Garage doors do not only need to be serviced when they are literally broken or working poorly. They need to be maintained as well. Routine maintenance is necessary for any mechanical and electrical system and garage doors are no exception. Preventative maintenance can save you time and money down the line, avoiding more serious problems and the need for repairs. The following are some maintenance tips for your garage door:
Penetrating and Household Oil
There are a number of metal parts that need to move and function smoothly on a garage door system. Applying penetrating oil and/or household oil to these parts can keep them working optimally as well as protect against rust which can damage these parts. Some of the parts you may want to do this with are as follows:
There are usually four pulleys in a garage door system. Two are stationary and two are attached to springs. The optimal performance of these springs affects the way garage doors open and close. They can be sprayed with a penetrating oil like WD 40 to dissolve and protect against rust as well as oiled with a little household oil. Do this at least a few times a year. This will insure that they have the greatest possible longevity.
Springs can be oiled as well. There are either tension or torsion springs that attach to pulleys and they should be oiled in the same manner as the pulleys in a preventative way. This is especially important to insure that they don’t get rusted or corroded enough to snap which can be dangerous.
Cables and Chain
Spray the cables that run through the pulleys with penetrating oil as well. Like the springs, these can break and either be dangerous or costly to fix. Oiling them is thus a good preventative measure. They are the main motion transference medium that allows the door to go up and down. You can also oil the chain that works in the central track if you have a chain based system.
You can spray the penetrating oil in the tracks on both side and also on the middle track that runs along the ceiling. This will protect against rust which can block the smooth rolling of the wheels.
You can also oil the central arm where it connects to the door itself. This allows these parts to move easily as they change angles while the door opens.
You can often free up badly rusted parts by soaking them in kerosene, rubbing them with a bristly brush (you can even use an old toothbrush), and then oiling them afterwards.
As was mentioned in the post that deals with mechanical issues with garage door repair, bolts and screws can become loose and this in itself can lead to problems. Go through the whole system every so often and tighten all the bolts and screws. If they seem at all rusty you can spray them with penetrating oil or replace them as well
If there is weather stripping along the sides or along the bottom of the door, check it for wear. Replace it as necessary. Not only doe’s worn, torn, or damaged weather stripping heat loss and moisture penetration, it can interfere with the smooth opening, closing, and sealing of the door as well.
Wooden Door Maintenance
Wooden garage doors need either to be painted or sealed with a wood sealant to protect against the elements, especially on the outside. If it has been a long time since you have done this, consider redoing it. The door may need to be scraped and repainted or resealed each year or every few years.
Door Closer and Control Box Inspection
Insect the door closer – the box near the ceiling. You can take off its cover by removing the appropriate screws and check for broken or exposed wires, stripped gears, or anything that looks suspicious. Always unplug the box before inspecting it. If you are handy you can repair or replace wires or replace worn out parts. But if in doubt contact a professional. You can also inspect the wall mounted control box (the box with the open and close button on it) and the remote for any signs of wear.
Taking these simple precautions can help to prevent premature wear, unnecessary repairs, and accidents in the future. You can make this routine part of your spring and fall cleaning or just do it when you feel it’s necessary. It’s worth it, and will give you a modest peace of mind as well as a better understanding of your garage door system.