What you should know about garage door maintenance to keep your family safe

Your garage door needs maintenance. It’s not a question of if, but when.

The more frequently you use your garage door, the more important it is that you’re proactive about maintaining it.

Not only could a lack of maintenance cost you a lot of money in the long run, but it could put you and your family in danger.

Your garage door is the single largest moving object in your home.

It weighs between 100 and 200 pounds. You also use it every day to get into and out of the garage, so wear and tear is a factor to consider.

Annual garage maintenance

Don’t become a statistic!

In terms of danger, did you know that there were 18,000 injuries in the US in 2014 due to garage door‑related incidents?

It’s a frightening situation.

Not only were adults and children injured, but some fatalities resulted. Most of those injuries could have been prevented if the homeowners had just taken time to make sure that their garage doors were properly balanced and maintained.

The most common causes of garage‑door related accidents include the following:

  1. Improper calibration of the safety reverse system (mechanical or photoelectric)
  2. Imbalanced torsion or extension spring systems
  3. Component failure

Make time for your door

The most difficult thing for many homeowners to do is to just make time to maintain their garage doors. It only takes about 30 minutes.

But your schedule is already packed and it’s easy to forget about it, particularly if you’re relying on a mental reminder.

Instead, use your smartphone to schedule a reminder or put it on your calendar. That way you always know when it’s due and you won’t forget about it.

Of course, there is also the question of what needs to be done during maintenance. Thankfully, it’s not all that complicated. We’ve included a run‑down for you below.

Maintenance 3 Easy Steps

We mentioned inspecting in the fall and spring, but do you know how many times you should be inspecting your garage door each year?

The standard fall and spring inspections are a must for all garage door owners. If you use your garage more than twice a day, you will probably need to add in another inspection or two, just for safety.

Step one: Look & Listen

It doesn’t require a lot of time or effort to inspect your garage door. To start with, just open and close the door.

While it’s in motion, listen for any unusual sounds. Do you notice any grinding or banging? Anything out of the ordinary should be noted so you can explain it to a garage door repair professional. Pay close attention to the following:

  1. Make sure that the cables are not tangled
  2. Check for fraying or other signs of wear on cables
  3. Make sure all track sections are lined up and stable

Look at your torsion spring or extension spring system. Torsion springs are located above the door in a steel tube while extension springs will be found above the horizontal tracks that run along the garage ceiling. If nothing is making noise, broken, or worn, you’re good to go.

Next, you should inspect the rollers. They should be round, not flattened from abnormal wear. They should also roll in the track, not slide. You also want to check the hinges, brackets, and smaller hardware pieces. Anything loose or missing should be noted, particularly nuts, bolts, screws, and other hardware necessary to secure the door.

Visual inspection

Your garage door should have weatherstripping around the sides and at the bottom of the door. Check to make sure that this is intact and that there are no gaps or holes where pests or air can get into the garage.

Finally, check the sensors on the door’s photoelectric safety reversal system. You only need to make sure that the lenses are clean ‑ a clean cloth is all that’s necessary for that. Double‑check that there aren’t any obstructions that could cause problems with the sensor in operation.

Step two: lubricate necessary parts

Lubrication is important, but make sure that you don’t go overboard with it. Only specific parts of the garage door system need to be lubricated. Applying lube to other parts could actually cause damage or put you in danger.

First, pay a visit to A‑1 Overhead Door Systems. You’ll need two different lubricants:

  • A 5W30 auto engine oil is needed for lubricating and protecting bare metal components, such as the track and the springs. Using a cloth, you should apply a little oil to the springs, the ball bearings of the rollers, hinges, and the door track. When lubricating the track, you only need oil in the curves and the horizontal pieces.
  • A silicone‑based lubricant is needed for the weatherstripping. You’ll need to spray the weatherstripping all the way around the door (inside and out). Make sure you don’t neglect the piece on the bottom of the door, either.

All components should be completely cleaned prior to lubricating the parts. When you’re done, wipe off all residual oil or spray.

Final step: test the safety systems

We have used mechanical and photoelectric safety systems to safeguard garage door systems for over 20 years. These systems help keep your family and your property safe. It’s important that you test them regularly ‑ up to once a month in some cases.

Mechanical Test: Place a 2’x4’ on the floor under the door so that it will close on the wood. Close the garage door. It should reverse when it contacts the wood. If it does not, there’s a problem.

Photoelectric Test: Use the remote to close the garage door. While it is going down, put your foot in front of one of the sensors that are located on either side of the door. That should interrupt the light beam and cause the motor to reverse and re‑open the door.

If either test fails, you need to get in touch with A‑1 Overhead Door Systems immediately for service.

Taking a few minutes to do this for your garage door is going to give it a much longer life. Plus, it will ensure that you won’t have any surprises when there is a need for repair because you will know that your door is otherwise in good condition.

Short on time?

Don’t have the extra 30 minutes to take care of your garage door maintenance? Many of us don’t. Thankfully, there’s help available. We’re here to handle any garage door maintenance or repair needs you might have. Just get in touch!

Contact us today at 1-800-409-3667 for information about our tune‑up service. We can also handle new garage door and garage door opener installations. We’ll gladly send an email quote so that you can review your options.

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