Your garage serves an important role within your home, serving as an additional area of storage, a place to protect your cars from bad weather, and even serves as an emergency escape route during an unforeseen incident. While all of these are great when your garage door is in tip top condition, having it fail at the most critical of times, especially when you may not be at home, can compromise the integrity of the whole room as well as the security it’s meant to provide.
The garage, which is often overlooked, does benefit from regular maintenance and like any other mechanism within your house, the garage door also needs a little extra TLC to keep running for a long time to come. There are hundreds of tips that could extend the life of your garage door out there, but only a few really seem to help in the long run.
Get some one and one time with your garage door
The garage is often personified as the “mouth” of your house, so getting up close and personal should become a comfortable experience for you. While a glance once in a while can tell you if it is likely to fall down or not, actually looking with a higher level of scrutiny can easily extend the life of your garage door.
To start, the first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at your garage door from inside while it’s completely closed. As Northglenn Garage Door Repair in Northglenn, CO often tells their clients, if you can see any visible light streaming in from the seams or any other gaps including under the door, then it more than likely means your garage is not properly aligned. The importance of a properly aligned door is to keep out the cold and elements and increase insulation within your home. Having a misaligned door is an immediate sign that some sort of maintenance is needed.
If it happens to pass that test, your next step of visual inspection will be to take a look at the system itself. This includes the garage door springs, cables, rollers, and other hardware that make up the garage door opening and closing mechanisms. If any of these seem to be in the wrong place, compare them to the other sides of the garage, or speak with an expert, as often if it looks out of place, it probably is. The final visual (well half auditory) test you can do, is to open and shut your garage door and listen to the sounds that come from the cycle. If you hear a creaking or scraping sound, try and see if you can’t isolate exactly what piece is causing it and have it serviced ASAP.
Check the balance of your garage door
While the visual test was mostly from an observer’s point of view, this balance test focuses on a more physical and involved examination. Even if you’re positive your door slides up and down without any problems, checking the door’s balance is a smart tip to make sure there aren’t any issues and can prevent any future expensive repair bills because you didn’t.
To perform this test, the first thing you need to do is disconnect any automatic garage door openers you may have while making sure the door is in the closed position. Next, you want to manually attempt to lift the door up which should move smoothly and easily with little to no resistance. Let the garage door rise to the very top and watch to see if the garage door stays up without any additional help. If it wiggles or begins to slide back down on its own, this is a sign of the door being unbalanced and will need to be serviced by an expert.
However, if it succeeds in the first part of this test, try moving in the opposite direction. If the door is operating as it should, you can move it to the point where it should begin moving down on its own at a slow yet deliberate pace. Even better, the door should stop at whatever position you leave it in if perfectly balanced. What you don’t want to see is the door slamming down to the ground with an alarming speed. This is again a sign that there is something wrong with the door’s balance or the springs holding the door. Seeking an expert for spring adjustment is the correct course of action here as trying to do it on your own can harm your door if you’re not careful.
Clean and lubricate your garage door hinges, rollers and track
This is by far the most important tip anyone can know for extending the life of a garage door. In the name itself, we see the word door but we treat it like just a part of the house. As with any door that is squeaky, rusting, or just not working exactly like we’d like, lubricating the track with the proper solution can add many cycles to the life of a garage door. The first way to ensure the continued function of one of these is to clean your garage door track. Instead of using water or anything else that can gunk up the works, use a broom or Swiffer to brush away any dust and debris. Different objects like dirt and spider webs can be found within but removing them can increase balance without too much worry. You can follow this same method for the other parts of the garage door assembly until it looks relatively clean.
Once you’ve gotten the track and the other parts cleaned up, lubricate the door hinges, rollers, and track with a light coating of spray silicon lubricant. Be careful not to apply too much because again, any additional build up will cause collection of additional unwanted debris.
By applying these tips and regularly following these practices, you can effectively extend the life of your garage door without much effort. If you do happen to ever encounter an issue during your visual or balance tests then be sure to contact an expert before the problem gets worse. An unbalanced garage door will always lead to a door that no longer works as intended and can end up costing far more than taking action early by contacting a trained garage door repair team.