How to Maintain a Garage Door
September 25, 2015
Maintaining a safe garage door is an important part of what we do and, with the combination of cold winters and hot summers, garage door parts in Salt Lake City are subjected to a variety of environmental factors. And we are here to tell you that keeping the door parts in good shape will extend the working life of the opener and door.
We know that garage doors are something most of us take for granted as just "being there" and working all the time. These are some tips to keep it that way – off your mind and working properly.
Garage doors are basically simple machines. As such, they tend to last a very long time – but only if they are in proper tune and maintained.
Fortunately, maintenance is not needed frequently nor is it complex. The best way to head off safety problems or repairs is to simply watch the door in operation once in a while. Often problems will show up first as the door is being lifted because the motor has to do a bit more work when it's being lifted. (Especially if there is a problem with the springs, which are there to work against the force of gravity on a heavy door and keep life easy for the motor.)
The simplest thing to do? Look it over for things that get in the way of the wheels running down the tracks. It happens!
Springs, Tracks, and Wheels
While you're looking over the system, do a quick visual inspection of the springs and other bits. It's pretty straightforward and unmistakable to spot a broken spring and despite the difficulty this puts on your system, it won't necessarily cause an overt failure. However, if your door does operate with a broken spring, it will probably damage the motor at some point, increasing the repair expense and keep in mind that a broken spring can be dangerous so it's best to have it checked out right away.
The best way to extend the life of your garage door is to keep the individual joints and hinges well oiled. Use a quality multipurpose lubricant to dramatically extend the life of your door. The experts at Precision Door have created a video guide:
[Precision Door Video: How to Lubricate Your Garage Door]
Testing the Balance
In order to be able to lift a heavy garage door, the motor is assisted by the springs. When the doors close, the springs are actually ‘sprung’ and contain a lot of energy, pulling against gravity, compensating for large portion of the doors weight. (This is why a broken spring makes it very difficult or impossible for the motor to open the door and why working on springs should only be done by a trained technician!)
To safely check the spring/door balance:
- Close the garage door
- Find and pull the red rope hanging down from the point at which the arm connects the garage door the overhead opener rail
- Pay attention to the position of the small metal arm the rope is attached to, both before and after pulling
- Now you can lift the door manually (we know you know this, but use your legs not your back!)
- Test to see if the door will stay by itself in both the halfway open position and fully open position – do this by letting go with your hands but holding them an inch or two below for about five seconds (if the springs are not properly balanced the doors likely to come down when you let go – be ready, but be careful!)
- When finished, close the door all the way by lowering it to the ground manually at a controlled speed – don't let it drop hard!
- Reengage the mechanism by standing on a stepstool and pushing the metal arm back to its original position.
If the door did not hold steady at the halfway open and fully open position, or was very difficult to open, call us. Our trained technicians will check your door properly and safely. Again, garage door springs are dangerous! Call a trained technician if services are needed.