As barriers between the outside world and some of your most valued storage items—including your car—garage doors and their openers require regular inspections, testing, and upkeep to ensure proper maintenance. Without this, a garage door can become unsafe, unreliable, and inefficient, leaving the items in your garage vulnerable to damage or theft. A glitchy garage door can also be a safety hazard, as unpredictable movement patterns can lead to an unexpected injury for someone standing within its vicinity. While some maintenance should be done by professionals, there are many ways you can monitor and care for your garage door to prevent damage or repairs.
A Guide to Maintaining Your Garage Door & Opener
1. Check the Garage Door's Balance
It’s important to test your door balance to prevent it from closing too quickly, which can be dangerous if you have children or small animals. It will also prevent unnecessary tension on other moving parts of the door. To test this, disconnect the garage door and move the door up and down to find the spot where it’s suspended. If the door is more than four feet or less than three feet above the ground, you’ll need to rebalance it.
2. Inspect the Door's Hardware
When the hardware that facilitates the movement of your garage door—such as its rollers, hinges, springs, bearings, and chains—stops working, its likely the door will get stuck. To make sure your garage door is working properly, assess all hardware to make sure each part is moving as it should. If you notice a hardware problem, use engine oil or silicone lubricant to lubricate these areas, and see if that makes a difference. Avoid using oil on parts of the door that aren't designed to move, including wood and plastic. If after applying lubricant, your door is still malfunctioning, there is a more complex issue at play, in which case, it’s best to call a technician for help.
3. Adjust the Opener's Sensitivity
To operate efficiently, you’ll need to adjust the sensitivity of your garage door opener. It’s important to check the force opening setting of the door. Place a plywood two-by-four under the door and close it. When the edge of the door hits the wood, the door should move back up immediately. If it doesn’t, adjust the force setting control on the system.
4. Test the Opener's Batteries
If your opener’s control system is down, it doesn’t matter if your garage door is in good, working condition—it won't be able to open or shut as it should. While most sensors are powered electronically, they’re also powered through a backup battery. For openers that operate by remote control, be sure to regularly check its batteries. To test the batteries on the opener’s sensor, unplug it's electric source and observe how or if it runs using only battery power.
5. Clean the Garage Door
You might think that rain is enough to clean your garage door. However, dirt and grime can still accumulate over time in a manner that can have an adverse effect on the door's functionality. In general, you can use a mild detergent and water to the garage door. Use soft cloths and avoid using abrasive materials or pressure washing. Clean wooden doors using a gentle, dry rag, and if necessary, restore its appearance with a fresh coat of wood stain or paint. When in doubt about right cleaning strategy for your garage door, check out the manufacturer’s instructions and clean according to those specifications.
If after inspecting your garage door on your own, you realize its needs exceed that of DIY maintenance, turn to the experts at Consolidated Doors of Milwaukee. Located in Milwaukee, WI, these professionals have over 50 years of experience, specializing in garage door repairs and installations for both commercial and residential businesses. They not only provide customers with high-quality service and a variety of overhead door products, they also offer competitive pricing due to in-house manufacturing. Call (414) 453-8448 today to schedule an appointment for your garage door or visit their website to view their garage gallery.