As a homeowner, you know that there are routine things you need to do to keep everything in good working order. You have perhaps made a list of all the things you need to inspect so that you can keep your home just as cosmetically in shape as it is functional. However, you may not know how often it is recommended to service various things such as HVAC units, hot water tanks, circuit boxes, gutters, roofs, and other potential problem areas.
What you may not realize is that gutters, for example, are an integral part of your roofing system and if one is in need of repair, leaks can create a major issue for your roof and any crawl spaces under it. In fact, damage to your roofing system can lead to the need for major repairs in areas of your home you may not realize are the result of a leaky roof. Likewise, it is much the same with garage doors. So, how often do garage doors need maintenance? Let’s take a closer look at that.
First Things First – Biennial Inspections
Before you can service or perform maintenance on garage doors, you need to know what you are looking for. This may be why it is so important to hire a professional to do your inspection. While some repairs can be a do-it-yourself weekend project, many are more involved than what meets the eye. A professional garage maintenance or installation team can quickly assess if there are any problems that require servicing. Sometimes there are simple fixes but other times very specific parts and materials are needed to affect the repairs and/or maintenance your garage door requires.
What Do They Look for in a Biannual Inspection?
One thing that all service crews have when performing that twice-yearly inspection is a checklist of what to look for prior to performing what might be considered routine maintenance. If there are any major problems in need of repair or replacement, that will be noted. However, commonly inspected areas would include, but are not limited to:
- Rollers and hinges
- Bottom and weather seals
- Cracks or holes in the door
Those are among the biggest issues you might have with garage doors requiring maintenance but a specialist will know of other things as well. Automatic garage doors are often among the most difficult to repair because of the electronics. A professional team will be able to quickly and efficiently assess problem areas which could be as simple as a faulty remote or as complicated as faulty electronics in the mechanism.
When Should You Do Biennial Inspections and Maintenance?
It is a good idea to inspect and maintain your garage doors at the same time of year you inspect and maintain or repair roofs and gutters. It is highly recommended that you maintain your garage doors in late fall just before winter sets in and again in the spring prior to hot summer days. This may be even more important if your garage is connected to your home.
Consider for a moment those side and bottom weather seals. If you are looking to efficiently heat your home in the winter or cool your home in the summer, it is vital that you keep the garage sealed from the outside elements. Also, you will be better able to maintain your vehicles if they aren’t subjected to ultra-high or low temperatures and, in reality, that is the purpose for those weatherization seals. Not only will you keep your vehicle within safe temperatures but your home will be better protected against the elements as well.
Things to Look for Along the Way
While it is necessary to inspect and perform routine maintenance twice a year, there are other things to be aware of that might make you aware of problem areas. For example, if your door starts jumping up and down when it is halfway opened, it may mean that it’s time to balance it by adjusting the torsion. If not seen by a professional repair service technician, it could result in broken springs. This is especially problematic in the cold winter months when temperatures dip below freezing.
Then there are key indicators that your garage doors need to be lubricated. This is another issue which is often easy to diagnose. Have you ever heard strange creaks or groans when your door is being opened or closed? If so, it’s very likely that moving metal parts need to be lubricated. Here, it is also important to remember to check the motor as well! Lubricating the motor is not quite as simple as lubricating external parts. You will need to look inside to lubricate anything made of nylon with a special kind of grease. Here again, winter can wreak havoc on rollers, hinges, and springs.
When in Doubt, Don’t
As with anything else, if you are in doubt as to what you should be doing, the best advice is don’t even attempt it! One seemingly small error could cost more than hiring a professional to begin with. You may be able to quickly diagnose an issue with balance, but do you know how to adjust the torsion? Do you know how to open the motor housing and/or which parts to lubricate? If not, maybe it’s time to call in the pros even if it’s not during your fall or spring inspection. You may be glad you did.