Most people only know something’s wrong with their garage door when it stops working thus requiring garage door maintenance.
No one wants to get home at night and realize their garage door doesn’t want to open. Then begins the personal struggle: fix it yourself or call a professional. Fixing it on your own can be potentially dangerous, and it can be tough to figure out just what the problem is. If you call a professional, the costs can rack up quickly.
Luckily, there are some steps any homeowner can take to prevent their garage door from breaking suddenly.
With these garage door maintenance tips in your toolbox, you’ll never be taken by surprise by a garage door suddenly malfunctioning. Use these measures to keep your garage door in great working order.
Ready? Let’s go through our 7 safety tips that help with garage door maintenance.
Why Garage Door Maintenance Matters
You might be thinking, “well, if I can just call someone to fix it, why should I maintain my garage door?”
What people don’t realize is that garage doors can be dangerous if they aren’t well-maintained. A door that suddenly breaks, fails to open, or closes randomly can not only cause damage to vehicles, but it can injure people as well.
This applies to self-repairs as well. Trying to fix your garage door alone isn’t a good idea if you don’t know what you’re doing. No one should hurt themselves doing DIY repairs if it can be avoided. However, doing some quick checks on your garage door is fairly harmless and actually prevents future injuries.
By maintaining your garage door, you’re keeping you and your family safe.
1. Use your eyes and your ears
With garage door maintenance, your eyes and your ears are great tools for diagnosing issues.
A well-maintained garage door won’t sound loud and noisy — in fact, it will sound rather quiet when it closes. Loud creaks and groans can indicate issues with the garage door, so if your opener makes a racket it might be a good idea to do some DIY maintenance.
2. Keep your garage door balanced
Your garage door has a balance system that keeps it from coming down too quickly or not far enough. If the door is out of balance, it might slide down with a lot of force, potentially damaging anything underneath it. This also puts a lot of wear on the door, causing it to break early.
It’s fairly simple to check your garage door’s balance. Before you do anything, make sure that the opener is disconnected. Usually, you can disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle, which is generally a red cord.
After that, pull your garage door up manually until it’s halfway open.
If your garage door stays in place at that position, it’s balanced. If it slams down or keeps moving upward, it’s unbalanced in one way or the other.
Unfortunately, if your garage door is unbalanced, you will need a professional to adjust it.
3. Keep moving parts oiled and greased
Just like with any other machine, doing garage door maintenance means you keep the moving parts in working order.
There are tons of moving parts in a garage door opener and they all need lubrication to work properly. The rollers, springs, and hinges need it, as well as the opener chain.
If you live in a cold climate, you might need to use specific oils and greases made for low temperatures. Also, try not to over-oil or over-grease any parts — while not dangerous, it’s a mess that can get on people’s clothing.
4. Inspect your sensors
If the garage door isn’t closing properly, there may be an issue with the LED sensors at either side of the entrance.
Check them for dust or obstructions and clean the lenses if they’re dirty. If that doesn’t work, check the LED lights themselves. If either one isn’t working, the door won’t close anytime soon. Adjusting the sensors so that they match up should cause the door to successfully close.
If not, it’s time to call the professionals.
5. Adjust the door’s force
Most people don’t know that you can actually change the force of the opener. This affects how hard the door comes down.
What this system is useful for is detecting objects beneath the garage door. If the force is too high, the door will crush anything beneath it. With a weak force, however, the door won’t actually close at all.
An easy test is to put something like a wooden board or a rock underneath the door. If the garage door detects the object and opens again, the force is probably fine.
However, if the door refuses to close at all, or if it smashes down on the object, it needs some adjustments.
While not technically garage door maintenance, this is a safety concern nonetheless. If you or your friends have children, it’s useful to figure out ways to childproof your garage door.
Never leave the garage door opener where a child could get hold of it. It might seem like a toy to them.
The button on the wall for opening the garage door should always be high up on the wall, far over the height of any child. It’s also important to understand how the emergency reverse function works. Educating your children on this feature is vital for their safety.
7. Update your garage door
It’s much tougher to do garage door maintenance on old, outdated garage doors.
Many of these aged doors lack the modern safety features that new doors have. For example, older doors might not reverse until the door actually hits the object. If the object is a person, then it’s already too late.
While it can be costly to replace, the added security and function of your new garage door will surely be worth it.
Regular garage door maintenance creates a smooth-running door and a safer environment.
If there are issues, don’t hurt yourself trying repairs — call our trusted garage door technician and we will help you get your door working.