4 Tips to Keep Your Garage Door in Tip-Top Condition
So how’s your garage door doing? Chances are it’s working perfectly fine. Despite it being the biggest, heaviest moveable thing in your home, and that you use it a couple times every day, your garage door is remarkably reliable.
Unfortunately, that steady dependability can lead to neglect. Look at it this way, compared to some of the other systems in your home, like the furnace, electricals or plumbing, how often do you do even the smallest amount of maintenance on your garage door?
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t done any. Again, if it was properly installed, your door can work well for decades, even without maintenance. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t extend the lifespan of your door, or prevent problems from happening at the worst possible moment, by regularly doing just a few fast, simple checks on your door.
And, considering it’s warmer outside, the spring and summer are the best times for garage door maintenance.
Here’s a checklist of things you can do to give your door the attention it deserves and help to keep it working in tip-top condition for longer.
1. Give it Room to Move
Even if you take care to keep things out of the path of your door, it’s not a good idea to store anything even close to it. While a garage door opener has safety systems to reverse it if it hits anything or if it there’s anything in its path, hitting an object as it closes can eventually put it out of balance. The closer you store things to your door, the more chance there is that they may accidentally fall into the path of the door or its rollers.
2. Help it Run Smoothly
Like any moving piece of equipment, it helps to keep your door well lubricated so it runs smoothly. Between its rollers, panels, hinges, springs, handles and so on, most people don’t realize how many moving parts are on a garage door.
a. For metal-on-metal moving parts, like the hinges and spring assembly, a petroleum-based lubricant, like 3-in-1 or WD-40, is best.
b. For rubberized parts, including the weather stripping between the door’s panels, along the bottom of the door and along the door frame outside the door, a silicone-based lubricant is best.
3. Check Your Remote
Have you ever pulled into your driveway – it was probably pouring rain – and no matter how frantically you press the remote, the door refuses to open?
There’s a good chance that it’s not the door’s fault. The problem is more likely that the batteries in your remote are drained. While it’s impossible to predict when batteries will fail, check the timing between when you press the button on your remote and when the door reacts. The longer the time, the closer the batteries are to failure.
4. Put the Safety Systems Through Their Paces
The systems we mentioned earlier that prevent the door from closing when anything is detected in its path, or when it contacts something as it closes, are very important for the personal safety of you and your family and to avoid any damage to your car or belongings.
The first safety system, that prevents the door from working if something is in its path, are the door opener’s photo eyes. They are located close to the floor on both sides of the door inside your garage. If anything blocks the signal that passes between the eyes, the door will not work, or it will work briefly before reversing.
To check that the eyes are functioning as they should, find a length of 2×4 wood, or anything else that will block the signal. Stand away from the path of the door and start it closing. Place the end of the wood between the photo eyes. The door should reverse when you do this. If not, the photo eyes should be inspected by a garage door professional.
The second safety system can also be tested with a length of wood. With the door open, place the wood on the garage floor where the door touches the floor when it’s closed. Close the door. It should automatically reverse when it touches the wood. If not, call a pro.
It probably took you longer to read this post than it will to check all the points that we mentioned. It’s not a lot of time to make sure your garage door operates safely and lasts as long as possible.