If you have ever tapped the key on a garage door opener only to have nothing happen, you understand why it is important to maintain your garage doors properly. Most of us do not even give this issue a second thought, until the door doesn't open. At Garaga, we have tips to ensure the door and opener remain fully operational, and never give you a nasty surprise.
Learn About Regular Inspections of Your Garage Door
Regular inspections are two‑fold and involve you keeping an eye (and ear) on the situation, and also booking a professional maintenance on a regular basis. At your end of things, you need to:
- Always take note of any unexpected or unusual noises made by the door as it opens and closes. Any sharp sounds or thumping sounds are often a sign of a problem.
- Do a regular visual inspection that includes a look at the torsion springs; ensuring they are in one piece. Look at the extension springs ‑ if they are hanging down or seem stretched, it is a problem. What about the roller? If it looks heavily worn and seems to be loose or falling off, this too is an issue. Also examine the belt or chain on the opener ‑ it should not hang loosely.
- What about the spring system? Checking to see that it works correctly is also one of your tasks, and if you have an electric garage door opener, you will need to disengage it by tugging the emergency cord and then trying to open the doors manually. Use the lift handle and see if you can open the door easily. If not, and the door feels very heavy, it is a sign of a problem.
When you identify any problems during your visual and manual checks, it is time to forgo any DIY efforts and hire professional help.
Of course, there is some DIY work you can do to keep the door in working order.
Doing Twice Annual Maintenance
The following maintenance routine is best when done twice a year - the first time just before the winter season begins and the second, when the spring season is well under way. And just what does the routine involve?
Specifically, it involves:
- Tightening specific bolts
- Checking the two automatic reversal systems
- Ensuring all hinges are tightly secured
- Checking to see that the horizontal tracks are aligned correctly - This includes tightening bolds holding the angle irons that support the tracks and the opener (Should you have a three-piece trolley, you must tighten the bolts on these pieces as vibrations from the motor actually cause them to become unseated easily)
The lubrication you do is going to focus on the different metal parts, anything that moves or bends (think rollers, springs and hinges), as well as PVC parts, such as weather-stripping. For the first group - metal parts - we recommend a petroleum-based lubricant, and for anything made of PVC use a silicone based lubricant.
Some Tips for the Automatic Reversal System
If your opener was made after 1993 it features two types of automatic reversing. For your ongoing safety, it is key that you verify both automatic reversal systems on a regular basis. The first is mechanical and kicks into action if the door encounters anything in its path. You test it using a 2 x 4 scrap of lumber. Place it on the threshold and activate the door. As soon as it hits the wood, it should reverse direction and open.
Then, there is the photoelectric and it uses two "eyes" on either side of the doorway. The eyes maintain an invisible beam of light between them, and if it is broken while the door is engaged, it causes the door to automatically reverse direction. To test this part of the system, use the remote to close the door and simply pass a hand or foot between the eyes. The door should reverse course immediately.
When You Don't Do DIY
You might be thinking, "this is all great, but I seriously won't remember to do this or won't have the time… can't someone do it for me?" Absolutely! Just contact us at 508-875-3508 and book one of our garage door experts to do a standard 28‑point tune-up program that includes inspection, adjustment and lubrication.
If you wish to change the opener or the entire door and system, we are available to send over a detailed quotation by email, or we can visit your home and talk with you about all of the options. We give you sound advice based on your needs and budget. If you are just planning your new system, our Design Centre, or browse our image gallery.