From simple analogue to complex electronic systems, garage doors are designed to sustain an extensive degree of wear and tear. In order to keep them functioning all year round, however, it is important that owners understand the ins and outs of garage door maintenance: from simple cleaning procedures to more complex measures.
Garage door systems do not react well to agents like WD-40 or grease. In fact, most require a special lubricant designed for garage doors only (which can be bought at any hardware store). These will come as sprays and should be applied no more than once every three or four months. Key areas to target are the hinges, the rollers, and the springs, as these are the mechanical hot-spots of the system and are the most likely to become rigid or difficult to shift. If the spray makes the surface sticky or dirty, then switching to another brand may be necessary.
Check the Cables
The cables which run from the springs to the door are vital, as they introduce the 'weightless' element to the system. Without them, opening the door would be extremely difficult, if not impossible—not to mention the safety hazards associated with their deterioration. Frayed, worn, or loose cables are red flags, and professional garage door service workers should be called in immediately to address these problems should they arise. Equally, if the door feels as though it has become heavier, an inspection of the cable system is always a good idea.
Tighten Bolts and Screws
Garage door systems are riddled with a variety of bolts and screws, which require tightening every now and then. The most important bolts to keep an eye on are those holding the track to the wall of the garage, as without them, the door could fall from the opening and potentially damage any vehicles stored within.
Keep an Eye on the Springs
There are three types of spring to know about:
- Extension Springs are the oldest type of spring and run from the track hangar to the top of the door (i.e. perpendicular to the top of the door). These relax when the door is opened, but extend when it is closed, hence the name. These particular springs are the most susceptible to sudden malfunction and can fly across the garage if broken under tension. Make sure that a safety cable runs through the middle of the springs and that it is not damaged in any way, call a repair worker in if a fault is evident.
- Torsion Springs are the newest and most reliable spring available. They run along a sturdy bar parallel to the top of the door and generally require little maintenance. Do remember to lubricate these regularly.
- Contained Springs are those which are held in a sealed receptacle or tube. They are inaccessible unless tension is taken off the door completely and shouldn't be a worry due to their sturdiness. If a fault is suspected, call in a repair worker to take a look at them