garage door
Garage Doors
Home Improvement

Extend the Life of Your Garage Door

The better you maintain and clean your garage door, the longer it will last. The best way to get the most out of your garage door is to maintain it regularly and when you notice a problem, to address it immediately before further damage can occur.

You can easily perform garage door system safety and maintenance tasks yourself. For starters, perform a monthly visual inspection. Stand inside the garage with the garage door closed and look over the door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and mounting hardware, such as hinges, for signs of wear or damage. Look for cable wear or fraying. Is the mounting hardware becoming loose? If something doesn’t look quite right or doesn’t sound quite right it could be the symptom of a more serious issue. Have the garage door system inspected by a trained service technician.

Then go outside and visually inspect the surface of your garage door. Is it dirty? Are there chips in the paint? Protecting your garage door surface, whether it is a metal or wooden door, helps to ensure your door’s longevity. Begin by cleaning your garage doors with a mild detergent and a soft car brush. Some people remember to clean their doors whenever they wash their car. Washing your garage doors regularly will reduce the buildup of corrosive elements. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners or corrosive chemicals on or around your garage doors. In Hawaii’s diverse environment, it is recommended that you wash and wax your metal door surfaces according to the area in which you reside. If you live in an area prone to salt carried by the wind, then you should wash and wax your doors more frequently.

Wooden garage doors should be cleaned and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Monthly door balance tests should also be done. If your door is equipped with an automatic opener system, close the door, disconnect the automatic opener and lift the door manually. It should lift smoothly with little resistance and should remain fully open. If it is difficult to open or does not remain open, the door may be out of balance and should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Semi-annual lubrication of moving parts is necessary to ensure the garage door is functioning properly without binding or unnecessary wear on parts. Apply a light-weight oil to all rollers and hinges at least once a year. There are end hinges which hold the rollers in the track, as well as center hinges which pivot as the door moves. Lubricate all pivot points.

Probably the most important part of the garage door is the springs. These beasts are the muscles that are actually supposed to do 95 percent of all the work to lift an overhead garage door. If you have to struggle to lift your door, then the spring may be out of adjustment or possibly worn out. You should lubricate the springs about twice a year. We recommend using a non-petroleum based lubricant to help reduce gummy buildup. Do not attempt to adjust the spring yourself. It is very dangerous and must only be done by a trained professional.

While lubricating, you should also check the garage door hardware parts. With repeated use, the hardware on the garage door will tend to loosen over time. If you notice any loose screws, bolts or nuts, tighten them so hardware parts won’t fall out of adjustment.

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