Garage door maintenance involves just a little time & being on the lookout for potential problems to keep them from becoming big ones. A properly installed garage door will need little maintenance & will give you few to no problems in it’s lifetime.
I recommend using regular WD-40 on the springs once a year. The only rollers that can be oiled are ones with ball bearings & only do this if they look dry. If it isn’t a sealed bearing & if there is space, squirt some light to medium oil into the bearings with a squirt can. WD-40 white lithium spray is an option & regular WD-40 as a second choice.
Don’t oil or grease the door track, it will only attract dirt. If your door is squeaking when traveling up & down, the hinges are often the cause. Hold a rag around the hinge & spray a little silicone based lube where the hinge pivots, wipe any excess off the hinge & door.
I’ve heard it said a few times that the light duty plastic rollers (without ball bearings) typical on most doors today may last 5-10 years. The truth is they rarely fail under normal conditions. The cheaper light duty metal rollers with ball bearings on older doors commonly go bad but a 10 ball roller is the best.
Look for excessive wear or play with the rollers…IF THE ROLLER AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE DOOR COMES OFF, THE PANEL WILL COME OFF THE TRACK POSSIBLE INJURING SOMEONE OR CAUSING PROPERTY DAMAGE. The bottom roller usually will be under the most stress & will wear the most.
Garage Door openers
If your garage door opener uses a one piece rail with a chain or belt drive, use a light grease like white lithium every 4-5 years. Because it’s white be careful not to get it anywhere except where it’s needed. Most other greases get to thick in the cold weather. If you have a multi-piece square rail don’t bother greasing it because it will only collect dirt. For a screw drive every 5 years some graphite spray is fine. The chain on a chain drive really needs no maintenance. A chain is so tough it will outlast anything else by far.
Look at the safety sensors. Do they look like they are pointed at each other? They don’t have to be perfect but eyeball close will work. Spider webs may catch a leaf & block the sensors & then you will be wondering why you door wont close!
Prevent Small Problems From Becoming Large Ones!
- Do a visual inspection with the door closed. Does the door & track have equal spacing from the top to the bottom, or is it parallel all the way up & down? Do the same with it open. A little bit off shouldn’t present a problem.
- Does the door travel up & down easily without binding? If not the track may need realignment.
- Look at the rollers. Are they worn? I have seen lots of problems with the old style metal rollers than the plastic ones.
- Are there any frayed cables?
- VERY IMPORTANT. For doors with the spring on a torsion tube (see picture left). With the door all the way up, is there slack in the cable? If so it may come off the drum & then your door will be a best be stuck or possibly, a major disaster. Call us & we can put a little more tension on the spring. If you do this your self 1/3 to 1/2 turn should be plenty. Keep in mind there is a lot of tension on the torsion spring. Also when you loosen the lock nuts on the spring (only if you have a single spring system) the cable will become loose & come off the other drum because there is no tension holding the cable tight anymore so lock down the torsion tube with vise grips.
- Are there any kinked or bent panels? If these are fixed early, often with a strut (picture right). It could save you from having to buy a new door later.
In my opinion it is a waste of money for the consumer to purchase a regular garage door maintenance plan for a residential home. If a garage door contractor tries to sell you this don’t do business with them.
In summary garage door maintenance is just a little lubrication & taking care of small problems before they become large ones.
We are happy to answer any & all questions. Even those regarding you fixing your door your self!