Garage doors are built to last and, with the right care and attention, should give you years (if not decades) of trouble-free use. However, that will only be the case if you take the time and effort to keep them in good condition. A regular garage door maintenance regime will help ensure that your garage doors continue to operate correctly for years to come.
In this article, we are going to show you how to maintain a garage door by explaining several key tasks you should undertake to do so.
Wash with appropriate cleaning chemicals and tools
Be careful what materials you use to clean your garage doors. Avoid harsh and abrasive cleaning products that might scuff the paint on your door or damage the wood on a wooden garage door. Likewise, strong alkali cleaners can cause paint to discolour and peel if left too long. Use a power washer to clean your garage doors only if you know its strength. Some of these devices can cut through plastic, splinter wood, and crack glass if put up too high.
Whether you have a garage door made of wood, metal, or plastic, you should treat it to a fresh lick of paint every couple of years or when it needs it. Your garage door is under constant assault from wind, rain, and hailstones in the winter, as well as baking sunshine in the summer, so it’s no wonder that few paint jobs last for a long time. By regularly repainting or revarnishing wooden doors, not only do you protect the garage door beneath it, but you also get to change the colour if you wish.
Lubricate with relevant oils
Garage doors, almost by definition, incorporate several moving parts into their opening mechanisms. This could be the central axle of a roller shutter door, the metal runners used to guide a canopy or up-and-over door into place, the hinges on a side-mounted door, or anything else. All components are fitted snugly to ensure optimal ease of movement, so it’s important to keep them well lubricated. While there are many proprietary lubricants you can use, we find that WD-40 works for most jobs.
Identify and remove rust quickly
If you have a metal door or one that incorporates metal parts, rust can be a serious problem. Since the outside of your garage door is exposed to the elements 24/7, even the smallest rust patch is prone to growing and weakening the metal. If you see some light rust while servicing your door, remove it using a mix of baking soda and water and sand it down to the healthy metal beneath. If you don’t want rust to occur there again, you will need to paint over it with a specially formulated metal paint.
Check the weather stripping
Modern garage doors have a plastic or rubber strip along the bottom edge and both vertical edges. This is a simple tool to keep the exterior air from getting into your garage, particularly during the winter months. Being prone to wear and tear by brushing along the floor and edges of the garage door frame, it’s important that you check these for signs of deterioration and replace them should you spot any.
Inspect the moving parts for debris and blockages
If your car rolls into the garage all dusty from the road, it’s not unusual for some of that debris to come off and find its way into the opening and closing mechanism. Check all runners, casters, springs, axles, and hinges (whether they move or not) for any obstructions and carefully remove them with a hand brush.
Check the torsion springs
The torsion springs are the part of your garage door that holds the weight and makes opening and closing it so simple. They are wound tightly to act as a counterbalance, making them an essential component for many makes and models of garage doors. As part of your maintenance regime, be sure to check them for signs of wear, deterioration, and rust, but be careful. Not only do the springs contain immense pressure, but they are also incredibly sharp. Should they snap while fully wound, they can cause a serious laceration.
Inspect and test the garage door opener
If you have an automated garage door, then the electric garage door opener is as important a component as the door’s mechanical parts. Take the time to ensure all casings are tightly sealed and give the opening and closing mechanism a test run by operating it a couple of times with your access fob. It’s worth trying this from inside and outside the garage.
Test and clean the auto-reversal mechanism
All electric garage doors and many manual garage doors incorporate an auto-reversal mechanism. This is typically a device known as a “photo eye” that sends a laser beam across the garage doorway to hit a sensor on the opposite side. If anything should break that beam while the garage door is closing, it will immediately stop in its tracks and reverse direction. You should make sure the photo eye is correctly lined up with the sensor and that the mechanism kicks in accordingly once the beam is broken.
Garage door maintenance: final thoughts
We understand that this process is a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the long run. A well-maintained garage door will last longer and be a better investment for your home. If you don’t have the time or necessary skills to perform all these tasks, you can always call in the professionals. Here at Murray Garage Doors, we provide a full garage door maintenance service for customers across Essex and the surrounding area. As well as performing all the stages detailed above, we can also handle any garage door repairs or replacements that might be needed. Call the team today on 01268 741 717 or 07442 497 285 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get a free, no-obligation quote for our services.