Garage doors have a lot of moving parts that can cause issues if not properly maintained. Some common issues include a screech from the rollers or track, or the door being stuck in the halfway open position.
A good maintenance trick is to test the mechanical auto-reverse and photosensor features. Simply place a wood plank or brick in the path of the closing door — it should reverse immediately.
1. Lubricate the Hinges
If you’ve been noticing squealing and groaning when opening and closing your garage door, it’s time to give the hinges some love. Performing this simple task will keep your garage door working properly and save you money on repairs down the road.
Humidity wreaks havoc on metal, and that’s why it’s important to regularly lubricate your garage door’s spring system. These coils of steel can rub against each other and cause excessive friction, leading to a clicking noise that’s not only annoying but also dangerous. You can prevent the need for expensive repairs by lubricating the hinges, rollers, and any other metal parts that might come into contact with each other.
You can purchase lithium-based lubricant at most home improvement stores. Most of these products come in a spray can, making it easy to apply a light coat. When you’re ready to start, open your garage door and carefully lift it up by the tracks (or have someone help you). Spray each hinge at the point where it meets the bend of the track. You should only need one or two quick spritzes to cover each hinge. Be careful not to spray too much, as excess lubricant can drip onto the floor and create a mess.
It’s also a good idea to lubricate the bearing plates and springs located along the top of the garage door. Using a thinner straw attachment on the grease can help you get into tight spots and properly grease the small bearings inside these components.
It’s important to use a lubricant that can withstand the temperatures in your area. Silicone-based lubricants are ideal for cold climates, while lithium-based grease will work well in warm weather. Avoid spraying degreasers like WD-40, as these can actually remove lubrication and lead to more problems. If you’re unsure of what type of lubricant to use, speak with a professional. They can provide recommendations based on your unique needs. They might even recommend a lubricant that’s specifically designed for your garage door. That way, you can be sure that your lubricant is working the way it should.
2. Clean the Tracks
Many homeowners don’t consider the garage door tracks and rollers when performing regular maintenance, but these are a big part of what keeps your garage door working properly. These parts are particularly prone to collecting dirt and debris, which can cause the door to become jammed or otherwise fail to open. Thankfully, this is easy to avoid with some simple cleaning.
When you’re performing your weekly inspection, make sure to check the tracks for any obstructions or dirt buildup. You’ll also want to look for rust, which is another sign that it’s time to call a professional to replace the tracks.
Once you’ve cleaned the tracks, it’s important to lubricate them properly. To do this, apply automotive brake cleaner to a clean rag and use it to wipe down the tracks. This will remove any grime that has collected on the tracks and prevent them from moving smoothly. Once you’re done, apply a thin layer of lubricant to the tracks.
After applying the lubricant, it’s important to close and open the garage door several times to redistribute the grease. You should also lubricate the hinges by squirting a small amount of lithium-based garage door lubricant into each one. You can usually find this type of lubricant in a spray can, which makes it easy to get into hard-to-reach places.
Performing regular maintenance on your garage door is the best way to ensure that it continues to operate properly and minimizes wear and tear. Taking the time to do these simple projects can save you money on repairs and help you extend the lifespan of your garage door.
To learn more about the importance of maintaining your garage door and how to perform these DIY maintenance hacks, contact American Home Shield today. We offer affordable prices and comprehensive home service plans that can provide peace of mind when it comes to the safety and security of your home. To learn more about our plans and to see how we can protect your home, visit our website today. You can also call us at to speak with a customer service representative.
3. Check the Weatherstripping
The weather stripping around the garage door plays an important role in keeping drafts and pests out of your home. This unsung hero is usually made of vinyl and runs along the edges of your garage door to provide a seal. Over time, weather stripping can deteriorate and fail to perform its job, so it’s important to inspect it regularly.
During your inspection, look for any gaps in the weather stripping where warm air can escape and cold air can come in. Also, look for any sections that are cracked or worn and consider replacing them. Replacing old weather stripping is a relatively simple fix that can significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Another important part of your inspection is to check the safety relays. The safety relays are designed to stop and reverse the garage door if it touches an object or person. To test the safety feature, place a small object such as a box or piece of wood on the floor directly underneath the garage door. When you push the button to close the garage door, it should touch the item and immediately reverse its path. If it fails to do so, there may be a problem with the photocell sensor that will require professional attention and repair.
Performing regular maintenance on your garage door can help it last longer and prevent costly repairs down the road. While some issues can be fixed with a quick trip to the hardware store, others require the expertise of a professional garage door technician. If you notice any unusual sounds or squeaks, it’s best to contact a professional right away so they can address the issue before it becomes worse. It’s better to spend a little money upfront on maintenance and repair now than it is to shell out a lot of money for costly damage later. By following these garage door maintenance hacks, you can keep your garage door in good shape and ensure it works smoothly for years to come.
4. Replace the Bottom Seal
When it comes to garage door maintenance, replacing the bottom seal is an important step. This helps keep unwanted things like critters, dirt, dust, debris, water and cold air out of the garage, which can save on energy bills. It also keeps the valuables stored in the garage safe from the elements and pests.
If you notice that your garage is more breezy or chilly than usual, it could be because the bottom seal is wearing out and creating gaps that let air in. Other signs it’s time to replace the seal include visible distortions in the stripping, a gap between the garage floor and the weatherstripping, and pieces of the weatherstripping breaking off when you touch them.
Replacing the bottom seal can be a DIY project, but it’s recommended that you do so only when you have some experience with home repair and projects. Since it involves removing the old seal and putting in a new one, you’ll need to have the right tools and materials to do it correctly. Make sure to read the instructions carefully, and if possible, have someone else help you.
You’ll also want to test the safety features of your garage door to ensure they work as they should. A modern garage door has sensors that prevent the door from closing if they sense an obstruction. You can test these by placing something in the way of the sensor (a pack of toilet paper rolls, for example). You should also clean the electric eye sensors regularly to avoid them becoming clouded or covered with debris.
Performing regular maintenance on your garage door can keep it functioning properly and extend its lifespan. If you have any questions about the best practices for garage door maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to provide expert advice and services. While it may cost you a little upfront to hire a professional, it could save you money in the long run by catching emerging problems before they become more serious. If you’re looking for a team of experienced garage door professionals to perform a checkup, we can do that too.