It's easy to think of your garage door as just another entrance to your home, but in reality, an electric garage door is a machine that needs maintenance at least once a year. What better time to perform garage door maintenance than the spring? A cold, icy winter is more likely to take a toll on your garage door than any other season, so checking up on the heath of your garage door once the temperatures start to rise only makes sense. Plus, you're liable to be in the garage doing spring cleaning anyway. Take a look at a few essential items that should be on your spring garage door maintenance checklist. Remember to disconnect your garage door opener from the power before you get started, to avoid any accidental opening or closing while you're working.
Not only will your garage door work more efficiently if it's properly lubricated, it will also make a lot less noise! Start with the garage door opener hardware. Your opener uses either a screw, a chain, or a belt to lift the door. If it uses a belt, it doesn't need lubrication, but if you have a screw or a chain operated opener, you should apply a small amount of white lithium spray-on grease.
After that, move your attention to the door itself. Apply a light coating of oil to the hinges, bearings, and the spot where the roller shaft goes into the garage door's bearings. Then apply oil to the door's torsion springs. Your garage doors extension spring doesn't need to be lubricated. This is a good time to inspect the springs – if they're starting to look as if they've been pulled out of shape, it may be time to have them replaced.
Take the time to tighten the rail bracket bolts and the roller brackets. As you do, inspect the rollers for wear. You should have either steel or nylon rollers. Steel rollers can sustain dents and dings, while nylon can chip, scratch, or break. If you have damaged rollers, you can replace them as needed, or replace a whole set at once. Rollers are inexpensive (around $8 for the nylon rollers) and fairly easy to replace. Just remove the brackets and the old rollers, then put the new brackets in their place and replace the bolts.
Spring is also a good time to replace your astragal, which is the hollow rubber seal at the bottom of the door. Cold weather can take a toll on the rubber, leaving it dry and cracked. Simply remove the seal with a flat-head screwdriver, insert a new astragal, and crimp the channel ends with lubricant to secure it in place. You may also want to check the weather strips on the sides and top of the door, and replace those if they seem worn.
Before you reconnect the power to the garage door opener, test your garage door to see that it opens and closes smoothly. Lift it, lower it, lift it part way and stop to be sure that it doesn't drop unexpectedly. Listen for strange sounds and look for any sign that the door is improperly balanced, like shaking as it lifts and lowers.
Once you've tested the door without the power, reconnect the opener and perform the same tests using the garage door remote. While you're at it, test the electric eye at the bottom of the door to ensure that the door stops descending if you place an object in its path. A small block of wood makes a good test subject. The electric eye is an important safety feature that protects kids and pets, so you'll want to have it repaired if it fails.
Finally, know when to call the professionals at a place like America's Garage Doors LLC for repairs. Some garage door problems, like spring replacement, should only be handled by experts for safety reasons. However, by performing annual springtime maintenance, you should be able to keep your garage door in great shape and avoid expensive repairs.