Your garage doors are the largest moving part of your home. They are also used multiple times a day, which means care and maintenance should be paramount.
There are a lot of ways you can screw up your garage doors when trying to uphold their functionality. With or without the presence of a professional, we are going to make it possible for you to maintain your garage doors.
Below is a simple and practical guide you can live by.
- The Tests
It’s easy to overlook defects among garage doors. Often, homeowners are more than happy to see it opening and closing, that they tend to miss out on what else that could be going on within the mechanism. There might be issues that are already compromising your door’s quality.
Garage door tests are critical in evaluating your garage doors. Here are the following things you should do at least monthly.
First things first: Close your garage doors. Look over every detail intently, checking the handles, pulleys, springs, rollers, cables, hinges and all the other parts. See if there’s anything loose, poorly positioned and/or beginning to show wear and tear signs.
This is especially handy if your garage door is equipped with an automatic opener system. Close the door and disconnect the opener. Now, lift the door manually. It should rise with little to no resistance and should remain open. Otherwise, the garage door may be off balance and needs to be checked by a technician.
Photo Eye Test
Garage doors that were manufactured after January 1993 are required by Federal Law to be equipped with a photo eye — the edge sensor that determines as to whether an object is near the door, which needs to remain open.
To conduct a photo eye test, keep the door open. Push the door opener’s transmitter or button to close it. Use a long object, like a stick or pole and wave it in front of the door’s photo eyes. A properly functioning door should reverse.
If the door doesn’t reverse, clean the photo eyes with a soft, damp cloth and see if they are aligned properly.
Reverse Mechanism Test
Open your garage door. Place an object (wood, box) in the center of the garage door opening, just in the area where the door would touch the floor. Now activate your door to close. An effective garage door should reverse once it touches the object. Otherwise, a professional should be contacted for servicing.
Force Setting Test
Once again, open your garage door. Push the button to close it. While in the process, stretch out your hands and hold the bottom part of the door. If it continues to close, remove your hands immediately.
The closing force might be too excessive that it needs to be checked by a technician. Doors that work properly should be sensitive enough to reverse in the event it touches something.
- The How To’s
Once you’ve gone over every test, it’s time to assess your garage doors further. This is where you might need to get more hands on. The best part about this is it’s completely DIY and can be performed once every three months.
Lubricating a Noisy Garage Door
Many homeowners are trigger-happy when it comes to using WD-40. However, this is a big no no if you’re trying to silence a noisy garage door. Pros recommend the use of lithium or silicone spray lubricant. Apply it on the following areas: the top of the chain rail, metal rollers with ball bearings, hinges, stems, nubs, the arm bar, and the lock. As for the parts you shouldn’t spray: the bottom of the chain rail, the spring, the chain, and the garage door track.
Cleaning a Garage Door Track
The garage door track is that curved area on the corner of your door. This is one part that needs constant attention in order to maintain its performance. Forget about using spray lubricants here, as they will only collect particulates and form a cement-like substance that could affect the door’s closing and opening capabilities. This is the perfect time to use your WD-40 after wiping the track with a soft, damp cloth.
Resetting Electric Door Opener
One of the most common problems homeowners encounter is when a garage door refuses to open and/or close completely.
Each mechanism differs slightly but the many garage doors are reset using this similar method: Unplug the opener from the breaker. Count 10 seconds before turning it back on. Keep pressing the down button until the door closes entirely then press the “Set” button. Afterwards, press the up arrow button and hold it until the door is about six inches from the garage door opener. Once it’s in position, press the “Set” button again.
It’s not enough to simply check for loose bolts, sockets and/or rusting hinges. If you want your garage doors to last you a lifetime, remember to perform the above tasks.