Maintain Your Garage Door Maintain Your Garage Door

If your home is typical, your garage door is opened and closed between six and ten times a day. Now, think about the last time you thought about doing some kind of routine maintenance  on your garage door. Maintaining a garage door is way down on the priority list for most homeowners but if it's neglected for too long ,you could end up needing to replace an expensive garage door that has been bent or damaged or even worse someone in your family could be seriously injured. Maintaining your garage door isn't hard (although there certainly are some things you should leave to trained professionals) and only takes a few minutes every three months. Here's how to maintain your garage door.

Start by understanding the makeup of your garage door

  • Your garage door consists of a number of parts that all need to be aligned and working together for it to work properly.
  • The front panels are attached to each other with hinges and all are the panels bolted together to form a solid door that can articulate when raised or lowered.
  • Rollers run in steel tracks along the sides of the door opening and are attached to the end of the panels.
  • Finally, there is a strong spring to help open and close the door.

Stay away from the springs

  • Garage door springs are very powerful and under a lot of tension making them potentially very dangerous, particularly if you don't what you're doing. Routine maintenance on your garage door springs should consist of checking the springs and cables for fraying or rusting. If you see any cables are badly frayed or have more than surface rust it's time to call in a professional.
  • If your garage door is difficult to raise or closes with a significant "bang", the springs likely need adjusting. This is also not a job for a DIY'er, call in a pro and stay safe.

Maintenance you should do

  • Check all the bolts on the hinges holding the panels together, since over time they will work loose and the panels end up out of alignment. Use the appropriate size wrench and simply tighten the bolts.
  • Also check the bolts holding the rollers are tight, the rollers themselves are turning freely and staying inside the track when the door is opened and closed.
  • The manual that came with your garage door will tell you how to lubricate the rollers as well as what type of lubricant to use. Motor oil probably isn't the right choice since it will hold dust and create a clog on the rollers.

Protect the door panels

  • Just like metal car parts, metal door panels will rust when exposed to salt. Since melted snow from your vehicle will have road salt in it, you need to protect the panels from rusting.
  • Spray cans containing protective oil (similar to car rust proofing oil) for your garage door is available at home and hardware or auto stores. When you spray on the oil, it spreads and protects the panel from the salt water.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer whose work has appeared on numerous web sites, as well as in newspapers and books in both the US and Canada. He has been quoted as an expert on home related topics in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal.

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