How to Tune Up Your Garage Door
A garage door is the largest moving part of any house, so it’s important to make sure that it gets regularly maintained. It’s always good idea to have a professional take a look to make sure there aren’t any glaring issues, but there are things you can do once a year to help keep your door running smoothly:
Tighten Loose Bolts
There are a lot of bolts that can work themselves loose with the constant movement of the garage door, especially if the door is wooden. Steel doors tend to stay tight longer. Going through with a wrench and making sure all the bolts are tight, will help extend the life of the door.
Lubricate Hinges and Rollers (where the bearings are)
Most garage doors have metal hinges. The hinges are constantly rubbing against each other and will often start making noise if not regularly lubricated. If you spray some lubricant on each side of each hinge, it will help keep the noise down and help keep the hinges running optimally.
Good quality rollers are made of steel with ball bearings inside the roller (the best rollers have a nylon coating on top of the steel). If you have these rollers on your door, spraying some lubricant on the ball bearings will help them keep running smoothly. If you have rollers that are made of plastic, then lubrication may not help and it may be worth considering upgrading your rollers. It is not a good idea to put grease in the track because that makes the rollers slide, instead of roll which takes away from functionality.
*** Use Garage Door Spray Lubricant (can be found at any hardware store). Do not use WD-40 (WD-40 is not a lubricant) or Grease! ***
Inspect Cables for Fraying
This is an extremely important step. There is a cable that runs on each side of the door and they are essential to the door functioning. Over time, the cables may start to fray and when that happens, they need to be replaced as soon as possible. If you notice fraying on the cables, call a professional and have them come out to perform a tune up and cable replacement (might be a good time to have the rollers replaced too). If one of those cables snaps, then the door will not longer be functional and will likely be stuck halfway up and lopsided.
*** Do not attempt to replace the cables yourself, the cables contain the full tension of the springs and can cause extreme harm if tampered with ***
Check Door Balance
Over time, springs lose some of their strength, which means that the door runs heavy, causing extra strain on the operator. If this issue is left unaddressed, it could result in you needing to have your operator repaired or replaced altogether. In order to test the door balance, release the door from the opener while door is in the closed position, once released open the door halfway. If the door stays up on its own at the halfway point, then the door is probably at a healthy balance. If the door does not stay up from the halfway point, you should have a professional come out to adjust the springs and perform a tune up.