In many homes, the garage door is the main way for the owner to get in and out of the house. An online survey found that 71% of homeowners contacted, use their garage door openers to gain access to the house every day. The key to the front door is now the garage door opener remote! Annual maintenance and inspection can keep your doors running safely and reliably for years to come.
Maintenance steps to take at home to keep your doors running smoothly
For your doors:
- Once a year, using a light motor oil or “garage door” spray lubricant, put a couple drops on each roller (five on each side, riding in vertical track) where the shaft attaches to the wheel, and a couple drops in the curved portion of the track
- Periodically test the balance of your door. Start with the door closed and disconnected from the electric opener. Door should lift smoothly, with little resistance and stay open about halfway. If not, the door is out of balance and should be checked by a professional.
- Inspect springs, cables, rollers, and pulleys for signs of wear or fraying.
For your electric openers:
We recommend Lift-Master’s 3-Step Safety Check
- Check the sides of the garage door for properly installed photo eyes (black sensors at the bottom of the vertical tracks). They should be no higher than six inches of the floor.
- Block the photo eye with an object over six inches tall and press the garage door opener’s close button. The door should not close. It may start but will stop and the light on the motor will blink.
- Lay an object that is at least one and half inches high on the ground in the door’s path and press the close button. The door should reverse off this object.
Garage Door safety is something often overlooked by homeowners. We all get used to opening the door with a push of the button, taking it for granted until our car is stuck in the garage. Aside from maintenance, there are safety concerns with the operation of a garage door and opener. As the largest and heaviest moving part in a home, it’s springs, cables, brackets, and other hardware are under high tension. Even a minor error in installation or a worn part failure can result in damage to the door or injury to the homeowner.
- Never stand in the door opening or allow children to play in the opening. A door can free fall due to a broken spring or other extenuating circumstances. Metal fatigue gives no warning. Garage doors can weigh anywhere from 100 lbs. up to 400 lbs.
- Never remove any hardware if you are not experienced. Garage doors are under a very high degree of spring tension to work properly and removing the wrong bracket can cause serious injury.
No machine runs forever without some adjustment, lubrication, etc. As parts wear, the door may shift and cause more wear and tear on hardware, springs, etc. leading to failure.
The best preventive maintenance for your garage door and opener, is an annual tune up by a professional to mechanically adjust hinges, tighten nuts and bolts, and replace worn parts. This can help to eliminate a potential major problem in the future