You’re running late for work.  You rush into your garage.  Pile into your car, and start the engine.  When you press the button on the remote for your garage door opener nothing happens.  You realize your garage door is broken, and that you’re trapped!

The  last thing you need when you’re in a hurry is to be surprised by a garage door that won’t open.   Beyond the inconvenience, a broken garage door can be pricey to repair or replace.  Worn down cables, pulleys, springs, and sensors can all contribute to your garage door going down.

The key to preventing breakdowns is maintenance.  Here are simple, regular inspections you can do that can preserve your garage door,  alert you to potential issues, and extend the life of your garage door.

Visual Assessment

A visual check up is the most basic maintenance you can do.  Here are the steps:

  1.      Close your garage door.
  2.      Position yourself in front of the door, under the garage door cables and springs.
  3.      Go to town, eyeballing your garage door for wear and tear.  Inspect the mounting hardware.  Examine cables, springs, and pulleys.  Survey the door, itself.  Look for loose components, frayed parts, and other signs of damage.
  4.     Open and close your garage door.   Does it sound normal?

If anything seems out of the ordinary it could be an indication of a larger issue.  Contact a trained service technician if you have any concerns.

Balance Tests

Unbalanced doors are a serious problem, but they might not be apparent to the naked eye.   Fortunately, there’s a simple step-by-step test you can do:

  1.      Close your garage door, and disconnect the automatic opener.
  2.      Manually lift your garage door to waist level.

If your door is balanced, it should open with little resistance.  If it’s unbalanced, you’ll struggle to raise it.  Consider consulting a certified mechanic if your garage door doesn’t pass the test.

Lubrication Check

Don’t wait to hear creaks and squeaks from your garage door; lubricate the moving parts once or twice a year.   Here’s how:

  1.   Spray light oil on spring, hinges, and pivot points.
  2.   Prepare the rollers before you spray them.  Clean the garage door tracks with a cloth and a non-corrosive cleaner.
  3.   Apply oil to the rollers.  Use lubricant on all-metal rollers.  With nylon rollers, just lubricate the bearings; don’t oil the nylon rollers, themselves.