Your garage door is used hundreds if not thousands of times a year. It is the largest moving part in your home. In all seasons and in all kinds of weather, you rely on your garage doors to open and close when you need them to. How often, though, do you take the time to inspect them and give them the maintenance they need? By regularly inspecting the doors of your garage and keeping an eye out for signs your system may be in need of repair or maintenance, you can increase the lifespan of your system and keep it operating as desired. Following is a list of winter garage door maintenance tips to help get the most of your doors this season and for many winters to come.
Paying attention to your doors each time you use them is one of the best ways to stay on top of any potential problems that may arise. As the mechanism operates, listen for any untoward scraping or clanking noises. Watch to see that the door rises evenly, and without any jerking movements. Look to see that all the pulleys and cables on either side appear symmetrical. By taking a few seconds each time you operate the door to give a quick inspection, you’re far more likely to catch a small problem before it becomes a larger, potentially more expensive one.
Over time, movement and vibration throughout your opening system can cause bolts to loosen. Tighten all bolts and roller brackets using a wrench. Considering how often your door is raised and lowered, it is a good idea to do this at least once a year.
Over time, the door of your garage can become unbalanced. An unbalanced door will cause the opening/closing mechanism to work that much harder, ultimately decreasing the life of the motor. To check the balance of your door, pull the release handle. Once the door is detached from the opener, manually open it about halfway. If the door does not stay in that position but rather closes, your door is unbalanced. In order to fix this issue, the springs that act as a counterweight must be adjusted. It is not recommended you try adjusting the springs yourself, rather call a professional.
Experts recommend you inspect, and if necessary replace, the rollers on your door/s at least twice a year. Repeated use will eventually chip and crack rollers, a condition that will lead to more serious and expensive problems. In order to replace any worn or cracked rollers, you’ll have to remove and afterward reinstall the roller brackets.
Garage door winter maintenance is important, as the winter months take an especially hard toll on your system. When preparing your garage door for winter, be sure to inspect the bottom of your door to see if the weather stripping has become cracked or brittle. In addition to providing a soft buffer as your door touches down on the pavement (thereby reducing vibration throughout the system) the weather stripping on your door also keeps the elements out of your home. Cracked, ineffective weather stripping can wind up costing you a good deal in lost energy. Different door manufacturers use different types of stripping, so it is a good idea to call a professional in order to find the type that best suits your door.
Complex machines must be lubricated regularly in order to function properly. Your garage opening system is no different. You could literally add years to the life of your system by keeping it lubricated. Using a spray lubricant (check with a local professional to determine the right kind) coat all the system’s moving parts, including the springs. By taking a few minutes a year to do this one simple thing you can enhance the performance and lifespan of your system.
Attempting to adjust or in any way tinker with your system’s cables is a dangerous notion, and one to be avoided at all costs. The high-tension cables that raise and lower the door of your garage are under immense pressure. They have enough potential energy to injure and even kill. For this reason, any work on your system’s cables should be handled by an experienced professional. Still, it is a good idea to visually inspect these cables. Look for fraying. If anything seems amiss be sure to contact a professional as soon as possible to avoid breakdown of your system and even possible injury.
Garage opening systems come equipped with an emergency auto-reverse safety feature. Should a car or a person walk beneath the door as it is closing, it will stop and reverse its course.
The safety features on your garage are both manual and automatic. In order to test the manual safety, place a brick or a board beneath the door of your garage and then activate the system. Upon making contact with the object, your door should stop and reverse direction.
Test the automatic safety feature by running a hand or leg beneath your door as it closes. The sensors on either side of your door should pick up the movement and the door will reverse direction. If it does not, you can try adjusting the photosensors. If this doesn’t work, however, it is best to call a professional.
If your system is over twenty years old, it may not have safety features. If this is the case, you should replace your entire system as soon as possible.
By inspecting and maintaining your garage opening system before each winter, you’ll not only keep your system running smoothly, but lengthen its life. If you’re unsure about, or unable to perform any of the abovementioned tips, be sure to call a professional who can handle all of your garage door winterizing needs.
Jacob’s Garage Door Repair
2540 S Val Vista Dr Unit B5,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: (480) 531-835