5 Garage Door Maintenance Tips

May 9, 2019

Whether you’re maintaining your current home to sell before moving into your new custom home or you are already living in your dream custom home, regular maintenance is important. It’s easy to remember to take care of the obvious stuff around your home, but when was the last time you thought about your garage door? Keeping some garage door maintenance tips in mind can help you keep this often-forgotten area of your home looking great. 

Many times, homeowners only tend to think about their garage door once there is something wrong. Unfortunately, it often tends to fall by the wayside when it comes to ongoing home maintenance. Here are some garage door maintenance tips to help you make sure your garage door keeps working smoothly and looking great:

3 Safety Tips for Garage Door Maintenance

Before you do anything with your garage door, aside from testing it to make sure it works, you want to make sure you have safety at the top of your list. You’ll be working in and around your garage door and you don’t want to get in a situation where your safety and health are at risk. Here are a few safety tips for garage door maintenance to keep in mind:

1. Unplug the Door Opener

You want to make sure you unplug the automatic door opener to your garage before you begin any maintenance tasks. This will help ensure that the door cannot be activated accidentally and start moving while you are working on something or looking over things.

2. Avoid the Springs

It’s also important to avoid the overhead torsion springs. These springs contain a ton of tension because they are responsible for providing enough force to lift the heavy garage door. This also makes them a potentially dangerous element that can have a lot of crushing force on stray fingers in the wrong area.

The exception to this rule is when a spring is broken and in need of being replaced or if you are removing lift cables. If lift cables need to removed for any reason, you need to make sure you release and remove the tension from the door springs first. When it comes to the torsion springs, avoid them if you don’t need to be near them, take extreme care if you need to work on or around them, or hire an experienced contractor to handle necessary work related to them.

3. Secure the Door

Garage doors are heavy and the last thing you want is one coming down unexpectedly or falling on you as you are completing maintenance work. Before doing any work, and once the door opener is unplugged, use locking pliers to keep the door secured. By clamping locking pliers to the roller tracks underneath the roller, you secure the door in an open position and can prevent it from rolling back down on you while you are working.

5 Garage Door Maintenance Tips

With safety measures in place, it’s time to take a look at your garage door. Here are a few things you can do as part of a regular maintenance schedule for your garage door:

1. Do a Full Inspection

First things first, do a full inspection of your garage door. Start with a visual inspection as this can reveal some obvious maintenance issues. Look for anything that looks loose or out of place, anything broken or rusted, and anything that looks like it is starting to fall into disrepair.

As you work over your garage door, you can also test elements to see if they are loose. When the door is unclamped and plugged in, you can test how well it opens and closes. Keep an eye out for any roughness and an ear out for excessive noise or any squeaking.

Tighten Up Loose Hardware

If you had to unclamp the door and plug it back in to test opening and closing, unplug it and clamp it again before you do any further work. Then, go through and tighten up any of the loose hardware you found during your inspection.

If there is anything outstanding that is broken or in disrepair, take note of its location and any relevant information about the current part. This will help you whether you are able to replace it yourself or need to hire someone to repair it.

2. Make Sure the Tracks are Clear

A garage is often a link between the outdoors and your home, which means they can get dirty. Your garage door tracks can also build up dirt and debris or may even become bent over time, which can affect how smoothly the door opens and closes.

Sometimes, a simple cleaning to ensure the tracks are clean and clear of debris is enough to keep your garage door working great. Other times, the tracks are bent enough that they need to be replaced. Regular maintenance will help you catch this situation early before it causes further damage to the garage door.

3. Add Garage Door Lubricant

Your garage door is a mechanical device and, much like other mechanical moving parts, lubrication can help keep parts working smoothly while reducing heat and unnecessary friction.

Any mechanical lubricating oil will work in a pinch, as it’s better than nothing, but a garage door lubricant is even better. A garage door lubricant is specifically formulated and designed for your garage door, so it’s the right tool for the job when it comes to protecting your garage door’s moving parts.

4. Wipe Down or Wash

Your garage door is exposed to the elements all year-round, which means it really takes a beating and can also get really dirty. As part of your regular maintenance, wipe down your garage door and wash it to keep it looking great.

This also gives you the chance to examine the state of your garage door surface. If your garage door is made of wood, keep an eye out for chipping or peeling paint or signs of water damage. If your garage door is made of steel, look for any existing rust spots or rust spots that are starting.

5. Update the Paint

Lastly, update the paint on your garage door every once in a while. You don’t necessarily need to change the color, unless you want to, but a fresh coat of paint can make a big visible difference.

You can fix chipped or peeling paint on a wooden garage door with a fresh coat of paint, but signs of water damage should not be ignored. If you have rust spots on your steel garage door, you may need to sand and prime that area before painting it.

Regular home maintenance is important to any home, whether it’s your current long-term residence or one you’re planning to sell. With these garage door maintenance tips, you can make sure your garage door gets the care it needs to keep it working well and looking great. This is especially true if you include the garage door in your year-round basic home cleaning & maintenance.

If you’ve been on the fence about your current home and are thinking about a custom home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!