A properly functioning garage door requires occasional maintenance. Your garage door should open and close smoothly, safely, and efficiently. Your garage is an integral part of your home, from parking your car to shield it from the weather to storing items for safekeeping and extra space inside the house. You rely on your automatic door to open and close as needed, sometimes multiple times each day. Professional garage door maintenance involves several steps to ensure your entire garage door system remains in top working condition. Many of these steps should only be performed by a trained expert for safety reasons. Let’s explore some of the components of professional garage door maintenance so you know what to expect when you call the professionals at Riker.
Make Adjustments to the Springs
The springs on your garage door balance the weight of your door for smooth and stable operation. Over time, the springs may become worn or loose. Your garage door technician will adjust the springs if they are too loose or too tight. The technician may also need to replace the springs if they show signs of excessive wear or damage. Your professional maintenance should include inspecting the springs. These springs are under high tension and should never be adjusted by anyone other than a professional to avoid injury and damage.
Adjust the Motor
The motor on your garage door is the part that supplies the power needed to lift and lower the door. The motor connects to electrical power and sometimes a backup battery. If your door is opening too quickly or closing too hard, you may need an adjustment of the motor. The motor works with the springs to ensure safe and proper functioning. If your door seems to be running slow or slamming shut, you may want to have the motor inspected. Your garage door opener connects with the motor for one-button operating, so if you’ve changed the batteries and still have a problem with the handheld opener, you may want to consider the motor as a source of the problem.
Lubricate All Moving Parts
The moving parts of your garage door system create friction. Over time, friction can wear out certain parts of your garage door system. Some of these moving parts require lubrication to reduce wear and tear. Your garage door expert will lubricate the rollers and hinges to keep them moving smoothly. The tracks of the garage door system should never be lubricated as this attracts dirt and debris. The buildup of dirt and debris can lead to a gunky mess that gets in the way of opening and closing your door. Lubrication of the springs and hinges may also be done on your own between maintenance appointments to continue smooth operation. Lubricating the moving parts is one of the only points of garage door maintenance that you should attempt without the knowledge of a professional.
Perform Safety Tests
Your garage door is heavier than you might imagine. Due to the belts, rollers, and other parts, you may think the door is light. However, the garage door weighs up to 200 pounds. If it does not operate properly, you run the risk of injury if the door were to close on you or your vehicle. To test the safety of your door, your professional technician will disconnect the motor for manual operation. The technician will open the door manually, and then let go. The door should stay in place and not drop back down. The technician should also check for mechanical reversal of the door by placing a brick or chunk of wood on the ground where the door closes. When the door touches the brick or wood, it should automatically reverse to go back up rather than push against the item. If either of these safety tests fails, repair is needed to avoid being crushed by the door or damage to your car or other property.
Examine Garage Door Hardware
Your garage door expert should inspect the hardware throughout your door system to spot signs of wear and tear. Loose bolts or fasteners should be tightened to keep the system on track and in place. The rollers on your door should be checked for damage. Nylon rollers often crack as they age and steel rollers will show worn bearings or rust. Lift cables and springs are examined for rust, corrosion, or deterioration. If any component of your garage door system shows excessive wear or damage, the part should be replaced immediately by a trained professional.
Service the Chain or Belt
Your garage door requires a chain drive or belt to operate. Depending on which type of opening system you have, you’ll have either a chain or belt on your automatic garage door. The garage door technician will inspect your chain or belt, looking for signs of damage or deterioration. If signs of wear are detected during inspection, the technician should replace your belt or chain. A damaged belt or chain could cause malfunction of your door including failure to operate automatically.
Check the Seals and Weather Stripping
There is a weatherstrip at the bottom of your garage door which seals the garage when the door is down. This weatherstrip provides a sealed barrier to keep dirt, debris, and moisture out of your garage. The strip can also be useful to keep cold air at bay. Over time, this weather stripping can become worn out and damaged. The weather strip is typically made of rubber and can crack or break. If the strip is damaged, you might notice rain coming in or dirt and dust blowing under the door. If you notice the weather strip is damaged or see signs of improper sealing, tell your garage door technician so that the strip can be inspected and replaced during maintenance.
Replace the Battery and Bulbs
The backup battery in your garage door motor should be replaced occasionally to ensure proper function. You should also replace the bulbs in the system routinely to ensure they don’t go out unexpectedly. The technician will inspect the battery and bulbs to decide if they are ready to be replaced. This maintenance appointment is also a good time to change the batteries in your garage door openers to avoid surprise failures.
You may not think too much about your automatic garage door opener on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, most people tend to take advantage of the opening and closing of their door until it fails to work properly. Proper maintenance is required for your automatic garage door to continue functioning as it should and to prolong the life of your system. It is also imperative to perform maintenance for safety reasons to avoid the risk of injury or damage to your vehicle.
If it’s time to have your automatic garage door system checked out, call the top experts in Plano at Riker today to schedule your service.