Having a functional, safe garage door is something most homeowners take for granted – until something goes wrong. Avoid problems and keep your garage door working its best by following this annual maintenance checklist.
In this article, we will delve into the key areas you need to inspect, adjust, lubricate, and test on your garage door system every year. Continue reading to learn the 8 critical checks that will keep your door running smoothly all year long.
A faulty garage door can lead to a variety of issues: it may get stuck, stop mid-operation, or have loose and vibrating parts. Equally important, a dysfunctional garage door poses safety risks for your family and home.
By conducting yearly maintenance checks and tune-ups, you can prevent major repairs, improve safety, and extend the lifespan of your garage door.
While specific maintenance tasks will vary depending on your garage door type, below are 8 checks that apply to most residential sectional doors that roll up and down on metal tracks.
- Inspect tracks and hardware yearly
- Adjust springs and lubricate moving parts
- Test door balance, reversal, and seals
- Check opener function and signs of wear
- Replace damaged or worn parts
Key Annual Garage Door Maintenance Checks
- Inspect the Mounting Brackets and Tracks
- Check and Adjust the Door Balance
- Lubricate the Moving Parts
- Test Door Reversal Settings
- Inspect Weatherstripping
- Check and Tighten the Hardware
- Test the Garage Door Opener
- Clean and Check for Signs of Wear
Keep reading for more details on what to look out for during each stage of your routine garage door inspection and tune-up.
1. Inspect the Mounting Brackets and Tracks
The vertical and horizontal tracks guide your door as it opens and closes. Check tracks and mounting brackets for:Loose screws or bolts
- Bent or crimped tracks
- Clogged tracks full of dirt and debris
- Signs of wear like dents and scrapes
Use a level to check tracks are properly aligned and avoid door drift. Tighten any loose hardware. Clean debris with a stiff brush. If tracks are severely bent, replace them.
2. Check and Adjust the Door Balance
A balanced door operates smoothly with little effort. An unbalanced one is difficult to open or close and stops mid-operation. To check balance, disengage your opener by pulling the emergency release cord. Lift the door manually halfway up:
If balanced, it should stay in place supported entirely by its springs.
If unbalanced, it will drift up or down instead of staying put.
Consult your owner’s manual to locate the spring tension adjustment screws. Turn screws incrementally to achieve better door balance.
3. Lubricate the Moving Parts
Regular lubrication cuts down friction on moving parts like rollers and hinges. This makes the door quieter and extends system lifespan.
Use silicon-based spray or lithium grease on rollers and bearings. Also lubricate metal-on-metal hinges and sliding opener parts. Avoid oil-based products that can attract dirt and debris.
4. Test Door Reversal Settings
Garage door openers have a safety reverse system to stop and reverse operation if an obstruction is detected. To test:
Place a solid object under the closing door. When the door contacts it, it should stop and reverse direction.
Adjust sensitivity settings if needed until door reliably reverses on contact with obstacles.
5. Inspect Weatherstripping
Door weatherstripping provides an important seal keeping out drafts, moisture, dirt, and pests. Check around the door perimeter for:
- Brittle, cracked, or missing seals.
- Sections where daylight is visible around the edges.
Replace damaged stripping to restore the door seal. Consider adding additional sealing for severely cold climates.
6. Check and Tighten the Hardware
Vibration from opening and closing thousands of times can loosen nuts, bolts, hinges, braces and brackets. Go around the door system tightening hardware including:
⦁ Hinges attaching panels
⦁ Rollers into place
⦁ Reinforcing struts and braces back into tracks
⦁ Track mounting brackets to the ceiling and walls
Replace any worn or damaged hardware like rusty screws or bolts.
7. Test the Garage Door Opener
Operate your garage door opener through a few full open and close cycles. Watch and listen for problems like grinding noises or sticking.
Pay attention to opener function too:
- The trolley should run smoothly without jerking along the track.
- The door should fully seal against the ground in closed position.
Refer to your owner’s manual for diagnostics and adjustments like realigning sensors. Call a technician for replacement if the opener is defective.
8. Clean and Check for Signs of Wear
Give your garage door a thorough cleaning, inside and out. Hose off exterior surfaces and use a long-handled brush to dislodge dirt, spiderwebs, and debris.
As you clean, inspect all surfaces for signs of wear including:
- Chips, cracks, splinters on wood doors
- Rust, dents on metal doors
- Fraying or tearing on vinyl and fiberglass doors
Catching damage early keeps your garage door functioning and looking its best longer. Consider sealants that protect and improve appearance too.
Following these 8 maintenance checks annually prevents bigger repair issues down the road while keeping your garage door safe and operational all year long.
There you have it – a comprehensive annual maintenance checklist for keeping your garage door performing at its best year after year.
By following these critical inspection, testing, adjustment, and replacement steps, you can add years of safe function to one of the biggest and most frequently used mechanisms around your home.
Make garage door maintenance an essential part of your annual home care routine. Or speak with a local professional about routine tune-up service plans.
Investing a little time and energy into prevention today saves hundred or even thousands tomorrow by avoiding emergency garage door repairs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is routine maintenance on a garage door?
Routine maintenance on a garage door includes tasks like inspecting, lubricating, and testing all hardware and moving parts annually. Key things to check are door balance and alignment, weather seals, opener function, plus signs of wear and damage.
What should I check on my garage door?
Check your garage door once a year for proper operation of rails and rollers, damaged or loose hardware that needs tightening, worn or missing weatherstripping, opener function plus auto-reverse, and any visible signs of damage requiring repair or replacement.