How Often Do Garage Doors Need Maintenance?

A garage door typically undergoes much more wear and tear than virtually any other part of a home, which is why garage door maintenance is so essential. Garage doors usually have a lifespan of anywhere from 15 to 30 years, whereas most garage door openers last for around 10 years or so. If you don’t maintain and tune up your garage door at least once a year, the door and opener will likely not last nearly as long as they otherwise could.

A lack of maintenance can lead to various issues that force the opener to work harder or cause different parts of the door and opening mechanism to break or wear out. In this article, we’ll explain what maintaining a garage door involves and why each step is important. We’ll also show you why you should always hire a professional for the task and how to spot the signs that your garage door needs to be maintained or repaired.

What Maintenance Does a Garage Door Need?

Maintaining a garage door involves quite a few different steps. The first step is to complete an inspection and check for any damaged or worn-out components that need replacing. This includes checking to ensure the lift cables are in good shape and don’t have any broken strands. The rollers should also be inspected twice a year and must usually be replaced approximately every five to seven years. It’s also crucial that the springs be checked for any signs of damage. If the door uses extension springs, the main thing is to ensure they aren’t starting to get stretched out. The tracks also need to be checked to make sure they are still level and not bent or otherwise damaged.

Another essential task is to make sure that all of the various safety mechanisms work correctly. Most garage doors have two separate safety features designed to prevent the door from closing if an object or a person is underneath it. The auto-reverse feature works by detecting touch and will automatically cause the door to open if it senses that the door touches any objects. There are also two photoelectric sensors that use light to detect any objects in the way of the door. The sensors shine a light between each other and automatically cause the door to stop closing if any objects block the light between the sensors.

One other important safety test is to make sure that the door is properly balanced. If the door isn’t balanced, it could come crashing down when it’s open. To test the balance, the door must be disconnected from the opener and manually opened about halfway. A properly balanced door will remain open. If the door slips or comes down, it isn’t balanced, and the springs need to be adjusted.

After inspecting everything and testing the safety mechanisms, the next step is to check all the hardware to ensure the nuts and bolts are tight. Since hardware often loosens over time, it is always best to just try to tighten everything. The two tracks also need to be cleaned since they typically collect debris over time. This can prevent the rollers from gliding and cause the door not to open and close smoothly. Components like the chain, hinges, tracks, and springs must also be lubricated yearly to ensure smooth operation.

One of the last steps is to open the door and check the condition of the rubber weather stripping on the bottom of it. This piece is vital for preventing water from getting inside the garage. It is also essential for the overall energy efficiency of your home since it helps to block out heat and cold. Weatherstripping is prone to cracking with age, and it can also start to peel away from the door so that the bottom is no longer properly sealed. If the weather stripping is cracked, not tightly secured, or missing pieces, it must be replaced.

Can You Maintain a Garage Door Yourself?

Some of the more basic maintenance tasks, like cleaning the track, lubricating the chain and rollers, or tightening any loose hardware, are things you should be able to do on your own easily. However, experts always recommend having a professional perform all of the maintenance tasks instead. This is because there are some tasks that you won’t be able to do yourself properly. This includes making sure that the door is correctly balanced and adjusting its tension as needed.

Many garage doors have torsion springs that need to be readjusted annually. This type of spring is under extreme tension and can be extremely dangerous to work on. If you don’t know what you’re doing, the spring could break and seriously injure you. It’s always best to hire a professional. Garage door extension springs aren’t quite as dangerous but could still cause serious injury.

Replacing damaged or worn-out parts like rollers or lift cables will occasionally be necessary when maintaining a garage door. These are also jobs that are better left to professionals to ensure the work is done properly and for safety reasons. That is especially the case with replacing the lift cable since it is also under extreme tension and could seriously injure you.

Signs That Your Garage Door Needs Tune-Up Services

While annual garage door maintenance for your Plano home is important, you should also check the door itself and all of the components every month for any signs of damage. You also want to pay attention whenever you open and close the door. If the door is slugging or opens and closes with a jerky motion instead of moving smoothly, it’s a good idea to have it inspected. This is because a door that doesn’t move smoothly puts lots of additional strain on the opener and makes it work harder. This can cause it to wear out quickly.

You should schedule service if you hear the door shaking as it moves or any other unusual noises. Especially important is to immediately call for an inspection if you hear a loud banging sound when the door closes. This typically indicates that one of the springs has broken. In this situation, you shouldn’t try to use the door until you can get the spring repaired.

Do You Need Garage Door Maintenance? Contact Riker Home Services

If your garage door is due for maintenance, Riker Home Services is the company to trust for the job. When maintaining any type of garage door, we always perform a comprehensive 16-point tune-up and a complete inspection. If the inspection reveals any issues, our team can often repair the problem for you on the spot. We are also available 24/7 for garage door emergency repairs. We can help if you need to replace your garage door as well.

Our experienced team is dedicated to building lasting relationships with customers and will strive to exceed your expectations. To learn more about what makes Riker the best choice for all your garage door and roofing needs in the Plano area, contact us today.

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