I find that the end of August/ beginning of September is a great time to check on how your garage door is performing. After you are done putting away all the boogie boards and pulling out the blankets and fall decorations, it is important to see how the garage door itself is doing. Although it might not be getting colder quite yet, it will be soon, and if the garage door has not been maintained in at least the last year, even something as small as temperature change can alter the efficiency of it dramatically. So, since the kids are at school for a couple of hours, lets go over how to do a quick maintenance of the garage door and it’s parts.
The first thing to do is to inspect all of the moving parts of the garage door for damage or wear. To multi-task, I like to dust or clean each part as I am inspecting it. Grime, old grease, dust or cobwebs can impede the movement of the garage door and should be removed before anything else is done. During your inspection, you want to look for fraying cables, worn rollers that might be wobbling because of defective bearings inside, or any loose hardware. It is at this point that you need to assess realistically what you can tackle on your own and what you need a professional for. You can probably tighten the hardware your own (be careful not to over tighten), and even change out some of the rollers and hinges. However, you do not want to replace the bottom rollers by yourself as the spring tension makes them powerful and dangerous if mishandled. As a rule, anything associated with the springs should be left to a professional.
Now that everything is clean, and broken or worn pieces have been replaced, it is time to lubricate. When it comes to lubrication, moderation is key. It is always a good idea to have the lubricant in one hand and a clean rag in the other to catch any excess or drips. There are garage specific lubricants at most home repair stores but engine oil will also do the trick. What you do not want to use is WD40 or anything else sticky or greasy. These will attract debris and cause things to gunk up and harden. This is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to achieve. You want to lubricate anything on the garage door or opener that moves- springs, hinges, rollers, etc. Don’t forget to lubricate the chain on your opener as well if you have a chain driven motor. It is not necessary to oil the track as it is the rollers that move, not the track itself. It is important to run the garage up and down a few times to distribute the oil evenly. If you are unsure of exactly where to lubricate and how much to use, it is always a good idea to have a pro do it first and have them explain to you what they are doing. That way you can do it yourself the next time. Regular maintenance is the best thing that you can do for your garage door. (Besides calling the Garage Door Man anytime there is a problem.)