Most homeowners tend to forget that their garage door involves complicated mechanisms and tracks that need a little bit of maintenance from time to time. Perhaps this is because, costing an average of $125 to $290, professional garage repair isn’t too costly.
That being said, you could save tons of money over the course of your homeownership just by learning a few basic garage maintenance tricks. Checking out your garage and addressing faulty parts as needed once or twice a year is a great way to preserve your garage door in the long run.
How do you make sure that your garage is functional and what do you do if you notice any maintenance issues during your biannual checkups?
Read on to learn how to maintain your garage door with a few simple hacks.
The Quick Test: Watch and Listen
To begin your regular garage maintenance, start with the most basic test to detect any irregularities or malfunctions. Head to the garage, hit the garage opener, and listen closely. Oftentimes, when a garage door isn’t functioning at its best, you’ll hear scraping, grating, or rattling sounds.
Once the door is fully open, go ahead and hit the garage opener again. This time watch all of the mechanisms at work and take not of any jerking motions or any mechanisms that are asymmetrical.
Clear the Tracks of Debris
With the door open, inspect the tracks on either side. Use a rag and basic household cleaner to get rid of any dust or debris. If you notice rust, spray the track with WD-40 and use a scrub brush to wipe the rust away and prevent it from returning.
At this point, you can also use a level to ensure that both tracks are still standing at a perfect vertical angle and don’t need realignment.
Tighten Up the Hardware
Check all of the fasteners and brackets holding the garage door track in place on the floor, along the wall, and on the ceiling. As your garage door goes up and down several times a week, the vibration caused by that movement can loosen the hardware that holds the track in place. If you notice any loose bolts, grab a socket wrench and tighten them back up.
Inspect the Rollers
Garage door rollers should be replaced at a minimum of every five to seven years. If either of the bottom rollers needs replacement, you will want to call in a professional, as these two rollers are usually attached to the lift cables and can be difficult to remove.
If you notice that any of the rollers are cracked or worn, replace them immediately. With the exception of the bottom two, the rollers are very easy to remove and replace. All you need to do is unscrew the bracket holding them to the frame, pull them out, and pop in a new one.
Inspect the Pulleys and Cables
The pulleys and lift cables are attached to the bottom rollers and need to be inspected regularly. These pulleys and cables enable your garage door to open and close at a smooth, steady rate, which makes the process safe and reliable. Check for signs of broken or fraying edges and call a professional if you notice either.
While you’re inspecting the pulleys and cables, take a look at the springs–garage doors use either extension or torsion springs–and see if these parts for doors need replacing.
Lubricate Any Moving Parts
Keeping all moving parts well lubricated is a great way to reduce stress on all of your garage door hardware. This lowers the chance that parts will break, fray, or wear down. In other words, lubrication can lengthen the lifespan of all of the individual pieces that make your garage door function.
Grab a spray lubricant like white lithium grease and apply it to the hinges and rollers. If you have torsion springs, you will want to grease the bearings on the door’s openers. If you have extension springs, grease the pulleys.
If any of those components seem stuck, spray them down with WD-40 before you apply the grease. This will help penetrate the spaces between each piece and get everything up and moving again.
Make Sure the Door’s Auto-Reverse Feature Works
Any modern garage door has an auto-reverse feature that is a crucial part of garage door safety. The idea is that if something stands in the path of a closing garage door, it will detect the object and begin to open in response. This can protect your car, your property, and even people and pets.
To test that the auto-reverse feature works, stick something disposable and durable (like a piece of wood) on the floor where the garage door rests when it is fully closed. Hit the garage opener to close the door. If the auto-reverse feature is working, the door will begin to open upon hitting the object you’ve placed beneath it.
Auto-reverse features rely on sensors, which you can also test. Prompt the door to close again and wave your foot in the door’s path. Even after you move your foot clear of the door’s path, that movement should trigger the censor and stop the door from closing.
Save Money With Easy DIY Garage Maintenance
Don’t neglect your garage door! With our easy DIY garage maintenance hacks, you can keep your garage door running smoothly for years to come. All it takes is a little know-how, some basic tools, and about an hour or two of your time twice a year.
Looking for more DIY tips and homeowner hacks? Browse around the rest of the website and pick up some useful skills that will come in handy for any homeowner.