For most families, the garage is one of the most important areas of the home. It’s used for storage, vehicle parking and of course as one of the main entryways to the home. All of that daily traffic means that your garage door is subject to a lot of wear and tear over the years.
You can’t prevent parts from wearing out over time, but you can slow down the process by adopting a regular maintenance schedule. That’s right, your garage door needs a tune-up from time to time just like your car does. If you’re not sure where to start and how to service a garage door, don’t worry we’re going to walk through each of the main steps of a garage door tune-up for you below.
You may be convinced that a regular tune-up schedule for your garage is a good idea, but how do you know when it’s the right time for servicing garage doors? As a general rule of thumb, you should schedule your garage tune-up every 4 to 6 months depending on how much use your garage door gets.
A garage door is a heavy piece of equipment, typically weighing between 150 and 200 pounds, it’s also under a lot of pressure from the springs. To keep your door operating safely, any issues must be addressed before they lead to injuries. As we’ve already touched on, a regular maintenance schedule can also extend the usable life of your door.
The 4 to 6-month recommendation is just a guideline. You can advance your schedule if you notice some of the telltale signs of potential issues with your door. These might include:
One thing you don’t want to do is rush your residential garage door tune up. Make sure you set aside at least 2 hours to go through your maintenance schedule. If you don’t have that much time to spare, reschedule or hire a professional to help with the task.
Also, make sure you have the right tools for the job. Here is a list of common tools you should have on hand before we get into what is included in a garage door tune up:
Step #1: Disconnect and Secure
Before getting started make sure that your automatic overhead garage door opener is unplugged and disconnected so that there’s no chance that it might be opened accidentally while you work. If you’re inspecting an open door, even if it’s disconnected from power, it’s a good idea to use a set of locking pliers to prevent it from rolling for safety reasons.
Step #2: Tighten Hinges/Rollers
The hinges and rollers on your garage door are constantly moving and no matter how well manufactured they are, they will wear with time. The key is to catch any signs of wear and damage on the rollers or metal fatigue on the hinges early before they lead to the need for major repairs or pose the risk of injury. Make sure any loose nuts and bolts are tightened.
Step #3: Look For Roller Wear
Look for signs of chips or holes in your rollers that could cause your door to slip off the tracks. Most rollers are made from a durable plastic material, but they won’t last forever. A regular garage door tune-up allows you to catch any signs of worn rollers early, so you can replace them before they affect the functionality of your garage door.
Step #4: Examine Lift Cable and Springs For Wear
The modern garage door is a technological marvel with a lot of moving parts including the lift cable and springs. If you see any sign of a frayed cable during your inspection it’s best to replace it as soon as possible. If the cable was to break while in use it could easily crash down on a vehicle causing serious damage or injure a family member.
Your door’s springs are also an important area to inspect for signs of damage. They’re designed to last for years, but they are under a lot of tension and they will begin to show signs of metal fatigue over time.
If they’re exposed to too much water due to a leak you may also notice signs of rust and when you do it’s best to have them replaced as soon as possible. Replacing a garage door spring can be a dangerous job, so if you’re not confident in your ability to take on the task it’s always better to seek professional help.
Step #5: lubricate Chain/Screw Rollers and Springs
One of the simplest forms of maintenance is to keep all of your garage doors moving parts well lubricated. When these moving parts are well lubricated they tend to last longer. For any areas where different metals tend to rub together white lithium grease is one of the most effective lubricants on the market.
This should be your first choice for lubricating the chain/screw overhead and the rollers. For the spring, WD-40 is an effective lubricant that will reduce noise and help to prevent corrosion.
Step #6: Examine and Replace Worn Weather Stripping
It might not cross your mind when you’re opening your garage door, but the weather stripping along the bottom of the door goes through a ton of abuse. The constant contact with the ground, exposure to the elements and damage from small animals are all things that can limit its lifespan.
That’s why it should make your checklist every time you go through your garage tune-up. Properly installed weather stripping that’s in good shape is important for keeping out the elements and any unwanted critters.
Step #7: Check Automatic Opener Functionality
As you go through your checklist don’t forget to include garage door opener tune up as part of the process. Remember to place an object at the bottom of the door to stop it from closing all the way during your test — your motion sensors located at the bottom on either side of the door should detect the object and automatically reverse your door moving it back to the open position, signalling that there’s an object in the way that needs to be moved.
Step #8: Check Door Sections and Balance
Don’t forget to look at each panel section of your door for signs of damage or wear. If even one section of your garage door is out of alignment it can cause your door to become unbalanced. This may cause it to slip off the rollers or it may make it harder to open and close. Remember to check that the track is aligned properly as well.
Step #9: Final Inspection and Noise Check
Before you complete your tune-up give it one more final inspection. Test the automatic opener one more time, check that the door rolls smoothly in its tracks and that there are no excessive noises that aren’t normal.
Best Options For Servicing Garage Doors
Performing a garage tune-up every few months isn’t for everyone. It can be a bit time consuming and there are a lot of different parts to inspect. Also, garage door tune up costs can mount up if you’re not comfortable with DIY maintenance.
If you’re pressed for time or you are concerned you might miss something critical during the inspection, contact Fix Garage Doors CA to set up a professional tune up from one of our experts.
Our technicians have years of experience servicing and installing garage doors in the GTA and surrounding area. All of our work is covered by our service warranty and we’re available for same-day appointments. We can be reached by phone at toll-free number 1-888-242-0777 or by visiting our request service page.