Garage door maintenance is important, and not just because of the annoying aspects of a poorly maintained door such as squeaking, slowdowns and the door occasionally getting stuck. If you don’t take proper care of your garage door, it can become dangerous at some point due to the way its mechanisms work. It doesn’t matter if you’re just moving into a home with a garage for the first time, or if you’ve been living in one for a while already – learning how to take care of your garage door properly is one of the most important aspects of home maintenance.
What Kind of Maintenance Does a Garage Door Need in General?
Most of your attention should be focused on cleaning the mechanisms and keeping them lubricated. This will prevent any unwanted debris build-ups, while also keeping the door running smoothly and without any annoying loud noises. Proper cleaning and lubrication of a garage door is relatively straightforward, though there are some quirks that you’ll want to watch out for. For the most part, it’s about keeping your hands (and the rest of your body!) safe while working with the heavy loaded springs found in most garage door mechanisms.
Understand the Risks Associated
Garage doors can be dangerous if you don’t understand their inner workings properly. All of this mass moving that quickly when you trigger the door requires some clever mechanisms working behind the scenes, and those involve some pretty dangerous springs. Make sure to read your model’s cleaning and maintenance instructions carefully before commencing any actual work on it.
If you don’t take care to properly release the springs before dismantling the mechanisms, you could seriously injure yourself. The same goes for putting the door back together once you’re done working on it. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them to the letter. When in doubt, get a professional to help you out.
Garage Door Cleaning Tips
Start with the rollers on the sides. Go through each one of them and wipe it down carefully, removing any excess grease and other build-ups. Spray them with lubricant to keep them running smoothly. Make sure that you don’t leave any excess material on the bearings once you’re done working on them. This will not only cause unpleasant spills on your garage floor, but it can lead to dirt building up more quickly and causing various operational problems with your garage door.
When cleaning the springs, pay attention to what we described above. Don’t apply any excess force and make sure that you follow any safety precautions listed by the manufacturer. At the same time, make sure that you clean them as well as you can, as allowing them to get blocked by dirt and debris can lead to some hazards.
Tips for Proper Lubrication
Don’t spray too much of your lubricating agent at once. Make sure to give it an even coating, and try to shift any moving elements around to ensure that the material spreads on them evenly. When lubricating the springs and rollers, you should fully close/open the door at least once, to ensure that the agent spreads around and gets in all tiny crevices. Wipe off any excess lubricant as soon as you spot it, and don’t let it run down on the door.
How to Know It’s Time for Lubrication
Figuring out how often you should be doing this is often not difficult. You should simply pay attention to any potential physical and audible warning signs, as there will be plenty of them when things stop running smoothly. Your door won’t necessarily start squeaking and creaking right away though. If you notice it getting stuck, or moving slower than usual through certain areas, it might be time to take a look at the mechanisms and see if they need any maintenance.
Avoiding Long-term Damage
It’s always best to take a proactive approach to this. The more you leave your garage door with obvious, visible problems, the more difficult it’s going to be to fix those issues once things get really bad. If you leave certain issues unattended for too long, the resulting repairs can be so expensive that you might have to replace the whole door instead. All of this can be avoided with some attentiveness and responsibility. As we mentioned earlier, this is just a normal part of being a homeowner – and one that you can’t ignore if you don’t want those expenses to start piling up.
And in the end, don’t forget that you can call on a professional to give you a hand if you’re stuck on any part of the process. This is something you should not ignore when it comes to repairs like these, which can be both expensive and potentially dangerous to you if handled incorrectly. It’s always better to spend a little extra money for some peace of mind in those cases.