A well-maintained garage door is more important than many homeowners know. Not only does a properly functioning garage door help protect your belongings and property by keeping them secure, but it also plays a crucial role in the energy efficiency of your home. A garage door that isn’t taken care of can allow all sorts of unwanted things into your garage — including vermin, drafts and water. These all have the potential to cause serious damage to anything inside your garage as well as raise your energy bills through inefficiency.
Despite this, many homeowners tend to take their garage doors for granted. They believe that as long as the door opens and closes, that’s enough. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Even if your garage door opens and closes, failing to keep it in prime condition can be costly in any number of ways. A neglected garage door could leave a gap between the bottom and the garage floor, which creates an entryway for dirt, water and bugs that can lead to damage and infestation. When you don’t take the time to keep up with maintenance for your garage door, you may end up with a door that uses too much energy and forces your home’s HVAC system to work harder than it should.
Proper maintenance is essential if you have a garage door, so here are some tips you should follow to keep yours in its best condition.
INSPECT YOUR DOOR REGULARLY
The best way to avoid taking your garage door for granted is to look it over thoroughly on a regular basis. Pay close attention to it every time you open or close it and watch for anything that looks or sounds different. Any squeaks, creaks or jerks could be signs that something is wrong.
Though it’s also a good idea to do a more complete inspection of your entire garage door a few times a year. Pay close attention to any gaps that may exist underneath and on the sides of your garage door — as well as whether or not the springs and cables on either side of the door look symmetrical. If you spot anything that looks or sounds wrong, don’t hesitate to have it fixed. The longer you leave those issues unfixed, the more damage it may cause and the more it may end up costing you.
KEEP EVERYTHING LUBRICATED
A well-lubricated garage door will last much longer and require less maintenance overall, but most homeowners don’t take the few minutes a year it requires to keep their doors lubricated. Using a spray lubricant on the door’s springs and rollers — in addition to white lithium grease on the track or screw — can ensure that your garage door will stay in good working order for a long time. These lubricants should be available from your garage door specialist or at many leading home improvement store chains.
TIGHTEN THE HARDWARE
Your garage door works hard every day, which adds up to thousands of movements over the course of a year. All that movement and vibration can take a heavy toll on your door’s hardware over time, loosening bolts and potentially putting the tracks out of alignment. As part of your regular inspection process, check out your roller brackets and bolts, tightening them with a socket wrench whenever you find anything loose.
WATCH FOR WORN SPRINGS AND CABLES
Springs and cables that show signs of wear and tear — including cracks and broken strands — need to be replaced. However, be sure to call a professional, because garage door springs and cables can be extremely dangerous for anyone without the proper experience.
CLEANLINESS IS ESSENTIAL
Most of us don’t clean our garages with the same fervour as the rest of our homes, but doing at least enough to keep your garage door clean can better prevent damage to the exterior or mechanisms. Using a mild detergent and water every once a while should be enough to keep the exterior of your garage door clean. If you have a wood door, wipe it with a dry cloth and make sure you refinish it whenever it starts to chip. Keeping your garage door clean on the inside and outside will prevent dirt and grime from building up on it and eating away at the door or its hardware.
Your garage door does a lot of work, and it requires regular maintenance to keep it in proper working condition for as long as possible. Following these tips will help you keep your garage door from falling into disrepair — which could cost you a lot.