When it comes to your garage door, safety and maintenance are one-in-the-same. A well-maintained garage door is a safe garage door. Your garage door is the largest moving object in your house and in many cases the most used door. A double wide garage door can weigh 500 pounds or more, so proper safety and maintenance is critical.
Most garage door injuries can be accredited to one of two things: lack of education or lack of maintenance. That’s why we’re committed to helping our customers understand the best and simplest ways to care for their doors!
Maintaining Your Garage Door
The exterior of your garage door should be washed 1 – 2 times a year. If your door is metal, use a mild detergent, such as dish soap or car wash. Scrub the entire surface of the garage door with a soft brush or rag, paying extra attention to the bottom of the door. This is Minnesota after all, and we love our salt on the roads!
Look & Listen
The first step in maintaining your garage door is looking and listening. Look for any obvious sign of wear or damage. Listen for any grinding, squeaking, or any other odd noises when the door is moving both manually and with the garage door opener. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Loose bolts
- Non-functional or rusty rollers
- Worn hinges
- Bends or creases in door sections
- Adjustment of the door track to the door
- Attachment of the door to the opener
Regular lubrication is the best way to make your garage door last and keep it safe. Most garage door maintenance can be performed with simple hand tools and a good quality spray lubricant with oil or silicone in it. Your garage door and opener should be lubricated at least twice a year – more if you use it as front door to your house. Spray all the hinges and rollers lightly, wiping any excess off. The springs and bearings that support the spring shaft follow the same process: just take extra care around these, as they are under extreme tension.
What to Oil
- Roller at shaft
- Bearings where spring shaft goes through
- Hinges where they pivot
Check Hinges & Rollers
Check all the hinges and rollers for loose bolts; tighten or replace as needed. Rollers and hinges should always be replaced one at a time. NEVER remove bottom rollers or any of the parts attached to it. This is the point at which the springs attach to the door and is one of most dangerous points on your garage door.
Tracks are another thing that Minnesota’s salt loves to eat up, and vertical tracks can be easily replaced by most homeowners. Replace one side at a time and trim the tracks to fit if necessary, leaving a ¼” gap between the bottom of the track and the floor. However, the horizontal tracks have the spring assembly and lifting cables attached to them and should really be serviced by a professional.
NEVER Touch These Parts of Your Garage Door
Garage door springs and cables are under extreme tension and are quite dangerous and should be left to the professionals. Here at Great Garage Door Company, customer happiness and safety is our number one goal.
- Cables – where they connect to the bottom of the door or on the drum at the top
- Bottom fixture that attaches the cables to the bottom of the door
- Springs – where they attach to the shaft and to the wall
While we would prefer that we changed your springs and cables for you, we understand that a true do-it-yourselfer takes pride in a job well done. We’re just not going to tell you how to do it here!
Maintaining Your Garage Door Opener
Teach children to stay back when the garage door is opening or closing and to never attempt to run under a moving door. Federal law states that the button on a garage door opener must be mounted at least 5’ from the ground; this is to prevent small children from operating the door unsupervised. The reason for this is that garage doors contain many moving parts (hinges, rollers springs, etc.). Most children (and some adults) don’t understand how dangerous these parts can be!
Misaligned Photo Eyes
Misaligned photo eyes is one of the most common problems with garage door openers, and it’s one of the easiest to fix. Photo eyes send an inferred beam across the opening to prevent the door from closing on someone or something. Because the beam is invisible, alignment can take some trial and error, but it’s really as simple as making sure both photo eyes can see each other.
Most garage door opener manufacturers recommend monthly safety inspections, which are easy to perform and take less than ten minutes to do. The following examples are common to most safety tests, but you should always refer to the owner’s manual for the proper procedures for your opener:
- Test the safety eyes for proper function by placing an object like a cardboard box or five gallon bucket in the center of the opening, and running the garage door opener. The garage door should not close. If it does, refer to your manual or call us to repair or replace the photo eyes.
- Test the safety reversing system by placing a 2×4 board flat in the center of the opening and closing the garage door on it. The garage door should not close. If it does, refer to your manual or call us to properly adjust your opener.
During your monthly safety inspections, a light coat of white lithium grease should be placed on the opener track, and the drive sprocket on top of the opener should receive a shot of spray lubricant.
We stock all the parts you need to perform any of the maintenance above, including garage door springs and cables. Just bring the old part to our office, and we will get you a new one. Or we can come out and do it for you – the same day you call!