Garage Door Tune-Up Tips
Did you remember to put “garage door tune-up” on your spring cleaning list this year? Garage doors are one of the largest, most commonly used pieces of machinery in your home, opening and closing at least over 1500 times a year. Even the best quality garage door systems will be affected from the heavy use and weather exposure every garage door faces. Proper care and service will extend the life of your door and keep if running safely and smoothly.
To help keep your garage door running its best, here are some of our tune-up tips.
First thing’s first, stay safe!
Garage doors are heavy, large pieces of machinery and should be treated with caution. Make sure to:
Turn off the power.
Secure the door when open.
Never remove or adjust a lift cable or spring yourself. This is a job for a garage door professional only.
Inspect the Hardware
The constant movement combined with the changes in temperature will loosen and damage the hardware on your door over time, so it’s important to make sure all the hardware is secure and undamaged.
To tune-up the hardware:
- Tighten nuts and bolts, and replace missing ones.
- Inspect rollers for wear and tear. Cracked or broken rollers should be replaced right away. You can change most of the rollers yourself, except for the bottom one which is pressurized.
- Clean the lift cable and inspect for wear and damage.
- If the cable or bottom rollers are damaged, contact a garage door professional for servicing.
Inspect the Weather Seal
The weather seal is extremely important because it keeps the bottom of your door (and the inside of your garage) protected from things like snow and water. If the weather seal is damaged, make sure to replace it immediately.
Inspect the Tracks
Make sure the tracks are clear and clean, and use a level to check the tracks’ alignment. If the tracks are not perfectly vertical, it will cause extra strain on your garage door.
If needed, contact a garage door professional to readjust your door.
Lubricate the Springs and Chains
Keeping the moving parts of your door well-lubricated is important. It will keep the system running smoothly and help prevent corrosion. Use a product like WD-40 to clean the pieces, and then lubricate the chains with white lithium grease.
If the springs or chains are damaged, contact a garage door professional for servicing.
Check the Door’s Balance
Having a properly balanced door will keep your door running smoothly and will prolong the life of the cables and springs.
To test the balance:
- Manually close your door halfway.
- If it stays, your door is well balanced.
- If it won’t stay open, the springs and cables are too loose.
- If it rides up, the springs and cables are too tight.
- If needed, contact a garage door professional to balance your door.
Look at the Door
While the door is a pretty important part to the whole system, it can easily be overlooked. Make sure to check the door itself for blemishes and damage.
If you have a wood door: check for warping or rotting wood and peeling paint.
If you have a steel door: check for rust spots and dents.
Catching and fixing these problems early will keep the maintenance cost down and will prolong your door’s life.
Test the Auto-Reverse Feature
Last but not least, test the auto-reverse feature on your garage door system. Since you will have to turn your automated system on for this step, it may be a good idea to save it for last.
To test the auto-reverse:
- Place a 2x4 underneath your door and close the door.
- When the door makes contact with the 2x4, the door should stop and reverse within two seconds.
- If it does not, contact a garage door professional for servicing.
If your system does not have an auto-reverse feature, we strongly recommend purchasing one that does.
Of course, it is still important to schedule regular garage door inspections. While these tips will help keep your door running smoothly and safely for years to come, there are many aspects to garage door maintenance only a garage door professional can find and fix.
Having a garage door professional expertly tune and test your door will save you time, and will leave you free to check off all the other things on your spring to-do list.