For most homeowners, the garage door is an essential component of the home, but without proper maintenance, it can become a nuisance or, worse, a glaring safety hazard. At Door Power, we stress the importance of routine garage door maintenance because we know regular upkeep can extend the life of your door and improve its safety status. If you’re not currently in the habit of inspecting, maintaining, and testing your garage door, you could be putting you and family at risk. To get you started, here are four essential maintenance actions you should be performing at least every two months, but preferably, every month:
Clean the Garage Door Tracks
Over time, debris and grime accumulate in your garage door’s tracks, which can slow door operation and gum up the door’s rollers. To keep your garage door functioning at optimal speed, it’s important that you clean the door’s tracks at regular intervals, preferably every two to three months. Here’s how to do it quickly and easily:
● Open your garage door fully to access the vertical part of each track.
● Dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with water or a gentle household cleaner and wipe it along the interior of the lower part of the track. For difficult-to-remove debris, spray cleaner directly on the track and allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping the area with a lint-free cloth.
● Close your garage door fully to access the upper, horizontal part of each track.
● To clean the upper portion of each track, perform the same cleaning techniques you used on the lower part of the tracks.
When you finish clearing away debris and grime, make sure you lubricate the tracks with a lithium- or silicone-based lubricant. Keeping the tracks well-lubricated allows the garage door rollers to function optimally, which prevents the door from moving slowly or becoming stuck.
Lubricate All Moving Parts
Routinely lubricating your garage door’s moving parts can add several years to its lifespan, so if you’re not currently in the habit of lubing the tracks, joints, and rollers, now is the time to start. Adequate lubrication allows the door to move seamlessly while helping to prevent corrosion development that can slowly deteriorate your garage door’s metal components.
After you’ve cleaned the tracks using a lint-free cloth, apply a lithium- or silicone-based lubricant to the interior of the garage door tracks, around the rollers, and to any moving joints on the surface of the door. Be sure to wipe away any excess lubrication with a lint-free cloth, as it can attract dust and other debris that can clog the moving parts and slow the door’s operation over time.
Test the Auto-Reverse Feature
Your garage door’s auto-reverse feature is perhaps its most critical safety mechanism, which means it’s essential that you test its functionality once per month. The auto-reverse feature forces the door to reverse upward when it encounters an object in its path, which means it can potentially save a life—but only when it’s fully functional. Here’s how to test the door’s automatic reverse feature:
● Open the garage door fully and place a block of wood or another solid object on the floor of your garage, directly in the closing path of the garage door. Be sure the solid object does not interrupt the photo-eye sensors’ beam, or the door will refuse to close. We recommend using an object of approximately 1 ½ inches in height.
● Activate the garage door so that it begins to close.
● When the garage door touches the solid object in its path, it should reverse upward within 2 seconds. If it fails to reverse, it’s time to contact a garage door repair specialist to repair the opener.
Test the Photo-Eye Sensors
Your garage door’s photo-eye sensors are a critical component of its auto-reverse feature, so you must also test the sensors once per month. After you’ve performed the auto-reverse test, here’s how to check the sensors’ functionality:
● Open the garage door fully. Place a large object (one that’s tall enough to interrupt the photo-eye sensors’ beam) on the floor of your garage in the closing path of the garage door.
● Activate the door using the automatic opener.
● The door should immediately refuse to close when the photo-eye sensors detect the object’s presence. If the door continues its downward trajectory, you’ll need to contact a garage door repair company to examine the sensors and replace them, if necessary.
Door Power: Your Source for Garage Door Repair
At Door Power, we’ve been serving Twin Cities homeowners with prompt, professional, and comprehensive garage door repair and installation for over 50 years. Whether you're in the market for new garage door installation, or you’re simply looking to replace existing parts to maintain your door’s safe operation, our experienced team is fully dedicated to your complete satisfaction. To learn more about our garage door installation or repair services or to schedule your appointment, give our team a call at 952-467-3199. For your convenience, you can also request a service appointment online or reach out to us on our contact page with any questions.