How To Maintain Your Garage Roller Door
Rollers require lubrication regularly or else they can wear out with daily use, and tracks can become misaligned. The result is a door that drags or binds, which can eventually lead to noise and difficulty when opening and closing. Not only will this drive you insane, but it will make the neighbours crazy too. Have you ever heard the sound of a garage door that’s nearing the end of its life?
Put simply, maintaining your garage door properly can add years onto its life, will ensure your warranty stays valid, and will keep the neighbours happy. Sound good? Then read on to learn our garage door maintenance tips...
One of the best preventative measures you can take is to pay attention every time you lower or raise your garage door. Look to see if it’s moving smoothly or if it’s jerking in places. Listen to whether it’s operating silently or if it’s making a grinding, scraping noise. Check to see if the springs, pulleys and cables are symmetrical and look for broken strands and damage to high tension cables. If you notice anything concerning, get onto it straight away to ensure the problem doesn’t escalate. If the problem concerns cables, call in the professionals and DO NOT TOUCH them.
Check the balance
If your garage door is not properly balanced it will have to work harder and it won’t last long. To test the balance, pull the release cord to disconnect the opener, and manually move the door halfway up. If balanced correctly the door should stay open. If it closes back down on you, you’ve got a problem. Garage door spring adjustments are best left to the professionals, so give ARD Garage Doors a call.
Remove your vehicles
When checking tracks and rollers with a ladder, remove any vehicles or other items that will make it difficult to gain access. Track surfaces need to stay as smooth as possible and free of dirt and moisture, so it’s a good idea to clean guide tracks with methylated spirits. DO NOT oil or lubricate guide tracks.
Tighten up hardware
If you use your garage door three times each day, that means it operates more than 1000 times every year. That’s a lot of movement and vibration, which can cause the hardware to loosen. Before lubricating your garage door parts, examine and tighten all roller brackets and bolts with a socket wrench.
Lubrication is the key to garage door health and several parts of your garage door require lubricating. The springs, rollers and hinges all need some attention every few months to keep your door functioning as it should. Do not use WD-40 for this as it will only clean your garage door. For true lubrication, choose a silicone spray or white lithium grease.
If the rollers are metal with unsealed bearings, brush around the bearings with an old toothbrush to dislodge any buildup of dirt and grime before wiping the debris away with a clean cloth. Spray silicone oil on the bearings, spraying just enough to not cause dripping. No lubrication is necessary if the rollers are nylon with sealed bearings. You’ll just need to spray lubricant in and around the stems of the rollers. Wipe away any excess lubricant to prevent it dripping down onto your garage floor and if your rollers have nylon wheels that touch the guide tracks, be careful not to spray them.
If you can reach the springs, give them a wipe over with an oily rag to lubricate or spray downwards with silicone oil. Again, you only want to lubricate them enough to make them move better, without a lot of extra lubricant dripping out.
While you’re at it, you may wish to lubricate your key sticks or the lock if it’s getting hard to open and close.
Wash the door
Wash the door with clean water and a cloth at least once a month. If you live close to the beach we recommended upping this frequency, as salt can build up on a door and cause damage. Be careful not to wash the automatic opener while cleaning the door as this could lead to electrocution.
Over time, the rubber weather seal on the bottom of your garage door can become dry, brittle and cracked. When this happens, replace it right away to keep the elements outside. Weatherstripping is available from most hardware stores and can be cut to size and inserted into the grooves with the wide angle of the flange inside the door.
Check the safety features
To test the safety features of your garage door, run two tests that will examine the condition of both the mechanical and photocell mechanisms. Place a piece of wood or a large object in the path of the door. When the door lowers, it should detect the wood or object and reverse back up. Next, pass your leg through the door’s path when lowering to see if it reverses. If your opener doesn’t have these safety features, it’s time to get a new door.
Have it serviced
Aim to have your garage door serviced around every 12 months by a professional. Working with the manufacturer’s specifications, it’s the best way to ensure your garage door operates as it should for a long time to come.
Replace the rollers
If you use your garage every day, your rollers, whether nylon or steel, should be replaced every seven years. Worn, chipped or cracked rollers should be replaced straight away. To do this you can either call in the professionals, or remove and reinstall roller brackets not directly attached to the cable system.
Your garage door is the largest moving part in your home and it deserves to be looked after. All of these tips can be performed quickly, so there are no excuses. Take care of your garage door and you’ll be amazed by how long it lasts.