ROSIE ON THE HOUSE

Maintaining your garage door: Tips for safety and longevity

Apr 4, 2024, 3:00 PM

Garage door springs....

(Same Day Garage Door Services Photo)

(Same Day Garage Door Services Photo)

We often take our garage doors’ operation for granted. Like any other part of our house, home, castle or cabin, a little maintenance goes a long way to ensure the parts will continue to operate well.

To help better understand the best practices of maintaining that garage door we turned to Rosie Certified Partner Trevor Leisek of Same Day Garage Door Services for some helpful tips you can use.

Let’s talk about maintenance. Trevor tells us that you need to make a habit of visually inspecting the door. That means getting up close and personal with the door, the frame, the tracks, the chains, and the wheels. Look for any signs of wear or damage.

  • Weatherstripping used around the frame is a common part of the door system that wears out. You can replace this yourself. Strips up to 8 feet long are available in your local big box stores. For longer continuous strips contact a door distributor.
  • Tracks need to be free of debris. Dirt and small pebbles build up in the track and will eventually damage the rollers that ride in the track. Vacuum or sweep them out.
  • Rollers can become pitted and chipped which can affect operations and be noisy. Carefully observe the rollers for any chips or divots. Special tools and skills are needed to replace rollers. We suggest you engage a professional to replace them.
  • Cables and Springs. Look at the cables and springs. The tiniest fraying or tearing of cables and springs can spell future trouble. Trevor strongly recommends that you do not try to replace either of these components. They are under extreme tension and require special tools and expertise to replace or repair. This is truly one of those things that could severely injure you if not handled professionally. ‘Stay away from tension!’ is sound advice for garage doors and life!
  • Sensors are what keep you and your children safe from the garage door as it closes. Their purpose is to detect obstacles that might be damaged by the door closing. They are located where the track meets the floor and no higher than 6” above the ground. There is one on each side of the garage door and they need to be aligned for your door to operate. One sensor light will be an amber color and the other a green color. If either of these colors are not present, call a pro. Use a dry or lightly damped cloth to wipe each lens regularly so the two can ‘talk’ to each other clearly.
  • Lubrication of moving parts can extend the life of your door system by as much as 40%. Use a spray on white lithium or more commonly a silicon-based lubricant. Apply to the springs, hinges and all moving parts except the roller surfaces and the track which work by friction. Lubricating them defeats their purpose. Using a straw attached to the aerosol can, will focus the lubricant more appropriately.

Trouble Shooting some common issues:

  • Too much Noise. Squeaking, scraping, rattling, and vibrating when the door is opening or closing, especially after lubricating, can be caused by loose nuts or bolts. Use a wrench or ratchet to carefully tighten any loose nuts or bolts. Trevor says the most common sizes are 7/16ths or ½ inch.
  • Door won’t descend. Check the sensors and make sure that nothing is blocking them. Look for the light color mentioned above. Look to see if the mounting brackets appear to have been knocked out of alignment. You can try to straighten these out to realign but be careful not to stress the bracket to a breaking point.

A simple test for door safety operations is called the 2×4 test. Lay a 2×4 on the ground where the door would sit if it were closed. Activate the door. If the door touches the 2×4 and goes back up, great, it’s working. If it doesn’t go up and continues to push downward, the motor setting is not correct. You will need the help of a professional to fix this issue.

One Last Reminder!

The springs are under significant tension. It is this tension that allows the door to lift. Messing with springs can cause catastrophic injury. Avoiding tension is a healthy practice in life and garage door maintenance.

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email info@rosieonthehouse.com. Follow us on X and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.

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Maintaining your garage door: Tips for safety and longevity