There’s every chance that your garage door takes quite the beating throughout the year. As well as being exposed to the elements, it is also one of the only doors in the home that owners have no qualms about slamming. That puts them under plenty of stress, and it is never cheap to replace them. Even a simple, manual garage door can easily run into 4 figures for a replacement. With that knowledge, it makes sense to spend just an hour twice a year giving the door the once over to ensure everything is in order. It will ensure that your doors last longer, open smoothly and look better, and all you need to do is to follow the tips below.
1. Start with an Inspection of Opening and Closing
The garage door does plenty of different jobs, but the most important is undoubtedly opening and closing to provide access. If anything is wrong with the door itself, the chances are that you’ll be able to identify any of the issues during the opening process. Whether automatic or manual, you should focus on the door while you open it. Listen out for any scratching or catching, and feel whether the mechanism feels smooth. Ideally, you’ll identify nothing at all, but if anything feels off, it is worth diving more in-depth to find out what needs to change.
2. Clear the Tracks
The tracks take care of the smooth operation of your garage door, so it makes sense to treat them with the respect that they deserve. First up, you need to clear any debris from the tracks themselves. This usually means old leaves, but could be anything, and just the smallest obstacle can lead to your garage door not performing optimally. From there, you should use a spirit level to ensure that the tracks are straight. Slight issues can be ignored or fixed yourself, but if they have moved far from where they started, you should call in a professional to put them straight.
3. Tighten Up Screws and Bolts
As mentioned, most people do not think twice about slamming the garage door, and regular use combined with that kind of impact can cause some of the fittings to come loose. In most cases, it will have no impact on the operation of the door – especially if you catch it early – and that is why biannual checks make the most sense. If you notice any screws or bolts have come loose, grab a spanner or screwdriver and fix them back in.
4. Check the Rollers
The rollers or wheels on your door work with the tracks to ensure smooth movement. Unfortunately, they are usually the part of the door that needs to be replaced most often. Even the best tend to wear down and crack after 5 years. If you notice damage, the chances are you can replace them yourself. However, if the brackets are attached to any wires, it is best to leave this to the professionals once again.
5. Check the Cables
Cables are tricky to manage alone. They operate under such tension that cutting or removing them yourself can be immensely dangerous. The same applies to springs, so it is ideal if you notice no faults during your checks. If you do, we would advise making a note but taking no further action other than to call out a technician when you get the chance as they will have the necessary tools and expertise to replace them properly.
6. Add Lubricant to any Parts that Move
As you’ll have noticed, the moving parts are the most susceptible to issues, but also the most important. You should try to give them every chance to succeed by making lubrication a crucial part of your maintenance routine. Even if they do not look like they need it, you should get into the habit of greasing wheels and hinges to keep them working well until the next inspection.
7. Test the Balance of the Door
If everything is going to plan, your door will be perfectly balanced. You can test this by opening the door halfway and leaving it to its own devices for a moment. If it remains in the position you left it, it’s good news, and the door is well-balanced. If it swings all the way open or slams shut, something is off. Most commonly, this will involve the springs and, as mentioned already, you should leave any spring adjustments or replacements to qualified professionals.
8. Check the Weatherproofing at the Bottom of the Door
Garage doors tend not to fit flush to the floor. Instead, they use rubber strips to keep out the elements. Unfortunately, the strips are not as robust as the door itself, but it is not all bad news as this is almost always a DIY job. If you notice any damage to the strip, you may be able to repair it. If it has come away from the door, you can use a sealant to put it back into place. Even if the strip is beyond repair, replacements are not overly expensive, and they do not require anything but a steady hand to replace.
9. Check the Structure of the Door Itself
If you bang on the door, you don’t want a flat sound. It is rare for the integrity of the door to fade even over the course of a lifetime, but the paint may disguise rust patches or other defects.
10. Clean and Paint the Door as Required
If you want your garage door to look good, you have to keep it clean and fresh. You probably won’t need a fresh coat of paint with each inspection, but you should at least wipe down the surfaces to ensure that your door looks as presentable as it possibly can. If you do need to paint it, ensure you get weatherproof paint that is suitable for your garage door’s material.