Most homeowners never pay much attention to the garage door until a repair is needed. With regular maintenance, you can avoid the need for expensive or emergency repairs. You can perform an annual inspection and tune up for your garage door and opener by following these simple steps:
- Begin with the appearance of the garage door. If the door is made of wood, carefully inspect any areas or joints that may have water damage; these will need immediate repair. Note any areas of peeling paint; this will need to be scraped, sanded and repainted. For steel doors, note any rust spots; these need to be sanded, primed and painted. Once all repairs have been made, wash the door with the appropriate cleaner. An all-purpose cleaner made for metal, vinyl or wood is advisable. Thoroughly rinse and allow the door to dry.
- The rollers that allow the door to open and close should be inspected. Any damaged or cracked rollers should be replaced. Lubricate the rollers with the appropriate lubricant; WD-40 works well on metal rollers but will damage rubber or vinyl ones.
- Inspect the hinges and tighten any loose bolts. Inspect the bolts on the roller hinges as well. You can clean the bearings inside the hinges by soaking the item in mineral spirits. Clean one at a time to avoid problems with the door.
- Inspect the tracks and use a level to ensure they are plumb or straight up and down. If they are not, you can adjust them by following the manufacturerâ€™s instructions or find them online. Do not adjust the tracks more than a half inch; let a professional take care of this as it will affect the other door components.
- Inspect the cables and door springs, if your door has them. Never attempt to adjust overhead door springs yourself; the high amount of tension is dangerous. If the metal appears stressed, rusted or pitted, call for service. You can lightly lubricate it by spraying it with a silicone-based spray.
- Lift the garage door all the way up and inspect the weather stripping to ensure it is in good shape. If it is not, or the door does not have stripping, measure the width and length of the door. Purchase the appropriate sized weather stripping at your local Overhead Door Company.
- Lift the garage door halfway and let it go. It should stay at that level; if it continues to rise or falls to the ground, you need to call for service. Adjusting the springs and cables of a garage door should only be performed by a trained professional.