Use your garage door everyday? Keep it functioning safely and efficiently by including this garage door maintenance checklist handy.
“These five maintenance routines can be easily performed by most homeowners and should be executed in the following order on a monthly basis,” states TDC President Mark Stuenkel.
1. Visual inspection
Start by standing inside your garage with the garage door closed. Inspect the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and mounting hardware, looking for any signs of wear or damage.
If something looks frayed or worn, or if the door makes a strange noise, it could be an indication of problems ahead.
2. Balance test
With the door still closed, disconnect it from the automatic opener, then lift the door manually. It should lift smoothly with little resistance and should remain fully open.
If it is difficult to open, or does not stay open, the door may be out of balance and should be serviced by a trained service technician.
3. Reversing mechanism test
Now with the garage door raised, lay a piece of wood (2x thickness) on the floor in the center of the garage door opening where the door would touch the floor. Push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. When the door strikes the object, the door should automatically reverse.
Be aware that testing your door could cause damage if the reverse is not properly functioning. Be prepared to reverse your door with your transmitter should the contact reverse not work. Letting the opener continue to close the door can result in a buckling of the top section and/or the bottom.
If the door does not automatically reverse, the door should be examined by a trained service technician.
4. Photo eye test
With the door fully open, push your garage door clicker or wall button to close the door. Wave a long object, such as a broomstick, in front of one of the door’s photo eyes so it “breaks the beam.” The door should reverse.
If it does not reverse and reopen, pull the broomstick out of the path of the closing door (watch your feet!). With the door in the closed position, clean the photo eyes with a soft, dry cloth. Gently adjust the photo eyes by hand if they appear to be out of alignment. Open the door and repeat the photo eye test. If the door does not reverse and reopen, the door should be serviced.
5. Force setting test
With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. As the door is closing, hold up the bottom of the door with your hands outstretched and stiff. If the door does not easily reverse and continues to close, pull your hands away immediately. The closing force is excessive and the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.
“In addition to these monthly activities, it is a good idea to apply a small amount of spray lubricant to your door’s hinges, on a semi-annual basis to keep it all rolling smoothly,” added Stuenkel. TDC recommends that homeowners have their garage door serviced and inspected every year as a part of your regular home maintenance.