A garage door is something you use every day, but all too often the only time you really think about it is when it breaks. You don’t have to be a professional mechanic or engineer to maintain your garage door properly, however, there are some things you can do on your own if problems arise.
The most important thing to remember is that working on garage doors requires caution and concentration. An improperly adjusted door will damage itself and its surroundings, while an unbalanced one may fall with little warning. Never attempt maintenance while the door is moving or while anyone or anything is below it. Always engage the emergency release handle so that the motor does not accidentally re-energize while you’re working nearby – should be done whenever you work near the door.
Here are a few points of basic garage door care:
Cables and springs
Examine your cables, rollers, pulleys, and spring assemblies for signs of wear or fatigue. If you see signs that tightening will not fix the problem, it is time to replace them with first-grade components from a reputable supplier. If a cable breaks, the door will fall on whoever is near it! For this reason alone, you should have at least one person standing below as you work overhead on doors that don’t have an automatic reversal system installed. In fact, any double-door installation using thin torsion springs should have some sort of device to catch the loose door in case they snap.
Inspecting your springs
Springs, especially torsion springs, should be kept under tension at all times. If they are loose and relaxed, an overly-loaded spring could snap, or metal fatigue causes it to fail – resulting in a door collapse. All springs should be checked for damage and proper lubrication every few months. Do not attempt to tighten them yourself! Torsion springs can be very dangerous if tampered with; their torque is tremendous and always has the potential of causing serious injury. Your best bet is to bring your door in and let us take care of any needed adjustments or replacements.
Rollers and hinges
Examine your rollers at least once a year, more often if you live in a high dust environment. Loose rollers will cause the door to ride unevenly and may result in excessive dragging and premature wearing of the tracks, hinges, and bearings. If you find any bent or broken rollers, replace them.
All your cables should be checked yearly for signs of wear or fatigue, especially near where they attach themselves to the drums that lift or lower your door. Any cable exhibiting fraying should be replaced immediately because it could snap at any time with potentially fatal results!
Inspecting your Tracks
Inspect the tracks for any sign of damage. Bent or broken sections should be replaced immediately because they could cause a door to derail off its track and fall with little warning. The surface beneath it has to be strong enough to support the weight of an improperly secured, heavy door! If your track is painted, make sure that any rust appearing near joints or other stress points is refinished before the door rides over it. Failure to do so will result in excessive wear that can weaken tubing and eventually cause doors to jam or hang up (which might even rip out some welds!).