In the garage door industry it is all too common to encounter homeowners who were never made aware of how to properly care for their garage doors and garage door openers. Striving to inform customers about each aspect or their garage doors – from purchasing the right product to the proper way to care for those products after the install – should be at the heart of every door company’s operation. It is the largest moving object in your home. It is literally a moving wall. Proper maintenance of your door is imperative to ensure that it functions smoothly and safely. So just how should you maintain your doors and openers? As a seasoned professional, I am glad to help!
Garage door care step-by-step:
1) Check the door’s balance and motion.
If your door is attached to an automatic door opener, disengage the door so that it can be manually operated for this step. Lift the door completely up and down checking to make sure the door is easily operated by hand – not too heavy, no catches or snags, etc. A good rule of thumb to remember: if you can’t operate the door comfortably by hand then your door opener shouldn’t be lifting it either. If you should find any catches and can fix them safely, do so. If you find the door is too heavy, we recommend calling a door professional immediately to correct the spring tension. Adjusting spring tension is dangerous and can cause serious injury if not done properly, and leaving a door heavy too long can cause costly damage to your door opener.
2) Lubricate all moving parts.
Using a lightweight lubricant (such as a silicon-based lubricant or WD-40) spray all hinges, rollers, pulleys and springs. Springs you say? Yes. If your door has a torsion spring system (the springs are mounted on a shaft over the top of the door), it is important to keep these springs lubricated. These springs coil and uncoil each time you use your door. Keeping them lubricated will prevent rust and help ensure they coil and uncoil smoothly. These springs, as with any moving part, have a limited lifespan but lubricating them can add several years to their useful life. After lubricating all of these parts you will notice immediately that your door is much quieter.
3) Lubricate the traveler rail. (only if you have a door opener)
If you have a side-mounted garage door opener then ignore this step. Most garage door openers will have a rail that extends from the motor unit to the wall the door is mounted on. This is the rail that the opener arm travels back and forth on the open and close your door. This rail needs to be periodically lubricated to keep the opener traveling smoothly and help prevent premature wear and tear.
4) Contact a local door professional for regular service.
Many homeowners neglect this important step. Proper maintenance, as set forth above, will greatly increase the usable life of your garage door and garage door opener but there may still be issues that can be missed by the untrained eye. It is recommended to have your door serviced at least once every two years. You may find that the service call prevented a much more costly problem from ever occurring. The technician should make you aware of any problems that were corrected or in need of correction at the time of service.
Following the above steps every few months will normally take only about ten to fifteen minutes per door (as long as no problems ar encountered) and can greatly increase the useful life of your garage door and garage door opener. If you can’t seem to find the time to do it then I recommend contacting a door professional about once per year to do it for you.
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