There are more than 70 million garage doors in homes across the country. These doors provide a lot of added convenience for homeowners with an easier access point to the home.
Many come to rely on this added convenience and their daily routines disrupted when a problem occurs.
In order to avoid issues, regular garage door maintenance is essential. Follow these seven tips to keep your garage door functioning as efficiently as possible for many years!
1. Pay Attention to Unusual Sounds
All garage doors make different noises, some are loud and creaky and some are silent. You know what you’re door sounds everyday like if you’ve used it for any period of time.
If you don’t, you should try to pay close attention to what it sounds like when it’s functioning. This way, when something sounds off you can clue into it soon after the change. An unusual sound is one of the quickest ways to tell that there’s a problem.
These noises that we hear on a regular basis in our houses often fade into the background and go unnoticed. So it’s important to make a conscious effort to hear it.
If there is a problem with the alignment of your garage door, meaning it’s not moving in sync, you’ll likely hear a grinding noise.
If the motor is having a hard time lifting the door, you’ll likely hear a strained or creaking noise.
If the hardware is too tight or the springs have damage, you’ll likely hear a squeaking noise when the door tries to open.
Whatever the odd noise may be, when you hear one it’s important to take a look around the door and see if you can figure out the problem before it becomes inoperable.
2. Check Seals and Weatherstripping
When installed correctly, each garage door should have a tight seal all the way around. This includes a weatherstripping material around the edges. It also generally includes caulking to fill in any gaps around the frame of the door and the frame of the house.
This is an important part of a garage door because it helps keep the garage secure. It also protects the inside of the garage from the elements.
Though these elements are important to the functionality of the garage door, they often go unnoticed.
A key component to maintaining a garage is keeping a close eye on the weatherstripping and caulking. When you notice areas that there is damage on or some missing, you need to replace them as soon as possible.
Luckily, these jobs you can generally do on your own, don’t take a lot of time, and aren’t very expensive.
The weatherstripping will last much longer when it’s wiped down monthly with a damp rag to remove any excess dirt. Lubricating a few times a year will improve performance as well.
3. Make Repairs Quickly
Being a homeowner can sometimes be very expensive, there always seems to be something that needs repaired, upgraded, or replaced. Because of that, it’s tempting to put off needed improvements in order to save money.
One of the most important garage door maintenance tips is to get repairs done as soon as possible after the problem occurs.
It’s not uncommon for garage doors to need some repairs. They open and close so often throughout a day that parts are bound to shift out of place or wear out. These necessary repairs often start out minor and can easily be fixed.
The damage becomes major as the door continues to function as usual instead of being repaired.
Hiring a professional to handle the repairs will make the process much simpler for you. It also ensures that the work gets done right and fast. There are some garage maintenance tasks that are actually dangerous and only someone trained can do.
The best way to avoid permanent damage and a necessary full replacement of your garage door is to get minor issues repaired as soon as possible.
4. Complete Exterior Upkeep Tasks
The exterior of a garage door is often only thought about in terms of the aesthetic and design of the whole house.
There are several different types of garage doors that you can choose from to match the look of your home. These different types include a variety of materials including wood, metal, or vinyl.
Each of these will provide a unique look for the garage door. And each will require their own type of maintenance.
It’s important for the aesthetics of the house to keep the garage door looking nice and well-cared for. But it’s also important for the overall functionality of the garage door as well.
The most common type of exterior garage door problem is dirt or grime building up from lack of cleaning. When that is the case, it can hinder its ability to open.
Sometimes major damage, like cracks or splintering, can leave debris in the way of the track preventing it from functioning properly.
Most of the time damage to the exterior of a garage door can be avoided by repairing and cleaning the door on a regular basis.
5. Regular Professional Inspection
Despite our best efforts, a typical homeowner may not be able to see all of the potential issues with their garage door.
An easy way to being better at maintaining a garage is to have a professional come out and inspect your garage door. This should be done on a regular basis and at least once a year to have the best results.
When a garage door professional comes to your home they’ll have a full comprehensive checklist of areas to inspect. As they move through the checklist they’ll note areas that are currently a problem, those that are beginning to be a problem, and any potential problems they see.
With so many years of experience and a more thorough knowledge of how a garage door works, these technicians can spot the problems.
Some things they look for are the alignment of the door sections, the hardware functioning properly, how well the motor can lift the door, and if the rollers are functioning.
The benefit of having a professional do these types of inspections is that they can do the maintenance tasks as well. Which will save you a lot of time and hassle!
6. Tighten Hardware
With so many moving parts being used multiple times a day, it’s no surprise that the hardware on garage doors will regularly get too loose.
This is an expected outcome and nothing can be done to prevent that from happening. But it is an important thing to keep on top of and fix. Tightening hardware doesn’t take a long time but can make a big impact.
The hardware you should keep a close eye on are the bolts on the brackets that hold the rollers and hinges of the door sections.
Sometimes you can visually see that the hardware has moved out of place slightly. Other times you can’t see it but may be able to feel the difference in the way the door functions.
Loose brackets and bolts will cause the door to have more vibration than when everything is tightened up properly.
It’s not a bad idea to have a set schedule for going over hardware to tighten things up. It can quickly and easily be done with a ladder, wrench, and a few minutes.
7. Keep Things Clean
The most important part of garage door maintenance is to keep things as clean as possible. Luckily, that’s also one of the easiest maintenance tasks.
When things are clean the garage door shouldn’t have any obstructions keeping it from functioning the way it’s supposed to. A lot of garage door damage is done by excessive debris or grime that could have easily been prevented with a simple cleaning.
One of the key places to keep clean is the track. Often times the track can get extremely dirty as the rollers move along it. This dirt can become compacted and prevent the rollers from moving smoothly across. When this happens, the motor has to work harder to lift the door and can wear out quicker.
The rollers should also be wiped down occasionally to make sure that there’s no extra grease or grime building up. That build-up could prevent them from moving at all, which would make the door impossible to open.
The good news is that cleaning your garage door isn’t complicated or technical. Usually, only water is required but some soap may be used in those extra tough areas.
Best Garage Door Maintenance Tips
An automatic garage door is a great addition to any home; they help the home function more smoothly and aren’t a huge investment.
Yet you do want to protect them and help them to last as long as possible. This is mostly through routine garage door maintenance. Paying attention to what your garage door needs can save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run.
If you’re ready to get your garage door checked out and tuned up by a professional, contact us today!