Your garage door is one of your home’s largest moving elements. It doesn’t require a lot of upkeep; you only need to tune it up a couple of times per year and take care of repairs when needed. Depending on how handy you are with garage door maintenance and repairs, you may be able to handle some of these tasks on your own.

Don’t know how to fix a garage door? That’s okay, too. You can always hire a professional service, like Door Dorks, to help.

Whichever way you decide to go, make sure you take care of repairs immediately and stay diligent with maintenance services. You might think it’s not that important, but a malfunctioning door can threaten the safety of your children and pets and could prevent you from getting where you need to go. Don’t take the risk — it’s not worth it to your family’s safety or daily routine.

Here are eight repair and garage door maintenance DIY tips (and items you should never attempt on your own) to make sure things continue operating smoothly!

The Importance of Regularly Maintaining Your Garage Doors

A malfunctioning garage door is more than just inconvenient. It can cause serious harm to you, your family, or your vehicle. Problems like incomplete closing can make your home vulnerable to intruders.

But, with regular maintenance, you can get ahead of issues and minimize the potential risks.

Let’s delve into some of the main reasons you should regularly care for your garage door.

Prevents costly repairs

Completing routine inspections, individually and with technicians, can help you identify minor issues before they escalate into major problems. Maybe your springs need to be greased or the door hinges are cracked and need to be replaced. Discovering small problems and fixing them immediately will save you money and time if the issues grow.

Ensures smooth operation

Consistently evaluating and making repairs to your garage door keeps it functioning properly and reduces the risk of malfunctions which lead to inconvenience.

Ensuring your rollers, hinges, and springs are properly greased and your tracks aren’t damaged are a few factors that promote smooth operation.

Extends lifespan

By addressing wear and tear early and keeping the parts of your garage door well-maintained you can prolong the life of your garage door, avoiding premature replacements.

Here are our DIY tips to avoid needing emergency garage door repair.

1.  Keep An Eye Out

Before jumping into any garage door repairs, you should thoroughly inspect it to identify the issues.

Open and close the door and watch and listen carefully to see how it moves.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it wobble?
  • Is it stiff?
  • Does it make any grinding noises or does it glide smoothly down the tracks?

This information will help you understand what’s going on, and which parts of the door need attention.

2. Lubrication

Your garage door should move effortlessly along its track. Consistent smooth operation requires routine lubrication of the moving parts, including the chain, screws, overhead springs, etc.

Even if the door is working normally, you should still apply lubrication about every three months (or more, depending on your climate). The springs, tracks, rollers, and hinges need to be greased most frequently, as they experience the most stress.

The most obvious sign of needed lubrication is squeaking, which, if not fixed, can cause extreme damage.

Here’s how to properly lubricate your garage door:

  • Start by cleaning the tracks. If you can’t get all the dirt removed with a damp rag, you can use the hose of a vacuum.
  • With the door closed, apply a lithium-based grease or garage door-specific lubricant to spray the hinges, rollers, bearing plates, springs lock, armbar, and rail top.
  • Refer to the owner’s manual to see how often to lubricate your opener.

3. Ensure Proper Balance

The balance of your garage door is the next most important thing to worry about after lubrication. If your garage door is unbalanced, it will break sooner rather than later.

But how do you check your garage door’s balance?

It’s pretty simple. Just open and close the door manually to see whether or not it moves uniformly down both sides of the track. If it doesn’t, your garage door springs are likely causing an imbalance.

Don’t make any attempt to fix garage door springs yourself. These parts have a significant amount of stored energy, and one wrong move can cause them to snap, seriously harming you. Call a professional to handle this job — they know how to fix garage door springs safely.

4. Inspect Hardware

Many things activate simultaneously when you press the button to open or close your garage door. Whether it’s the tracks, the cables, the safety features, or other parts, all the hardware has to be working properly for the door to function correctly as an interdependent mechanism.

Conduct a quick inspection periodically to check for wear and tear. Most damage is easy to spot. For instance, you can easily see if your door is getting stuck due to dirt buildup on the tracks. Rollers made of nylon eventually chip and crack. Bracket screws can come loose. The rubber strip on the bottom of the door can become brittle or worn.

But remember: Never attempt to fix a garage door cable or spring by yourself. If you find something wrong with your springs, leave it to a professional to handle this dangerous task.

5. Replace Rollers

If you hear grinding when opening or closing your garage door, you’re probably dealing with faulty door rollers.

Here’s how to replace the rollers:

  • Unplug the opener and unhook the door arm from the carriage.
  • For the top rollers: use a socket wrench to remove the bolts from the brackets.
  • The roller should come right off, and then easily slide into place.
  • Secure by refastening the brackets to the new rollers.
  • For the bottom rollers: bend the track with some pliers just enough so that you can slide the roller out of the bracket with the door off the track.
  • The new roller can be popped into place.
  • Then, put the panel back on the track.

This process can be tedious and difficult for the inexperienced. If you’re not comfortable attempting this yourself, play it safe and hire a professional.

6. Test Safety Features

Once all repairs and maintenance are complete, the door needs to be tested to ensure it’s running correctly.

Test the sensors by placing an object, like a box, under the door to ensure that it goes back up when there is an obstruction. Problems with sensors can cause extreme damage to your car.

If you find there’s something wrong, hire an expert to help repair your garage door.

7. Wash and Tidy

Part of maintenance also means keeping your garage door clean. Not only does cleaning dust and dirt elevate the aesthetic, but it can also prevent build-up that can cause problems.

Different door types require unique types of washing care, so make sure you’re familiar with the proper method of cleaning for your door type.

In most cases, you should avoid the use of abrasives or harsh detergents, which can damage the paint. A gentle dish soap and a sponge or a soft cloth will suffice. You can use a hose but shouldn’t use a pressure washer, because it can also damage the surface.

Finish the job with high-quality car wax, using it according to the label directions.

8. Hire a Professional

Garage doors are complicated and rather dangerous to work on. The springs and cables could kill you if improperly managed. While correcting the balance, or switching out tracks, the door can fall, creating an even bigger.

So, we strongly urge you to leave it to the professionals — like Door Dorks!

Bottom Line on Garage Door Maintenance Tips

Regularly inspecting and repairing your garage door can help you avoid future hassles.

No one wants to deal with a broken garage door as they’re on their way to work, and, besides the inconvenience, malfunctioning or damaged garage doors can cause injury and leave you with a huge repair bill. Getting ahead of minor issues prevents them from turning into giant headaches.

Your garage door will last longer if you regularly inspect, lubricate necessary parts, check for balance, and replace rollers. Keeping your door clean will also help keep your door in tip-top shape. But, if you identify problems, prioritize your safety and seek out professional help for complex repairs.

Every month you should thoroughly inspect your garage door, and schedule walkthroughs with garage door technicians at least once a year. Professionals can spot problems the untrained eye wouldn’t.

If you’re DIYing garage door maintenance, search for tutorials online. There are plenty of in-depth YouTube channels and videos, such as those from How to Home, that will walk you through garage door repair.

You can also turn to professional help from companies like Door Dorks. So if it’s time for routine maintenance or repairs, give us a call.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I inspect my garage door?

You should inspect your garage door a couple of times a year if not every month. Regular inspection allows you to catch any minor issues, preventing them from developing into larger problems.

How do I know if my garage door needs repairs?

Regular inspection, looking for broken hinges, loose bolts, or wobbling upon movement, will alert you of necessary repairs. You should also listen for squeaking or grinding noises.

When should I seek professional help for garage door repairs?

If your garage door needs complex repairs, involving the cables or springs, you should reach out to professional services to avoid injury or further damage.

What garage door maintenance tasks should I regularly perform?

Some DIY maintenance tasks you should be regularly performing are lubrication, checking balance, hardware inspection, and cleaning.

Don’t let a broken garage door opener disturb your day-to-day life

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