Keeping your garage door in top shape is important if you want to enjoy the convenience and privacy that it brings, for years to come. Repeated use has a way of wearing out the various moving parts of the unit. Worn parts can contribute to damage in time. Here are some things you can do yourself to periodically check your door for signs of wear and damage, so you can remedy the problem.
1. Inspect the tracks
Make sure no debris or dirt is on the tracks, by inspecting them for grime. Using an old toothbrush or washcloth, gently remove any grime from the tracks. You may also choose to vacuum the tracks if you wish. A light layer of grease will keep them running smooth.
2. Lubricate the rollers
Using a lubricant designed specifically for the rollers, coat them and the track. Place a drop of engine oil onto the rollers and allow the rolling action to spread the oil. However, don’t use grease because it tends to attract dust, dirt and grime, and will impede the smooth flow of the door.
3. Check the cables and springs
Check the cables for any signs of breakage or fraying. If you find any of these, it is time to replace your cables with new ones. Also, check the springs on the door to make sure that they are tight and properly connected. When pulleys are involved you will need to check the ball bearings if it is not a closed, zero maintenance pulley system. Worn ball bearings can lead to damage of the pulley system.
4. Lubricate bearings and hinges
It is recommended that homeowners do not use WD-40. It is best to use a lubricant with a grease base such as: silicone or lithium spray. Using a spray made specifically for these units, lubricate any bearings or hinges. Don’t over lubricate, however, because it will cause dirt and grime to build-up. It will make things sticky and eventually cause a halt to the doors operating ability.
5. Check the springs
Make sure that the springs are lightly-lubricated because if it is dry, it will jam up and cause the door to not move at all. Lightly lubricate the springs and make sure that the tension is correct. Too much tension or too little tension can become a health hazard for you. Springs are often best left to professionals for service or repair.
6. For chain-drive systems
If you are using a chain-drive system, make sure that the chain is properly lubricated. Lubricate it periodically to prevent any friction when the chain is on operation. Inspect all the moving parts and make sure that none have rusted. Otherwise, use sandpaper to take away the rust and spray a zinc-rich spray onto the parts. After that, apply a coat of exterior latex to the parts — to make sure they are going to work smoothly.
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