Your garage door will experience a lot of wear given the number of times it goes up and down every day. Because garage doors are heavy, it's common for parts to come loose or wear out, and this can affect the smooth functioning of your door. Neglected doors will get noisier and harder to operate, and this places an extra burden on the automatic opener, which can get damaged as a result.
This article highlights three annual maintenance tasks that will ensure your garage door is running optimally until it's due for professional repair or replacement. If you follow them religiously, you can keep this time from coming for years!
Before starting any work, ensure the automatic opener is unplugged.
Avoid cutting, removing or lifting extension or torsion springs/cables while the door is open, as they carry a lot of tension and can cause serious injury.
Do not attempt any repairs or maintenance if you're not confident in your ability to finish it
1. Tightening bolts and buts
Hardware parts like screws, nuts and bolts around various parts of the door can come loose with the movement of the door. Inspect roller brackets as well as bolts which connect support brackets to the rails and tighten where necessary. Rusty nuts and bolts should be removed and replaced.
2. Roller inspection
With age, nylon rollers may chip or crack, and such defects aren't hard to see. If you have steel rollers, expect the bearings to wear, which may cause the wheel to start tilting out of place. You can buy replacement rollers at the local home improvement store: steel rollers last longer but will be noisier as they age, while nylon rollers are more expensive but quieter. Remove and reinstall the roller brackets to replace rollers. Caution: Never remove the bottom roller brackets, as the cable attached carries a lot of tension. Leave this to a professional.
3. Lift cable inspection
In the torsion or extension spring cables, you're looking for kinked or frayed portions. Damage will most often start where the lowest roller bracket attaches to the cable because of exposure to waster. You can use an old toothbrush to remove dirt and inspect the cable properly. You should inspect the whole door for whatever could be causing the wear.
If you find any problem with the cable, do not try DIY repair; these springs must be handled by a professional, as they are under great tension. If the spring is okay, use a cleaner-lubricant like WD-40 or white lithium grease to lubricate the springs; avoid heavy lubricants which attract dirt. You can also lubricate the chain or screw on the opener if they require lubrication (check your manual). Lubrication reduces friction and corrosion and the resultant damage.
Contact a garage door service professional in your area for additional advice.