garage door maintenance

Garage Door Maintenance: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know (according to the Colorado Door Company):

  • 71% of today’s families use the garage as the primary entrance to their house.
  • The average-sized garage door takes up to 30% of the visual space of a home’s front exterior.garage door maintenance
  • 20% of all garages are built to house at least three cars.
  • Your garage door weighs several hundred pounds!

In many ways, the garage door is the new front door to a home. While almost everyone wants a garage, not everyone is well-informed on properly maintaining their garage door — especially one that is heavily used. While a malfunctioning garage door may not seem like much of an issue, it can pose a major safety risk, cause flooding, lower a home’s energy efficiency, and increase your odds of a break-in.

Below are some key garage door maintenance tips.

Safety First! Maintain the safety of your garage door with the following steps.

Verify the Eyes

Wipe the door’s photo “eyes” clean soft dry cloth. These eyes are what stops the garage door in case of an emergency (more on this below). To ensure they are working as they should, initiate the closing of the garage door. Then wave an object (such as a rake or broom) in front of the eyes. When working properly, the door should automatically stop and reverse its movement.

Test the Safety Reverse Function

Open the garage door completely. Place a roll of paper towels on the floor in the center of the space. Then, press the button to close the door. If door opener’s safety reverse is working correctly, the door should automatically reverse when it touches the paper towel roll.

Check Manual Release

Most garage door openers have a manual release in the form of a rope with a red handle (for use in a power outage). This manual release disengages the trolley from the attachment point to the rail. Test it to ensure that pulling on the rope places the garage door opener into manual mode. You can also equip your garage door opener with a battery backup system in the event of a power outage. Here’s a DIY explanation for installing one.

Check the Balance

Release the automatic garage door opener and open the garage door to about waist high. The door should stay in place when balanced properly.

Keep the Track Smooth

Be sure to lubricate your garage door’s springs and hinges (but never the track).

Check the Spring Tension

If the door’s tension is too loose, the springs that help lift the door won’t work properly and the and the weight of the door becomes a hazard. Alternatively, too much tension will prevent the door from closing all the way or remain closed. Click here for a tutorial.

Inspect the Seal

Examine the seal on the underside of the door. Click here for a deep dive into your garage door’s seal.

Clean!

Wipe away any dirt and grime that has formed on your garage door. Doing so regularly will help prevent rust and deterioration.

Change the Code

If you have moved into a new home, change your remote control code for security purposes.

Get a Professional Help

It’s a good idea to have your garage door system checked by a specialist at least every couple of years. Never try to make repairs for which you are not qualified. When in doubt, call a pro!

Replacing A Garage Door

If you need to replace your garage door, fret not. While the price tag IS steep (larger doors can run several thousand dollars), installing a new garage door provides an average return on investment (ROI) of a whopping 97 percent (according to homeadvisor.com). This high ROI is a result of improving both the appearance and functionality of the garage.

The Bottom Line

A garage door is so much more than just access to your parking space. It also provides protection and safety for your home. Garage door maintenance is essential to smart homeownership. Be sure to follow these garage door maintenance tips to keep your garage door working as it should for as long as possible.

Be sure to read our post on organizing your garage too!

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