How to Avoid Expensive Garage Door Repairs
You may not realize it, but your garage door cycles up and down more than 1,000 times every year. That figure is significantly higher if like many families you use the garage door instead of the traditional front door. And why not? It’s so much more convenient to press a button to open or close the door rather than fumbling for keys. Even some cars have keyless entry so there is no reason to carry a bulky set of keys anymore. But the garage door is a mechanical device with several moving parts that can wear out prematurely without routine garage door maintenance. So here are four maintenance tips you can do today to avoid more expensive garage door repairs down the road.
Over time, dirt, dust and debris can build up on the tracks, rollers and hinges making it more difficult (and noisy) for the door to open or close. Periodically clean these vital parts with a damp cloth to remove any foreign materials. Then spray the rollers and track with a silicon-based lubricant spray. This will allow the garage door to operate smoothly. Any rusted or damaged parts should be immediately replaced to avoid more expensive repairs. Typically, these areas should be lubricated at least twice a year.
When looking at your garage door you will notice that each panel is secured with nuts and bolts. Since the vibration and torque of the opener motor can sometimes cause these bolts to loosen, you should get into the habit of checking them at least twice per year. A loose bolt may interfere with the smooth functioning of the garage door, so ensuring that it’s tightened is important for preventative maintenance. Use pliers and a wrench to tighten any loosened bolts but be careful not to overdo it or you risk stripping the bolt. If they appear to be worn, rusty or are missing, contact your garage door repair specialist to replace them as soon as possible.
The garage door is a very heavy object weighing as much as 100 lbs. or more. For the opener to perform safely and consistently the door must be in balance. An unbalanced door is in danger of falling off the rails or collapsing which can result in property damage and serious injuries. Performing the balance test monthly can help avoid costly garage door repairs. To do this, make sure the garage door is closed and follow the instruction manual for your opener model to disconnect it from the garage door. You can do this easily with most units by pulling the manual release. Then, manually raise the garage door about 3 to 5 feet off the ground. When you let go of the door it should remain in place if it is balanced. If the door suddenly drops to the ground or rolls all the way up, it is unbalanced. Avoid using the door and contact your local Safe Way dealer for an immediate repair.
Simply inspecting your garage door once a month for any potential irregularities can help prevent small issues from becoming expensive repairs. Inspect your garage door inside and out and look for signs of rust, warping, bending or other damages. Also, listen to your garage door and opener. Is it noisy or making any strange sounds? Are the cables and springs on both sides symmetrical? Do they move smoothly or is there a hesitation or jerking movement? By performing simple preventative maintenance tasks, you’ll be more aware of a potential garage door repair rather than being surprised by an unexpected failure.