Maintaining Your Garage Door is probably one of the last things you think about doing, however checking your garage door every 3 months can in fact save you a major repair bill or sometimes even having to replace the entire door. The garage door consists of several major parts. There are the panels which everyone sees, there are the rollers that slide inside the steel tracks and there are the steel springs which acts as counterweights and make it easy for you to lift the door to open it. These same weights will also stop the door from closing too quickly from it’s own weight. Many people will also have a garage door opener as well which opens or closes the door at the press of a button.
Each of the panels are attached to each other by hinges which are bolted together and the rollers are held in place by clamps which are also bolted to the panels. So what are the basic maintenance things you need to do and why do you need to do maintenance at all on a garage door?
Occasionally, I have seen doors come off the tracks and when powered by a garage door opener, the door continues to move and will get horribly bent out of shape. This situation can occur when the hinges become loose and separate from the panels or when the rollers which are held in place also fall off due to the bolts also becoming loose and falling away from the door. The garage door will quickly be pulled off course and as a result will be bent out of shape!
When this occurs there is very little chance that you will be able to restore the door to its original shape and will then need to invest in a new one which can cost hundreds of dollars. If you are lucky, the door will not bend and you can reattached the loose bolts, hinges and rollers and be back in business
Routine checks are all it takes to avoid the above catastrophic failures. Start by checking each hinge on your door to confirm that the hinges and the bolts are not loose. If they are loose, use a suitable wrench to tighten up each bolt to ensure they are secure.
Next check each of the rollers. Make sure they are inside the tracks for both sides of the door and run freely inside these tracks. You may want to disconnect the automatic garage door opener from the door so that you can move the door by hand easily. Check your manual for the correct lubricant and add sufficient lubricant to the rollers to help them easily move back and forth in the tracks. Check the bolts that hold these rollers in place and make sure that they are all tight and secure. If not, tighten each one until they are secure and then recheck that the door moves freely in the tracks.
A word of caution is in order for this aspect. These springs are high tension springs and depending on the location of the door can be extended increasing the tension levels. Check the springs and cables for any deterioration such as rust or fraying. Sometime there will be surface rust, which you can ignore in most cases. If any of the cables are frayed you should really make arrangements to get these fixed quickly before they fail and cause more serious problems.
This last step really depends on were you live. If your garage door is exposed to corrosive elements such as salt, particularly in the winter. Salt filled snow can be tracked into your garage by your car. When it melts it runs out the opening of your garage. The salt water mix will come in contact with the bottom of your door. As with cars, the garage door will start to rust as the steel comes in contact with the salt water mix.
Consumers can purchase the same type of oil that is used to lubricate cars. This will help it resist corrosion in northern climates were salt is used on the roads. This oil comes in an aerosol can. It should be sprayed along the bottom inside of the door. This oil will spread and penetrate any surface scratches. It will protect the door from the effects of the salt.
Spraying on a regular basis will help to prolong the life of your door. Spraying with oil will delay the eventual corrosion that will take place.
These steps are relatively simple to do. If followed up on a regular basis will help to prolong the life of your garage door. These simple steps can ave you hundreds of dollars.
Our next post will be about the garage door opener itself. We will cover how you can maintain it to ensure it lasts longer and save you money.
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