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How to Effectively Maintain Your Garage Door

How to Effectively Maintain Your Garage Door

Windows and doorsHow to Effectively Maintain Your Garage Door

Has your brother-in-law recently replaced his garage door, and now the slight rumbling sound from the tracks is nothing like the rattling and grinding coming from yours?

While professional intervention might be necessary for your garage door, in many instances, regular seasonal upkeep can significantly restore its proper functioning.

Let us guide you through proper garage door maintenance to ensure it works like new, or as best as it possibly can!

How to Maintain a Garage Door

garage door maintenance

Source: Canva

All garage doors, whether sectional, tilt-up, swinging, or roll-up, share one crucial aspect: regular maintenance guarantees their proper functioning and helps avoid any emergency repairs. 

Step 1. Clean your garage doors

Horizontal garage door panels will retain their appealing finish if they’re cleaned on a regular basis. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and never use pressure washers, as doing so may damage or chip the paint. 

Start by rinsing your door using a garden hose to remove dust that settled on its surface. Then, clean the panel with lukewarm water, using a gentle soap, car soap, or dishwashing liquid. Gently scrub using a sponge or a soft rag, then rinse with clean water. Allow the surface to dry or manually do so with a microfibre or chamois cloth to prevent any less-than-appealing streaks. 

If the door has lites (glass inserts), proceed with a gentle soap to clean the PVC frames. The glass inserts should be cleaned with a water-vinegar solution. Avoid using a scraper to remove any tough stains as it might scratch the glass.

Weatherstripping ensures the garage door is sealed, and prevents air leaks and humidity buildup, as well as dust, insects, and rodents from sneaking in. As made evident, it’s crucial to keep the weatherstripping clean. If it’s PVC, clean it using an all-purpose cleaner, like one used for patio furniture. Rinse with a garden hose set on low.

Step 2. Lubricate garage doors

Lubrication is a crucial step to prolong your garage door service life. Various hardware should be lubricated twice yearly.

Lubricate hinges and drums

Lubricate the pivot hinge to ensure its proper functioning. Also, lubricate the part of the track where the drums are located. Experts will usually recommend a product like 10W30 motor oil.

Lubricate tracks and springs

Also, spray a bit of motor oil on the horizontal tracks, mainly where the track curves and inside the track itself, where the drums roll back and forth. Doing so prolongs the service life of the hardware and limits squealing. Wipe away the excess oil with a rag.  

Proceed as such with the springs. Apply the oil, wipe off any excess, and say goodbye to grinding and squealing!

Lubricate weatherstripping around the door

To maintain the rubber’s suppleness, apply silicone-based lube every other month. Avoid using petrol-based products. Apply lube to the interior and exterior surfaces of the weatherstripping, frame, door sill, and if any, between sections. 

NOTE: Lubricating the trolley of the garage door opener proves useful. Typically, lubricating it when installed suffices. However, if it does need to be lubed, use white grease.

PRO TIP: If needed, use cardboard to limit splashing.

Examples of Garage Door Lubricants

Purchase a good, specially-made lubricant. There’s no need to pay top dollar—excellent products typically retail for a reasonable price, anywhere between $12 to $15. You can purchase garage door cleaning products directly from specialized companies like Garaga. 

Here are two examples of products readily available in hardware or department stores:

WD-40 3-in-One professional garage door spring lubricant, which prevents rust and is quick-dry, 311 g

This is a 3-in-1 formula that can be applied to hinges, tracks, pulleys, springs, ball bearings, and chains to prevent rust, corrosion, and grinding. This quick-dry, high-performing formula doesn’t leave any residue, limits dust buildup and promises a near noiseless and hassle-free functioning.

All-around Jig-A-Loo garage door spray lubricant, 311 g

This lubricant is specially made for garage door parts and mechanisms. Its 4-season formula is perfectly suited for Canadian winters. Its quick-dry, silicone-base formula protects against rust and corrosion and minimizes the accumulation of dust and dirt.

Our Top Tips for Any and All Repairs

garage door maintenance

Source: Canva

Seasonal maintenance and upkeep—before winter and in springtime—means prolonging the service life of your garage door, while enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Rust, jammed mechanisms, neverending noise and squeaking are all headache-inducing factors that can be easily avoided. You don’t have to spend loads to purchase products, nor countless hours cleaning.

As it’s often the case with renovations or repairs, it’s better to act now than regret it later. Things don’t miraculously fix themselves. Therefore, even if you’re now more knowledgeable as to how to clean your garage door like a pro, an annual inspection, done by the installer, is always a good idea.

What to check and when?

  • Check the garage door operator on a quarterly basis. The garage door must be perfectly balanced, as uneven load distribution puts unnecessary strain on the motor. Never attempt to adjust the springs, bottom hinges, or drum cables yourself as it could put you in harm’s way.

  • Regularly check the safety photo beam detectors. Your garage door should automatically reverse its motion if it detects an object or person in its path. If it doesn’t reverse automatically, contact a professional right away. 

  • Ensure the door fully opens and closes. If necessary, adjust the path commands or strength; most garage door openers can be fine-tuned using two distinct buttons. 

  • When carrying out maintenance on your garage door, check the hinges, drums, bolts, and track supports to ensure they’re securely fastened. If you notice any irregularities, contact a specialist.

Precautionary Measures

  • Be mindful not to increase the pressure too much when calibrating the door opener. If the weatherstripping found on the door sill is crushed, its service life will be cut short. Also, the friction caused may hinder the door’s proper functioning.

  • Keep the door opener’s remote control out of children’s reach. Never allow them to play with it. 

Caution, high voltage! Don’t touch! 

Here’s a list of repairs that you should never attempt yourself on your garage door system:

  • Replace a damaged garage door panel

  • Replace a broken spring

  • Replace broken drums or lift cables

Also, don’t attempt to reset your garage door on its tracks. Keep in mind that the spring system is connected to the lift cables, which are securely anchored to the bottom of the door. The spring system is located right above your head, and holds the weight of the door, which can easily weigh 300 pounds, and removing a part of the whole system, it’s a lot like putting one’s head on the chopping block, literally.

PRO TIP: Already have a garage door opener? Try using the emergency release cord to manually open the door, that way you can check if the door’s opening system functions properly. You should be able to do so one-handed. If not, you’ve just pinpointed a problem. In fact, if the spring system is in good condition, it serves as a counterweight and the door shouldn’t weigh more than 8 to 10 pounds.

What type of wax can be used on the door panel?

garage door maintenance

Source: Canva

Apply a thin and even coat of liquid wax to the garage door every year, ensuring no deposits spot the surface. Doing so will protect your garage door’s overall lustre while also restoring its sheen. A good wax will also protect its finish against UV rays

For metal garage doors with an enamel paint finish: industry specialists suggest using GS-2000 car wax. Apply some once a year to protect your door’s lustres and sheen. Avoid applying such wax on sunny days.

TRICK: Wax deposits stuck between the wood’s grain can be removed by delicately brushing the surface with a soft-bristled brush. Pay careful attention to any residue found near the door’s frame or decorative moulding. 

Spray holding the can 10 to 15 cm away from the surface and use a soft rag to spread the wax and polish your garage door. 

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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