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Here’s how to maintain your garage door

(Shutterstock Photo)

Maintaining your garage door is a fairly simple do-it-yourself project. Darrell Peruch, of A-Authentic Garage Doors, says homeowners can help keep it in good repair by giving it a monthly inspection. The best maintenance practice includes keeping it clean and oiling the door roller, bearings and hinges.

Watch for signs of rust and wear

Your garage door is not only the largest moving part in your home, but it’s probably the largest architectural feature on the front of your home as well. Naturally, you’ll want it to look great so your home retains its value and curb appeal. You also want to ensure it works properly so it protects your valuables, your home and your family.

Garage door springs work hard

Your springs have an ambitious job: raising and lowering a 300-pound door an average of six times a day. Each time the door is opened and closed, the tightly wound springs stretch under great pressure.

Most commonly used for sectional overhead doors are torsion springs. They are secured to a metal shaft above the garage door and balance the garage door with torque. The torsion spring unwinds and winds as the door is open and closed.

There are two types of torsion springs, galvanized and oil-tempered. Darrell recommends oil-tempered torsion springs for springs that provide years of trouble-free operation. Keep them in tip-top shape by applying a silicone lubricant.

One of the things you want to look for in your garage is a safety containment system. Springs may be enclosed in a metal tube to keep them from doing damage if they break, or there may be safety cable running through extension springs. Again, they help contain a spring when it breaks. You want to be sure that your garage has some safety containment in place.

There is an easy test to see if your springs are getting tired.

Close the garage door and pull the emergency cord. Now lift the door halfway and let go. If the door slides down by itself, the springs are worn and need to be replaced soon. 

If your door needs a repair, call a professional

Darrell of A-Authentic says to choose a pro with a good track record who responds quickly and can work on any brand of springs or opener. Garage door spring repair is NOT a DIY project. The springs are under a great deal of pressure and can cause great bodily damage or worse.

If you are having issues with your door, call a professional. Signs of needed maintenance:

  • The door won’t stay open as described above.
  • A noisy door can be the result of worn springs, hinges or imbalance.
  • The auto-reverse feature is not working. Test it by placing a 2-by-4 flat on the garage floor and under the path of the door. If the door does not automatically reverse when it hits the 2-by-4, the opener must be adjusted. Most openers have a closing-force adjustment screw or knob on the main motor housing.
  • Another part of your garage door spring system is the garage door brackets at the bottom of the garage door. Again, these are under tension and should not be adjusted by anyone other than a garage door professional.

One common problem that is an easy DIY fix is adjusting the sensor beams at the bottom of the door. You will find them about 6 inches off the ground. If you have an east- or west-facing garage, door sensors will begin to trip as the seasons change and the sun moves higher or lower in the sky. Many times, placing a cardboard toilet paper tube over the sensors will keep the sunlight from hitting the sensor and triggering it.  

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 7 to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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