Garage doors are pretty reliable; they open, they close, ta-da, that’s it. However, they’re still machines and machines need maintenance. To ensure that your garage door is kept in tight shape, and to dodge a few breaks, accidents, or funny but painful mistakes, it’s important to apply regular and sometimes irregular maintenance.
How much, and what? Here are a few in particular:
It’s in your best interest to ensure some elements to your door are checked and maintained regularly to prevent the actual breaks or accidents. Establishing a monthly routine and completing these tasks religiously will ensure your door stays up to par.
– Visual Inspections
Any real problem your garage door has should make itself obvious in a semi-quick glance. Once a month, close your garage door and see that it shuts properly. If it does, inspect the springs to see if they’re rusted or bent out of place. Check your tracks to ensure nothing is blocking them and that no grime or dirt has gathered to a point of causing a problem.
– Sound Inspections
If your garage door suddenly turns into a banshee that screeches as it closes, then it’s a fair guess to say there’s a very serious problem. However, paying attention to the little things that can be overlooked is important. Open and close your garage door several times and listen very closely to the sound it makes. Perhaps while you were late for work, you were thinking up excuses about crazy traffic instead of noticing the little sound saying your tracks were slightly crooked. If any sound can be heard, inspect the source and see if a little oil or an entire replacement is needed.
– Balance Test
While opening your door may seem like an easy feat, garage doors are actually very heavy. What keeps their impressive weight at bay are two springs that take the brunt, allowing you to easily life up the door manually without having to be the Hulk. To make sure the balance of your door is still up to par, close your door and then shut off the automatic opener. Then try to open your door using your own strength and see if it opens smoothly with no resistance. If not, inspect the springs and tracks to ensure they aren’t damaged.
– Reverse Mechanism Test
Because garage doors are so heavy, most modern ones have a built-in function that makes them reverse their track and open back up if they meet any resistance. If your door lacks this function, then you could be in for a real surprise with your child tries to dodge under the door before it closes and finds themselves with a few broken bones. You can conduct this reverse mechanism test by placing a 2×4 or similar strong object underneath your door and closing it. If it immediately bounces back up after making contact, you’re good. If not, you must inspect the mechanism itself and make necessary replacements.
Other means of maintaining your garage doors aren’t so important and can be done when you believe the need arises. There’s no need to replace parts regularly or even bother cleaning on a frequent basis, as garage doors won’t become seriously dirty or damage on a monthly basis unless you are hosting some incredible mud-wrestling contests.
– Track Cleaning
Dirt and grime collects naturally in the tracks of your door, and while it’s no problem in small amounts, if it builds up, it can keep it from opening, closing, or even make it sound like a heavy metal band every time it does move. Simply check your tracks and see if the need is present, and if so, some simple hot water and soap along with a metal brush should have your tracks shining and functioning like new.
– Eye-Sensor Cleaning
Spy moves make lasers out to be all but impossible to block without losing a limb, but in reality, something as easy as dust can make the eye-sensors of your garage door useless. These sensors are designed to sense whenever an object is blocking the decent of the door itself, and if a splash of mud as you rolled into the garage has coated the eye, it’ll put your door on permanent lockdown – or on the verge of it. Every so often, glance at the eyes and see if they need cleaning, and if so, a simple rub-down with a rag should be enough. If they’re particularly dirty, soap and water will also suffice.
– Force Setting Test
Your garage door has a setting that gauges the force it uses when opening or closing. This setting should have been adjusted the day you installed it, but accidentally knocking it to a different setting could have your door closing harder than it should. To test this, have your garage door begin closing, and as it is, put your hands in its path, outstretched and stiff. If it does not reverse and open again on immediate contact, then avoid losing said hands and pull them away quickly before it you have a reenactment of the French Revolution, hand-edition. Contact a professional and have your settings adjusted again before an accident occurs where you can’t pull away quickly.
– Battery Replacement
A simple “well duh” sort of concern, but you’d be surprised how many garage door failures can actually be chalked up to the remote control having dead batteries. Unless you’ve come up with a great drinking game involving opening and closing the door, your batteries shouldn’t require a monthly update, but if the thought occurs to you in passing, consider replacing them to make sure you aren’t in a jam on a rainy, cold day.
All in all, garage doors don’t require much maintenance. If you keep up the routine regularly, you should be able to conduct your monthly check-up in a matter of minutes, and your more infrequent check-ups in about an hour.
Having issues with your garage door? Get in touch with New York Gates at 718-614-0616.