Annual Garage Door Maintenance
You likely don’t spend much time thinking about your garage door. It can be easy to forget that, unlike the other doors in your home, the garage door is an electrical appliance. As such, it’s as much in need of occasional maintenance as any other appliance in your home.
But how often do garage doors need to be serviced? If it’s been more than a year since you had it checked, you may already be behind. Even if you never notice any problems with it, it’s a good idea to get it checked on a yearly basis.
Why Is Garage Door Maintenance Important?
It’s hard to overstate the importance of annual garage door maintenance. As your garage door remains in place over time, it can start to accumulate various forms of damage that can prove both an inconvenience and a safety hazard down the road.
Types of Damage
Rust and erosion are natural occurrences in a garage door mechanism. No matter how well-sealed the door is, water will still inevitably make its way inside and cause damage to the metal structure. It can also cause the door panels to swell and warp.
Temperature can also play a role. In winter, for example, the metal parts of the mechanism can contract and tighten, preventing the door from opening. And in summer, the opposite can occur. Water and temperature aren’t the only sources of damage, either. Even when there’s no external cause of damage, the door can still deteriorate from general wear and tear.
Consequences of Damage
As the door’s quality goes down, so does its safety. A door with a broken spring, for instance, could come crashing down on you or your vehicle with the force of its full weight. You could also end up with a door that doesn’t stay closed, which leaves your garage open to intruders. Alternatively, your door could not be able to open. If it’s your main point of entry into the house, you could find yourself locked out of your own home.
All of these problems can occur if you don’t properly maintain your garage door. Ideally, you don’t want to wait to get your door serviced until after the problems have already manifested.
At that point, you’ll have to live with the inconvenience until it’s fixed, and the process of repairing it will probably be much more complicated than it could have been. It’s better to have the door checked early and often, so you can catch any damage before it becomes an issue.
What Does Garage Door Maintenance Include?
The maintenance process for a garage door involves touching on all the areas where damage is most likely to occur. If you want, you can do an initial inspection on your own, checking for signs that damage has already occurred. Following that, though, you’ll need to call a professional to run the actual maintenance.
What to Look for Yourself
If you want to look over your garage door to see if you spot any already-existing problems with it, there are a few things you can check. You may even be able to make some simple fixes yourself. Here’s an overview of what to look for:
- Opener: First and foremost, simply check to see if the door opens and closes. Test each of your garage door openers.
- Loose parts: Inspect the mechanism around the door to see if there are any loose bolts or improperly connected parts.
- Tracks and rollers: Dirty tracks and rollers can cause your garage door to have trouble moving. Look for any dirty spots on them. If you find any, you can clean them off.
- Sensor: To make sure your garage door is safe, test the photo-eye sensor at the bottom. Open your garage door, and then block the photo-eye with something and try closing the door. Make sure the door is prevented from closing all the way.
- Fluid movement: Pull the emergency release cord to disconnect the door from the motor. Then try lifting it manually. See if it catches or has trouble moving anywhere.
- Balance: While the door’s still disconnected from the motor, lift it to around the halfway point and let go. It should stay in place. If it moves up or down, that indicates a problem.
- Wear and tear: Finally, go over the door itself, running a visual check for damage like dents or scratches.
Throughout this process, do not attempt to perform maintenance yourself, other than to wipe off the tracks and rollers and perhaps replace the batteries in your remote. In particular, don’t mess with the springs — they hold a high amount of elastic potential energy, meaning they could severely injure you if they were to break.
What a Professional Will Do
If you find any issues with your door during your own check, it’s definitely time to call a professional — but in truth, you probably want to call one even if you don’t find anything. Just because you don’t see a problem doesn’t mean there isn’t one there. When a professional checks your door, they’ll perform a few different maintenance tasks, such as:
- Lubricating: The professional will go over the door and lubricate tracks, rollers and cables.
- Tightening: They’ll check the chain and all the bolts, tightening any that are loose.
- Setting limits: The opener has set limits for how far to open and close the door. If these need adjusting, the professional will take care of it.
- Adjusting springs: They’ll inspect the springs and make sure they’re in good shape. If not, they’ll adjust or replace them.
How Can Garage Door Maintenance Save You Money?
It might seem counterintuitive that getting annual maintenance service will save you money, but that’s exactly what it will do. The cost of an inspection is far less than the expenses it prevents.
When you don’t have your door inspected, damage is sure to accumulate over time. The longer it goes without being addressed, the worse the damage grows, until it causes a complete breakdown of the mechanism. With an annual inspection, a faulty spring will be caught and replaced — without one, it will eventually snap and send the door crashing down on whatever lies in its path.
Even if the damage doesn’t destroy the entire system, it will still force you to replace whole parts of the mechanism if you let it get to that point. It’s much less expensive to have a professional periodically clean a roller or tighten a bolt than to have to replace them entirely every couple of years.
Schedule Your Annual Garage Door Maintenance With Crawford Door Sales
Are you hoping to have your garage door serviced, but aren’t sure where to look? Crawford Door Sales has you covered. As the Upper Midwest’s top choice for commercial and residential doors, we offer service throughout the Twin Cities area. If your door’s giving you trouble, we’ll be there to look into it.
To start the process of fixing up your garage door, just get in touch with us today!