A Guide to Maintaining Your Garage Door
The modern garage door is almost entirely automatic. Without hands-on operation, garage door owners may not realize that their garage doors are slowly breaking down and need to be maintained. Help your garage door operate problem-free by conducting basic maintenance on a regular schedule. You can maintain your garage door at home using household tools.
Clean At Least Once a Year
Cleaning your garage door keeps moving door parts free of obstructions. The process differs slightly depending on the garage door material.
Clean the exterior of your door using a detergent and water solution. Soak up the solution with a soft sponge, then wipe down dust, dirt, and oil. Rinse soapy residue off the surface with a garden hose, preferably with a low-pressure spray.
Don’t forget to reach into the edges and corners. Dirt that collects in the gaps between the door and your home causes friction whenever the door opens and closes. Extra friction adds stress on the springs and mechanics of your garage door.
Steel doors in coastal areas affected by salt should should be cleaned thoroughly at least two or three times a year. This cleaning removes salt that can cause surface erosion and promote oxidation. Preventing rust saves the appearance of your door as well as its ability to function properly.
Exposed wood is absorbent. Give your wooden garage door has a fresh, solid coat of paint and sealant. These extra layers will prevent your cleaning regimen from weakening the wood.
Before you renew the paint on your garage door, sand the old paint off and clean the door. Then, apply at least one coat each of primer and paint. Use sealant to prevent the wood from absorbing moisture, allowing regular cleaning of your garage door.
Clean the tracks, the pathway of the rollers that lift your door. Using an automotive cleaner (brake cleaner works best) and a rag and scrub off any excess dirt or dust to keep your door from slipping or becoming unbalanced.
Lubricate Moving Parts
You’ll need to lubricate all moving parts, which facilitate or rely on movement as part of your maintenance plan. This includes:
Clean these parts first. Removing old lubrication is key to preventing serious buildup that puts strain on moving parts. In general, you can use a non-silicone-based lubricant to maintain ease of movement.
Rollers are either made of metal or nylon. Lubricate metal rollers with your normal lubricant but keep lubricant away from nylon rollers. Lubricated nylon will slip across metal tracks without rolling, causing the door to not work properly.
Without touching the springs, spray lubricant directly onto the top of them. Torsion springs are under high tension, so be careful when handling them. Extension springs don’t hold the same tension as torsion springs but be careful still.
You’ll find the hinges between the slats of your door. They roll inward when your door moves. Make sure they roll easily by spraying the entire hinge with lubricant.
Bearings allow the larger parts of your garage door to move slowly while handling the extra weight. Lubricated bearings ensure your door doesn’t cause any hang-ups.