How to Extend the Life of Your Garage Door

Your garage door is a reliable way to enter your home, and it should last for several decades on your property. However, over time, debris buildup and broken components can put unnecessary strain on it and cut its lifespan short. These regular garage door maintenance tips can help you inspect and clean this significant part of your house.

Inspect Your Garage Door’s Operation

Opening and closing your garage door helps you discover any faulty pieces. Over time, the various parts can wear out and eventually become damaged. When the operating system isn’t working correctly, it puts additional wear on the other components. As you open and close the door, look and listen for frequent garage door issues, such as slow operation or loud sounds. If it doesn’t open or close, or you notice other unusual activity, contact a local specialist to repair it.

Check Your Garage Door’s Balance

An unbalanced garage door tends to close more quickly, creating a safety risk for people nearby and creating unnecessary tension for the other components. Check its balance at least once a year to avoid further problems. You can conveniently inspect your door on your own by following these steps:

  • Close the door completely and unplug it from the opener.
  • Raise the door manually a few feet off the ground.
  • Take away your hand and inspect the bottom.

A balanced door will stay in place, but an unbalanced one will shake up and down. In that case, you’d have to consult a professional specialist to replace worn-out components.

Look at the Hardware

As you check out your door’s various pieces, watch out for these frequent garage door issues:

  • Detached rollers: Check your entry for disconnected, crooked or cracked rollers. Instead of replacing the rollers yourself, call a professional technician to repair them to prevent damaging the track.
  • Rust in the cables: Excessively rusty or worn-out cables have difficulty moving correctly. If you notice any issues with your cables or pulley system, call an expert to replace them.
  • Missing bolts in the tracks: If you notice any loose bolts around the metal track, you can conveniently tighten them with a screwdriver or wrench. However, if they’re missing, you might have to place a service call to get them replaced.
  • Broken springs: You’d know if your torsion or extension spring snapped if you hear a loud noise or if your door won’t open or close. Dealing with this component can be extremely dangerous because it’s under a tremendous amount of pressure. Call a professional technician to replace your broken spring.

Clean and Lubricate All Moving Parts

Dirt and debris can get stuck inside your garage door hardware, putting extra wear and tear on the system. The metal components can also develop rust over time and slow down the door’s operation. Wipe down and lubricate all moving parts about once a season. Here are some specific tips for taking care of each metal piece:

  • Springs: Put a thin layer of lubricant on the torsion springs. Wipe away any excess grease or silicone so that it doesn’t collect on the garage floor.
  • Rollers and tracks: Use a cloth to remove any debris, dirt or spider webs from the rollers. Apply lubricant liberally to a clean cloth and wipe down all metal parts. Only lubricate the wheels if they’re metal.
  • Hinges: Wipe a lubricating product onto your garage door’s hinges with a clean cloth. If your system has plastic hinges, clean them with a damp cloth instead of applying lubricant.

Inspect and Maintain Your Garage Door Opener

Besides the door itself, you should also pay attention to the garage door opener, which allows the system to operate automatically. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for taking care of your specific product. Here are some of the ways you can maintain this significant component:

  • Carefully lubricate any metal parts and tighten loose bolts and screws.
  • Test the light and change the lightbulb as needed.
  • Check the remote and replace the batteries if it doesn’t open or close the garage door.
  • Test your backup battery by unplugging the system and opening the door with the keypad on the wall.

Check and Fix the Weatherstripping

The weatherstripping under and around the garage door helps prevent air leaks, moisture and debris from coming inside. This protective material helps keep your door operating smoothly, regulates the indoor temperature and protects the contents of your garage. Over time, debris can affect its integrity and leave your property vulnerable to outdoor elements. Follow these tips for maintaining the weatherstripping:

  • Look out for issues: At least once a season, check your weatherstripping for cracks and tears. 
  • Remove debris: Clean the protective strip around the edges of your garage door with a damp rag to remove dirt and debris that can wear down the material.
  • Apply silicone lubricant: Lubricate the weatherstripping with a silicone-based product to prevent it from drying out. Petroleum lubricant can make the material brittle and eventually cause it to break.
  • Repair or replace dried-out weatherstripping: Replace the protective material when you notice cracks or dried-out parts. Contact a professional garage door specialist to find the appropriate weatherstripping for your unique door.

Clean the Garage Door Panels

Garage door panels can accumulate dirt and debris over time, especially during heavy storms. Cleaning your garage door at least once a year helps enhance its appearance and ensures all the parts are moving smoothly. Here are some ways you can clean the panels:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Consult the manual for the safest, most efficient way to clean your garage door. Depending on your product’s materials, you may have to use special care for the panels.
  • Create a homemade cleaning solution: Mix a few drops of mild detergent with warm water. Avoid using abrasive or acidic cleaners that could ruin your door’s finish.
  • Wipe down the door: Dampen a soft, microfiber cloth with the solution, and wipe down the door. Make sure you clean every crevice and edge, including between the slats.
  • Rinse the solution: Use a sprayer attachment on your garden hose to rinse the soap off your garage door. Avoid using a power washer because it can chip away the paint.
  • Use bleach on stubborn stains: Keep in mind that you should only use bleach to spot clean tough stains. Create a bleach solution according to the product’s instructions and use a soft-bristled brush to remove difficult debris. Before applying the cleaner to your garage door, make sure you’ve completely removed all the detergent from your routine cleaning. Mixing these two substances could damage your door and present a safety hazard.

Schedule Professional Maintenance Inspections

It’s best to have a specialist inspect your garage door annually to prevent potential damage to your product. During this appointment, the expert technician will:

  • Inspect the door and hardware: A garage door specialist will check the garage door’s operation and balance. They’ll make sure all moving parts are functioning correctly, tighten up loose screws and look for imperfections in the door, tracks and cables.
  • Clean and lubricate: While the technician cleans the various components of your garage door, they’ll also lubricate the metal pieces so that they work smoothly.
  • Repair and replace: If some parts have lost their integrity, the specialist will also recommend whether you need to get them replaced. They’ll also replace the weatherstripping to enhance your door’s energy efficiency.

Get in Touch With Blankenship Garage Doors for Garage Door Service or Repair

Our professionals at Blankenship Garage Doors provide garage door inspection and repair to residents and commercial property owners in Central Oregon. We’ll inspect your property and help you prolong the life of your garage door. Contact us online or call 541-383-2658 to request service.

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