DIY maintenance tips for a problem-free garage door

December 23, 2014

From the experts at Creative Door Services Ltd

A garage door is the largest and heaviest moving mechanical device in your home. That’s why safety checks, performed by a certified garage door technician, are so important.

John Lutz, Vancouver Branch Manager, Creative Door Services Ltd »

Finding time for some easy DIY maintenance can help prolong the life of your garage door. What’s more, a little preventative maintenance can help reduce the risk of injuries and damage to your property.

DIY maintenance tips for a problem-free garage door

A garage door is the largest and heaviest moving mechanical device in your home,” points out John Lutz, Branch Manager at Creative Door Services in Vancouver. “That’s why safety checks, performed by a certified garage door technician, are so important. An unmaintained door could potentially pose a risk for injury.”

Here are three annual checks you can do to help keep your family safe and your garage door problem-free for years to come.

1. Inspect moving parts for wear and tear

Inspecting the hardware and moving parts, such as springs, hinges, pulleys, cables and rollers, for wear and tear can help prevent major damage to your garage door and potentially save you money, according to Lutz.

  • If there are signs of breakage or deterioration, a replacement or small adjustment now can go a long way towards avoiding a larger repair bill down the road.

2. Examine the garage door opener

Lutz also suggests regularly examining the garage door opener. About 90 per cent of homes in Canada have openers. They’re convenient to use and they’re also easy to take for granted…until they break. Lutz recommends testing the tension on the main spring, as follows:

  1. Turn off the power supply to the garage door opener.
  2. Next, disconnect the garage door from the opener.
  3. You should be able to lift the door easily by hand with little effort – but please remember to practice safe lifting techniques before you undertake this work!

Is the door difficult to lift? Does it fall to the ground? Did the door lift too quickly? Or does it simply stay in the middle?

If this test suggests an issue, bring in a professional to fix the problem. As Lutz cautions, torsion springs can be dangerous and could cause potential injuries if you’re not trained to repair them.

3. Test the safety sensors

Another feature that needs regular inspection is the safety sensors. Should something become trapped between the garage door and the ground, the sensors tell the door to stop and reverse direction. Here’s how to ensure sensors are working as they should:

  1. Place a 2 x 4 in. piece of wood on the ground and close the garage door.
  2. If the sensor is properly adjusted, the door will reverse upon making contact with the wood.
  3. If it doesn’t, call in a professional to safely make an adjustment.

Monitoring the condition of your garage door may also be a condition of your garage door warranty. Check with the manufacturer to understand what maintenance is required to keep the warranty in force.

Maintaining your garage door

Some simple ways to maintain your garage door include:

Periodically lubricate the moving parts of your garage door.

  • Use an aerosol spray lubricant available in most hardware stores
  • Be careful not to overspray — too much can attract dirt and gum up the parts
  • Focus on the hinges, rollers, pulley, bearings, lock mechanism and keyhole

Watch the weather stripping
The weather stripping along the sides of a garage door deteriorates over time, and can eventually jam the door panels. Check your weather stripping, and replace it as required.

Clean your garage door
Cleaning the garage door will help to prolong its life. Wash off dirt and clean the tracks to keep the door running smoothly. Water and gentle detergent can be used to clean standard steel and aluminum doors. Consult the manufacturer for instructions on how to clean wood doors.

Trust your senses when it comes to maintenance

How can you tell when your garage door needs attention? Your garage door may be able to tell you when it needs maintenance.

“Listen to the door,” says Lutz. “If it’s very noisy, it’s cause for alarm…. The noise is generally the first indicator of something wrong.”

Because garage doors have many moving parts, and given their weight, it’s best to have a professional garage door technician perform maintenance checks at least once a year. He or she is a highly trained expert who can ensure safe work practices are being used when servicing your garage door.

Finding your perfect garage door or overhead door, and keeping it in tip-top shape—that’s our top priority. We begin with masterfully installing your door and ensuring every mechanism works perfectly from the start. But, we don’t stop there. Year after year, we keep on delivering with smart maintenance packages, skillful repairs, and part replacements.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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