Garage door in Vancouver, Canada.

Garage doors are often the workhorses in a home. The typical garage door opens and closes thousands of times every year. All that use can reduce the life of a garage door without regular maintenance. To keep your garage door in top shape, give it a tune-up twice a year as the seasons change. Read on for some tips.

1. Inspect the Door

Take a look at the garage door itself. Inspect the weather stripping along the bottom and sides of the door. Weather stripping keeps water and dirt out of your garage and helps insulate it. If your weather stripping is damaged or worn, replace it. 

If your garage door is metal, inspect it for rust spots. If you find a rust spot, sand, prime, and paint it. If you have a door of fiberglass, give it a good washing with your favorite household cleaner. Wood doors require the most care because they can warp or get water damage. If the paint is chipped or peeling, repaint the door to protect the wood.

2. Clean the Tracks

The garage door runs up and down a set of tracks that can easily collect debris. Inspect these tracks and remove leaves or other dirt that collected there. As you clean the tracks, look for rust spots that need sanding.

3. Look for Loose Bolts

The vibration that takes place every time a garage door moves up and down can loosen bolts. During your inspection, check the bolts that attach your garage door mechanism to the wall and ceiling. If the bolts are loose, tighten them with a socket wrench.

4. Check the Rollers

Look for rollers that appear worn or broken, and replace them. The exception to this suggestion are the bottom rollers. These are under a lot of tension, and if they are worn, they need replacement by a professional. Keep in mind that even if the rollers appear to be in good shape, they often require replacement once every five to seven years.

As you check the rollers, take a look at the cables and pulleys that attach to them. Visually inspect them for wear, but do not adjust or replace them yourself. Leave the replacement of these parts to a professional.

When your inspection of the rollers, cables, and pulleys is complete, lubricate the parts. Keeping the moving parts of your automatic garage door well-oiled will reduce the wear on these parts and extend their life.

5. Pay Attention to Safety

Automatic garage doors are designed to automatically open if they encounter an object on their way down. This is called automatic reverse. Ensure your automatic reverse feature works properly by testing it. Place a scrap of wood flat on the ground beneath the open garage door. Close the door and watch for it to automatically reverse when it encounters the wood.

6. Make Sure the Door Is Balanced

A balanced garage door should require only a light touch to lift it. Pull the release handle on the opener, then try to lift the garage door manually. If it is difficult to lift, that is a sign that your automatic opener works too hard to open the door. Rebalance the garage door to extend the life of the machinery.

Keep in mind that some garage door repairs need a professional who is trained in garage door maintenance. For safety reasons, leave torsion springs to the professionals, as well as any parts of the machinery painted red or marked with a warning that says they should professional service. For professional help with your garage door, get in touch with AA Garage Door today.

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