garage-doorGarage doors are one of those objects around the house that most people just don’t take notice of until something goes wrong. They’re helpful when they’re working, and they’re a pain when they aren’t.

In fact, garage doors have a lot of moving parts—and they’re not as maintenance-free as you might think.

Here are a few things all homeowners should know about garage door maintenance:

  • Cleaning: Although you may not give it much thought, cleaning your garage door a few times a year is recommended. (This will also give you the opportunity to take a close look at the garage door and see if anything looks wrong.) If it has a tough finish, you may be able to pressure wash your garage door. Otherwise, cleaning with soapy water and a soft cloth is safe on most, if not all, garage doors.
  • Lubrication: Once or twice a year, be sure to lubricate your garage door’s hinges, rollers, and tracks. Plastic or vinyl rollers don’t need to be lubricated. If the tracks are dirty, wipe them down and clean them with brake cleaner before applying lubricant. This will keep your door running smoothly, and again also gives you an opportunity to visually inspect all moving parts of your garage door.
  • Sealing: Once or twice a year, take a look at the weatherstripping along the sides and bottom of the door to see if it is worn or cracked. If the weatherstripping is worn or cracked, it should be replaced as soon as possible. A good seal will keep rain, snow, and other precipitation out of your garage.
  • Safety: Finally, we recommend doing a monthly check of your garage door’s safety features including its force setting and any additional safety devices such as photo eyes. To test a door’s force setting, as you close the door, hold up the bottom of the door with your arm. If it continues closing, it is unsafe and needs a force setting adjustment. Finally, for other features like photo eyes, attempt to close the door then cross the plane of the photo eyes to ensure that the door reverses as it should.These simple tests will take only a few minutes of your time every month, but will go a long ways towards ensuring that you stay safe. Garage doors are heavy, and dysfunctional safety devices can lead to people, vehicles, or pets becoming trapped.

As with many other jobs around the house, some garage door work is best left to the professionals. That said, knowing the basics of garage door maintenance can save you a lot of hassle down the road.

If you need a spring replaced, or even if your garage door needs basic preventative maintenance and you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, our team here at Omaha Door & Window has you covered. You can always reach us for service at 402-733-6440, and we also have a convenient online service request form you can fill out if you can wait until the next business day.

photo credit: Kim G. Appels via photopin cc