Many homeowners don’t give a lot of thought to the dependability of their garage door. It’s probably safe to say that most assume it will always open and close as it should. Once a door gets stuck or refuses to open at all is when a homeowner realizes this isn’t they shouldn’t take it for granted. And when you think about how often you actually open and close your garage door each day, it will become quite clear that regular maintenance is necessary for the proper function of your garage door. To avoid safety issues and costly repairs later, timely maintenance is a must.
How Often Should I Schedule Maintenance?
When you take a quick look online, you’ll see that recommended garage door tune-ups should take place anywhere from twice a year to every 18 months. If the garage door is a recent replacement or the garage is newly built, you could stretch out the periods between maintenance visits. Whether you choose to get regular service every six months or every two years, there are a few signs that you should get maintenance for your garage door sooner rather than later. Those signs could include excessive squeaking, unfamiliar noises that haven’t been heard before, jerking movements as the door rolls up and down, or maybe the door is taking a lot longer to open and close.
What to Expect From Your Maintenance
When you schedule an experienced professional technician to come to your home, there are certain steps they will go through to check on the health of your door.
Your rollers are what allow your garage door to open and close smoothly and correctly. They will be checked for cracks or chips. If you neglect the rollers, you could experience issues with the functioning of your door.
Your garage door has vertical tracks and horizontal tracks. Vertical tracks can get bent or come unfastened from the wall. Horizontal tracks are what the door rests on when the door is open. The tech sent to service your door will check to make sure both tracks aren’t damaged in any way. The tech will also check the tracks for signs of water damage, debris, and will adjust them, if needed. Inspecting the tracks is included in the service.
The hinges keep your door panels together and they also allow the door to bend as it is raised. Hinges will be tightened if they are loose and inspected to see if they are worn to the point of replacement.
The technician will also take a look at the door. Testing the door to see if it’s balanced or if it’s “jerky” in its movement is an important part of the inspection. Lopsidedness or lurching of the door could indicate an issue with a spring or the track. They will also look and listen during the door’s operation to see if there is any indication of trouble ahead. Also, the door will be inspected for signs of rot (if it’s a wood door) or warping (if it’s a steel door).
If there are unusual squeaks while your door is in operation means it needs to be lubricated. The tech will make sure all moving metal parts are greased with a lubricant for garage doors. Nylon parts within the motor will also be greased. During the wintertime, special attention needs to be paid to the lubricated parts since the cold air can dry these parts out. Lubrication will contribute to a smoothly working door and keep moving parts in good shape. However, there is no need to grease the tracks. Lubricant on the tracks will attract dirt, which will keep the door from moving well.
Weather Seal and Stripping
Replacing the worn rubber weather stripping at the bottom of the door opening might be necessary if it’s worn. There should be no gaps which would allow light, air, or even small critters into the garage. The weather stripping can help keep the garage more temperate, and also help to keep out dirt. The tech will check the condition of stripping and replace it if needed.
It probably doesn’t seem like something that important, but checking on the function of the locks on your garage door is crucial. After all, it is the second entrance to your home. Lubricating the mechanisms of the locks can insure the work effectively, and a tech will make sure the lock is engaging correctly. Locks can help prevent someone from breaking into your home. They could also help the door from being blown in during a storm.
Garage Door Opener
Your garage door opener will also need regular maintenance. Checking every component during the tune up is crucial. Things looked for will be a straining opener, a faulty transmitter, and checking the wall switch and wires.
Cables and Pulleys
These two things are under quite a bit of tension. The person performing the service will check them to see if they are frayed or ripped. Other than normal wear or tear, trying to figure out what may have caused them to fray will be looked into.
The auto-reversal function is what stops the door and reverses it if it senses something is in the way of the door. It’s best to make sure this is working correctly to avoid injury or damage to your property. A trained professional will test the eye sensors and will also clean the eyes, since dirt can interfere with their operation.
In addition to these things listed above, the professional technician will tighten loose nuts and bolts; they will check the lights; they will test the safety features of the door to ensure that it will reverse if it encounters an object, person, or pet while it’s closing.
One last tip for maintenance is to have it done in the spring after all the winter cold and moisture has gone. Moisture that settles on springs can lead to rust, which breaks down metal. Rusted springs could lead to a snapped spring.
Benefits of Garage Door Maintenance
There are many benefits to having routine maintenance performed on your garage door at least once a year. Because you use your garage door daily, it’s likely that your door will become less dependable and even less efficient as time goes on. This results in worn parts, which means a slower opening and closing of the door. The benefits could be:
Improved Safety: A garage door can be very heavy. The springs that are responsible for lowering and raising the door have a substantial amount of tension, which means if they aren’t taken care of, they could break. If present when one of the springs breaks, the homeowner could be injured. Every year, homeowners are injured by garage springs. It’s best to make sure there aren’t any issues with the spring and, if so, those issues are taken care of right away.
Cost Savings: If a worn or damaged door part is found during the inspection and replaced as soon as it can be done, it can save you money. A broken part can cause damage to other parts of the system and maybe cause damage to your car or other items stored in your garage. Emergency repair will cost you more than a preventative repair.
Extends the Life of the Garage Door: A properly cared for and efficient garage door can last up to 20 years, but homeowners can only expect long-term performance if the garage is regularly maintained. By scheduling regular garage door tune-ups, you can get the most out of your system throughout its usable lifespan and avoid costly premature garage door replacement.
Increases the Lifespan of the Door
Keeping the maintenance up on your garage door components and opener will mean the system will last longer. If you ignore the maintenance needs of your garage doors, you may have to replace your door sooner than you would expect.
Peace of Mind
If you have professional techs perform routine maintenance, worrying about the opening and closing of your door isn’t something you’ll have to do. You won’t need to be concerned about your garage door becoming a safety hazard, and there’s a good chance you won’t need to worry about unexpected repairs.
Get Your Garage Door Maintenance Scheduled
On average, homeowners think little about their garage or garage doors. Usually, the only thought of the door comes when there is an issue. Regular garage door maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for your home. Regular service helps prevent bigger issues, secures your home, helps the garage door hold its value, and it means the door is safe. Don’t neglect your garage door.
The team at Armstrong Garage Door is ready to offer their expertise regarding garage door maintenance. Their team also offers repair and even replacement of garage doors. Call Armstrong about maintenance and find out why it’s so important, and how it can save you on repair costs. They’ll be happy to come out and talk to you about your garage door needs.