Is annual maintenance required for residential garage doors?

You absolutely need to put in maintenance every year for your garage door. Not doing this can lead to problems later down the line. If you prefer to have a garage door that operates well and no big surprises that lead to major repairs, maintenance is something you must take seriously.

The reality of the situation is that the garage door in your home is one of the heaviest and largest objects you own. It also happens to be a space you probably use on a regular basis to get in and out of your cars or to leave and enter your home. Maintenance is important for your own safety and that of the rest of your family.

Annual garage maintenance

Safety matters and garage door maintenance factors into that

When you have a malfunctioning garage door, it can lead to an accident. Just to give you a better idea of how common this is, in 2014 in the United States, more than 18,000 accidents happened that were linked to garage doors.

What causes this kind of problem? There are three common reasons. There might be a component that has failed or isn’t working correctly. The counterweight for the door or the spring system could be imbalanced. It may also be caused by one of your two automatic reversal systems (mechanical and photoelectric) being adjusted incorrectly.

Schedule garage door inspections every year

If you own a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone, it’s a simple proposition to set a reminder to let you know when certain things need to be done. That’s why we recommend setting two alerts to inspect your garage door every year. It won’t take long and should be easily done in less than 30 minutes.

Wondering what sort of things to do during the inspection? It’s pretty easy. You want to inspect the components of the garage door system visually, lubricate many of the metal parts, and safety test the reversal systems if you own an electric garage door opener.

The steps to do a garage door inspection

If you want to be sure your garage door system is in good working order the whole year round, we have some recommendations for you. While most people should do at least two inspections a year, some need to do more. If you open and close the door more than four times every day, you should do more frequent inspections. One of the inspections should be just as cold weather comes in and the other can be scheduled for spring.

Start things out with a visual inspection

  • While you do want to visually inspect many parts of the garage door, keep your ears open at the same time. Open and close the garage door and see if any of the noises it makes are louder than expected.
  • The next step is to look near the vertical tracks at the lifting cables. Do they seem frayed or as if they are in good order? You should also look up at the drum where the cable is wound. It should appear to be aligned correctly.
  • Spend time looking over the spring system. You may have one of two types:
    • Extension: This spring will be found over the horizontal tracks
    • Torsion: This kind of spring is inside of a metal tube and above the door
    • Does everything seem in good shape? You noticed no broken items or strange noises?
  • The next thing to look at is the rollers. These should not look as if they are about to break. They should also be rolling in the tracks rather than sliding.
  • Take a look at the garage door hinges. Make sure that all the bolts are tightened properly. Look at the bottom bracket where the lift cables are found to see if they are in good condition.
  • Is the weatherstripping on the frame and at the bottom of the door looking frayed or worn? Is there space where air can come in or insects can get inside?
  • If your garage door opener comes with a photoelectric reversal system, be sure to clean it off and make sure it’s not obstructed by dust or dirt.
Visual inspection

Moving on to lubrication

  • Two different types of lubricants are required when maintaining your garage door. Car engine oil, such as 5W30, is the best option for all the metal parts while a silicone‑based lubricant should be used on the weatherstripping. Both of these special lubricants can be purchased by visiting Midway Garage Doors. You should clean everything off well before you start lubricating the important parts. If oil or grease is present from the past, make sure to remove it first.
  • Proper lubrication of metal parts:
    • For the spring system, simply apply a small amount of oil before removing any excess using a clean cloth.
    • Add a bit of oil to the ball bearings on the rollers to lubricate them.
    • The hinges can be oiled at the junction for the best results.
    • With the garage door tracks, add a bit of oil to the curve on the track as well as in the horizontal track.
  • How to lubricate the weatherstripping
    • Apply lubricant on the exterior frame on the interior side of the weatherstripping.
    • Lubricate the full length of the space in between door sections, especially if PVC weatherstripping is present.
    • For the bottom of the door, add lubricant on the U‑shaped weatherstripping to prevent it from sticking onto the door threshold.

It's time for the safety test

  • Both of the two automatic reverse systems on your garage door opener should be tested for safety. Keep in mind that this may need to be done more often. Some manufacturers suggest doing this once a month at a minimum.
  • The first test is going to be done on the mechanical reversal system. All you need to do is take a 2’ x 4’ and lay it in the threshold of the door when it is open, below the space where the door will close. Close the garage door and the bottom section should hit the wood and cause the door to lift back up.
  • The second test is for the photoelectric reversal system. Put your foot in the way of the photo‑eye units on the side of the doors while you close the door. This should immediately cut the light bean, which leads the door to go back up.
  • Noticed that either of these safety systems isn’t working in the same way that it should be? You should immediately get in touch with Midway Garage Doors.

When you handle the annual maintenance of your garage door the way you should, the door will last longer. It can also prevent problems from escalating, which means fewer repairs and spending less money on technicians.

Are you uncomfortable handling it on your own?

You may find that you are too busy to handle all the maintenance for your garage door or you might prefer to have an expert handle things. That’s okay because there are technicians who can handle the process for you. You can contact us at 1-866-573-3667 and we can offer you a full a tune‑up service for a price that is inexpensive.

On the other hand, if you're ready to update the garage door system as a whole, we can offer you a quote by email.

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