where do you want to rent the garage, etc.
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That addresses several of my concerns actually.
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You pointed out that garage door torsion springs should only be handled by a professional. I recently checked my springs, and one of them looks like it’s starting to corrode. I want to make sure it doesn’t give out, so maybe it would be a good idea to have a professional come and repair it so it’s done safely.
Keeping your garage door lubed will help keep your garage door last longer. There are many moving parts in your garage door and they need to be maintained the same you maintain your car.
I liked what you said about how it would be smart to check all of the parts in your garage door. It does seem smart to know if any of them need replacing. After all, it would be terrible if your garage broke and you couldn’t use it.
I really liked what you said about making sure to check the springs, screws and the cord. These are really helpful tips because my garage door is having trouble closing when we push the button it doesn’t do anything for a while. It would be really helpful to get a professional in to make sure that it is working properly.
Garage doors, especially older, wooden models, are as susceptible to the ravages of time and gravity as the rest of us. If your aging doors are a little saggy, square them up with the tension rods positioned on the back of the door.
I liked your comment about lubricating the metal parts on the garage door with motor oil. My garage door is making a few extra noises and so I’ve been thinking about calling a professional to come take a look at it. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind for future maintenance!
As I left my car last night, I noticed that I had difficulties controlling my garage door and it took a while before it reached the ground. Your article had been really helpful in providing information about different kinds of garage door springs as well as what they are for, and I also liked the part where you warned the readers that torsion springs should only be handled by a professional. I think that although we can wash and keep our garage doors clean, we can just look for things that should be repaired and leave them for experts to handle.
I have been planning to have my garage repaired because I noticed that it’s not closing properly, and it’s been emitting squeaky sounds. Luckily you shared this; I’ll make sure to always check the spring of door’s garage, maybe its’ already worn out through the years of using it. I’d also keep in mind to have the door lubricated the bearings of the door yearly.
Thanks for pointing out how important it is to lubricate the garage doors. As you said, doing so will keep it from have issues for about five to ten years. I think this is what we lacked that is why we have issues with our garage doors lately which is not closing properly since this morning.
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