Your garage door does more than boost your curb appeal. It protects your home from various weather types and home invasion. When you make updates, knowing how to extend the life of your new garage door ensures the money you spent doesn’t go to waste. Follow this beginner guide to keep your garage door in peak condition!
Understand Your Garage Door
It would be best if you had a basic understanding of how your door operates since knowing how it’s normally supposed to operate will increase your chances of identifying when it has problems. Ask yourself these questions:
- What sounds does it make?
- What is the typical opening and closing speed?
- How does it open?
Each piece of information is vital to know when problems arise. For example, carriage-house doors open outward, unlike the typical roll-up garage door. Understanding the specifics of the type of door you have will help you when you encounter problems.
Understanding your door allows you to run the proper tests to maintain it through the years to keep it running perfectly.
Listen for Sounds
New or unfamiliar sounds could be a sign that a component or piece no longer works properly. For example, a broken door may make a squeaking or scraping sound.
Watch for Speeds
If your door opens slower than it once had or opens too quickly, it’s time for a repair. A properly working garage door should open at a constant speed.
Have a Maintenance Schedule
Like other chores you tend to around the house, set aside time to evaluate your garage door visually and mechanically. By assessing your door every month, you increase the chance of spotting a problem early on. Here’s a handy list of signs that you might need to replace your garage door.
What To Check
During monthly checkups, make sure you do a balance test and inspect rollers and the tracks they run along as your door opens and closes. Doing these tests is vital to preventing expensive repairs and accidents.
If your garage has photo eyes to prevent it from opening or closing if something crosses an invisible beam, check this as well by placing something in the path of the laser when operating the door.
What’s a Balance Test?
A balance test checks to see if the springs, tensioner, and cables need repair. When one of these pieces breaks, the door won’t open correctly or could fall. This, of course, becomes a hazard to anyone walking in or out of the garage.
To perform a balance test, manually open your door garage door halfway using the emergency release cord, and ensure no one is below the door. If working correctly, your door will either remain in place or open or close slowly. A broken garage door slams shut or quickly opens.
Take Care of Hardware
After completing a balance test, you’ll want to evaluate the hardware, including:
Part of making your door last for years is to inspect its rollers and tracks. Keep these clear of debris and well lubricated with a petroleum-based lubricant. As you check these pieces, search for any cracks or chips.
Additionally, when you open and close the door inside the garage, pay attention to the rollers so you can see if they’re moving and sounding as they should. Finally, call a professional to have the performance evaluated and repaired if you notice a worn cable or missing screw.
If you live in the Ames, Iowa area, a team member from The Door and Fence Store could expertly assess your garage door for signs of breakage.
Care for Weatherstripping
The rubber gasket at the bottom of your garage door helps keep out debris, cold air, and unwanted rain, snow, and other weather. Not only does it keep these things out, but it also helps keep your garage insulated. In the summer, you won’t have to worry about the garage overheating because cool air from the house will remain inside.
Why is keeping your weatherstripping maintained important? If the rubber gasket degrades, it may crack and no longer function properly.
How To Care for Weatherstripping
Set aside time to wipe down and lubricate this strip with a silicone-based product every couple of months. Avoiding anything with petroleum is crucial as it could damage the rubber or cause it to dry out faster.
By regularly taking care of your weatherstripping and other insulation, you prevent damage and keep your garage temperature comfortable.
Keep the Door Clean
Part of maintaining your garage door is cleaning both the hardware and the exterior. While you may need to replace your door because a piece no longer works properly, you could do the same if it becomes an eyesore.
Start cleaning your door by gathering a cleaning solution, a microfiber cloth, towels, and your garden hose.
Most experts recommend homeowners use dish soap or car wash soap mixed with water for a cleaning solution that won’t damage the door or pain job. Mix these in a bucket of water, begin scrubbing your door down with the microfiber rag, then rinse it down and dry it off.
Don’t forget to sweep off the garage floor and clean the tracks to remove any debris that may impair your weatherstripping or rollers.
Mistakes To Avoid
If you want your garage door to sparkle, clean it properly. You should also avoid doing things such as mixing cleaning solution with bleach, using abrasive sponges or cloths, or using a pressure washer.
Making one of these mistakes could damage your door—a power washer is too strong and could damage it. Likewise, rather than make your garage door shine, abrasive sponges could scratch the paint off the surface.
Call a Professional
Whether you notice something is amiss or want an expert’s advice for peace of mind, you could call the company you purchased your garage door from to have it evaluated by a professional. They can properly repair anything that broke, so you don’t have to worry about your home’s security.
Researching how to extend the life of your new garage door allows you to keep your door effectively working and protects your home. Remember to pay attention to your door, so you can spot any sudden changes and keep your maintenance on a schedule. It helps to keep in mind the most common types of garage door issues.