Is annual maintenance really required for a residential garage door?

Before we go any further, the answer to this question is a yes. Putting off maintenance is just like putting off other important tasks and can leave you with serious troubles down the line. When you don’t do the necessary maintenance needed, your garage door might fail most quickly than it otherwise would.

When you think about it, the garage door in your home is the heaviest and largest object. If it is something you use to get in and out of your house even on an occasional basis, making sure that it is safe is important for yourself and your loved ones.

Annual garage maintenance

Maintenance helps keep everyone in your home safe

It’s a tragic fact that every year, accidents occur when garage doors malfunction. Just to put into perspective how serious the problem is, in 2014 in the United States, over 18,000 accidents occurred which were linked to garage doors in some way.

Wondering what leads to these accidents? In most cases, it comes down to one out of three reasons. The first is that a component failed. The second is that the spring balanced as unbalanced. The final is that the automatic reversal systems (mechanical and photoelectric) had a misadjusted calibration. Each of these things can be avoided with simple maintenance.

Set a reminder, so you remember to inspect the garage door

With our laptops, smartphones, and tablets, scheduling reminders is easy in the world of today. That’s why we recommend you schedule two times per year when you do a quick half‑hour inspection of your garage door to make sure things are working as they should be.

What do you need to do? Don’t worry, it’s simple. A quick inspection of certain parts of the garage door followed by lubrication of many of the metal parts and a test for safety with the automatic reversal systems can be helpful to keeping your garage door in great shape.

A guide to what you need to do

So, you want to make sure that your garage door system keeps a long life as long as possible? You might be wondering how often to inspect the garage door system. We recommend doing so at least twice a year, but you may need to do so more often depending on how often you use your garage door. You should schedule one of the inspections at the beginning of spring and the other just as cold weather is coming in.

What a visual inspection entails

  • While you should inspect with your eyes, use your ears, too. Take time to open and close the door and see whether it sounds the same as normal.
  • Make sure you examine the lifting cables which are found right next to the vertical tracks. Do they seem normal or do they have fraying? You should also look at the drum where the cable is wound. Does it look like everything is aligned?
  • Look over the spring system. There are two types that might be attached to your garage door:
    • Extension: this type is found above the horizontal tracks
    • Torsion: this kind of spring is inside of a steel tube above the door itself
    • Does everything look like it’s holding up? You noticed no strange noises?
  • Next up, take a look at the rollers. Do they all seem as if they are holding together well? Are any of them sliding instead of rolling in the tracks as they should be?
  • Take some time to examine the hinges? Check whether the bolts are tightened up as they should be. Look at the bottom brackets where you will see the attached lift cables to ensure they look like they are in great condition.
  • Another thing to look at is the weatherstripping on the external frame along with the one found at the bottom of the garage door. Are these frayed or worn? Are they letting in pests or air that should be kept outside?
  • Those who have a garage door opener that includes a photoelectric reversal system should double‑check that it isn’t covered in dirt or other grime.
Visual inspection

Handling garage door lubrication

  • Two different types of lubricants are required to do all the maintenance a door needs. 5W30 car engine oil, or something similar, works well for all the metal components of the garage door while a lubricant based in silicone can be used for the weatherstripping found on the exterior frame, the bottom of the door, and in between garage door sections. Both of the lubricants you will require can be purchased easily at Middlesex Door Systems. But before you do that, make sure you always do a deep clean of all the parts before lubricating the important parts. If there is any oil or grease from the past present, that needs to be removed.
  • Metal parts:
    • Spring system: simply apply a bit of oil on the spring and wipe it around then remove extra with a clean cloth
    • Rollers: apply a small amount of oil inside of the ball bearings
    • Hinges: all these takes is a tiny amount of oil at the junction
    • Tracks: apply a bit of oil in the horizontal track as well as the curve of the track
  • Weatherstripping:
    • Exterior frame: apply the lubrication the entirety of the side of the weatherstripping on the inside
    • Between the door sections: apply lubricant across the entire length, this is especially important for PVC weatherstripping
    • Bottom of the door: add lubricant along the U‑shaped part of the weatherstripping to prevent it from sticking

Safety test

  • The two separate automatic reverse systems on your garage door should also be checked for safety. While inspecting things twice a year is a good idea, many manufacturers recommend that this part of maintenance be done on a monthly basis.
  • In order to test the mechanical reversal system, take a 2’ x 4’ piece of wood and place it under the garage door while it is open where the door would come down. When the door attempts to close, you should see it touch down on the piece of wood and then immediately reverse and come open again.
  • The next test looks at the photoelectric reversal system and is just as simple to do. While the garage door is being closed using a remote, stick a foot out in front of one of the photo‑eyes, which are found a few inches off the floor on the side of the garage door. Doing this should immediately cut off the beam of light and the garage door should begin to reverse.
  • WARNING: Notice one or both of these systems isn’t working correctly? It’s crucial that you immediately contact Middlesex Door Systems.

Simply taking a bit of time to do the proper maintenance on your garage door will ensure it lasts longer. It also gives you the chance to notice any issues early so you can bring in a garage door technician to help.

Prefer to leave the work to someone else?

Not everyone has the time or desire to handle all the maintenance needed for a garage door system. That’s okay! Instead, you can have someone who comes out and does the work for you. You can contact us at 1-800-696-1926 and we’d be happy to help you with an affordable a tune‑up service.

Prefer to update your garage door system as a whole? We can send you out a quote by email.

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