Garage Door Maintenance
If just one part of your garage door fails, the consequences can be significant. If it won’t open all the way, your car could be stuck inside until a repair crew arrives. It it won’t close completely, everything stored in your garage – as well as your home – could be vulnerable to burglars. And should it override the built-in safety features, anyone standing in its way could be badly hurt.
The key to avoiding problems with your garage door is regular maintenance. Once a year, take an hour to perform the following checks and services.
Warning: Garage doors are heavy and dangerous. Always unplug the opener before performing any garage door inspection or maintenance. And do not attempt any significant repairs on your own.
LOOK AND LISTEN – Stand inside your garage and watch the garage door go up and down a few times. Listen for any grinding or scraping noises. Look to make sure the door operates smoothly and makes a tight seal with the ground.
CHECK THE “OBSTRUCTION SENSORS” AND “AUTO-REVERSE” – To ensure no one gets trapped under a closing garage door, all automatic garage door openers manufactured after 1992 are equipped with “obstruction sensors” and an “automatic-reverse” feature. Make sure both are working correctly.
- Place a bucket directly under the open garage door, and push the “close” button. The obstruction sensor should recognize that an obstruction is present and not allow the door to close.
- Next, place an old chair under the open door (positioning the legs so they are out of the way of the sensor beam). Then push the button to close the door. When the bottom of the door meets the chair, the door should immediately reverse and open again.
INSPECT THE ROLLERS AND CLEAN THE TRACKS – The little wheels attached to the sides of the door should roll freely and not wobble. Spray them with a silicone lubricant spray (not WD-40) occasionally to keep them well lubricated. The tracks that the rollers rest on should be clean and free of debris.
LUBRICATE THE SPRINGS AND CHAIN/BOLT – Spread some white lithium grease on the chain or long metal bolt that connects the opener motor and the door (if it’s a rubber belt, do not lubricate it). Spray the springs mounted above the door with silicone lubricant.
REPLACE THE WEATHER-STRIP – If it’s brittle or cracked, the thick rubber strip on the bottom of the garage door should be replaced.
TASKS BEST LEFT TO THE PROS – The following maintenance and repair tasks are dangerous and require an experienced hand. In other words, they should always be handled by a professional garage door technician:
- Professional inspection and adjustment (every three to five years)
- Replacement of worn or broken springs
- Replacement of worn or bent tracks
- Replacement of worn or broken rollers
- Repair of frayed cables