Garage doors normally open and close more than a dozen times every day. Routine maintenance is essential for continued proper functioning. Here’s a checklist for routine maintenance and simple repairs every handy homeowner can perform without difficulty. Read more about garage door repair
These procedures are recommended three or four times every year:
Wash the exterior of the door with a stiff brush and mild detergent. Repaint or touch up peeling, chipped or cracked paint, especially if there is exposed wood.
Use a vinyl cleaner on weather stripping around the bottom and frame. Lubricate with a silicone product to keep stripping flexible.
Inspect rollers for damage. New rollers may be purchased from garage door dealers or at home improvement centers. Broken or worn rollers are easy to remove. First, use a socket wrench to loosen the bolts holding the roller hinge in place and remove damaged rollers. Insert replacement rollers and fasten hinge bolts.
Check door tracks with a level to ensure they are aligned. If not, simply loosen, but don’t remove, the bolts/screws that hold the track to the wall and adjust the track. Recheck alignment with the level. Once the track is straight, refasten the bolts/screws.
Check mounting brackets that hold the tracks to the walls. If they’re loose, tighten the bolts/screws. With the door closed, check from inside the garage to see if there are dents, flat spots or crimping in the tracks. These can be pounded out with a rubber mallet, or hammer and block of wood; avoid using a metal hammer which could easily cause further damage. Badly damaged tracks need to be replaced by a professional garage door installer.
Check for loose hardware and tighten where needed. Check swing-up doors for loose screws on plates where the spring is mounted. Check roll-up doors for loose screws on hinges that hold sections of the door together. Sagging of the door on one side can be corrected by securing hinges with new screws; filling enlarged holes with wood filler and longer screws where necessary.
Check springs and adjust tension on swing-up doors by moving the spring hook to the next hole. Tension on roll-up door springs that have a pulley can be adjusted by pulling the cable through the plate at the top of the door. Re-knot at the end to maintain tension.
Caution: A roll-up door that has a single torsion spring at the center of the door cannot be repaired by the average homeowner. The tension on the spring is great enough to cause serious injury. Doors with this type spring need to be repaired by a professional garage repairman.
Use a heavy-duty, concentrated household cleaner to remove grease and dirt from tracks and rollers; dry thoroughly.
Lubricate all moving parts with 10W30 motor oil. Apply oil to a rag and lubricate tracks paying special attention to sections that curve. Next use the oily rag to lubricate the springs. Wipe excess oil off springs with a clean rag.