You probably open and close your garage door (or doors) several times a day; a recent nationwide consumer survey concluded that 71% of homeowners access their homes using garage door openers daily.
But how much thought do you give to garage door maintenance? These oft-used doors are all too often neglected. By doing some simple maintenance tips, you can ensure your garage doors are always working smoothly — and avoid the costs of garage door repair or even garage door replacement.
Here are five easy steps you can take to maintain your garage doors:
Dirt and outdoor pollutants can create a stubborn grime on garage doors if they’re not cleaned regularly. Warm water and a mild detergent work just fine on most doors; metal doors should also get a light coat of car wax, which protects the finish.
Once a month or so, look at your closed door and its corresponding parts from the inside of the garage. Check the door and springs, cables, pulleys and hinges. If anything looks worn, frayed or loose, then it’s probably time for professional garage door service.
All modern electric garage doors have two important safety mechanisms that you should check periodically. The first is a reversing mechanism. You can test this by laying a board on the ground in the path of the garage door and then hitting the button to close the door; it should reverse as soon as the bottom of the door touches the board.
The second is a photo eye, which prevents the door from closing when something is in its path. Push the button to close the door, and then wave an object (not your arm!) in front of the sensor. The door should immediately begin to re-open. If it doesn’t, clean the sensors with a soft cloth and repeat the test. If the test fails again, call a technician.
Tracks, hinges, rollers and springs can be lightly lubricated with household oil twice a year or as needed. Wipe away any extra when you’re finished, and remember that the openers themselves do not need to be lubricated.
Even if you’re not willing to invest in a fully insulated garage door, you can keep the chill and damp out by installing and regularly inspecting weatherstripping or seals at the edges of your doors.
What do you look for when picking a new home service company? Join the discussion in the comments.