All mechanical items require periodic maintenance. Overhead garage doors are typically the largest piece of moving equipment in your home. Most homes use their garage door more than the main entry door. Also, your overhead door is one of your most essential entries. After all, if the overhead door breaks with your car inside, you’re stuck!
Here is a short list of items you can use to increase the lifespan of your overhead garage door:
- In real estate they say “location, location, location.” In garage doors we say “lubricate, lubricate, lubricate!” With a light household oil lubricate the following:
- Lock hardware (on a manual door) where the surfaces turn or slide.
- Torsion spring to reduce friction between coils.
- Lift cables at the bottom bracket button. This is the “eye closure” where the cable attaches to the bottom bracket.
- Lubricate steel rollers. DO NOT lubricate nylon rollers.
- At least twice a year your door should be cleaned. Most homeowners are incredulous when told they need to clean the exterior of an overhead door. We tell them we’re lucky in Wisconsin. In harsher coastal climates it is recommended homeowners clean their door four times a year! But there is no need to worry, cleaning your door is easy. Here are some cleaning tips:
- You can use the following: a well soaked sponge, soft cloth or a low pressure garden sprayer.
- Mix one cup of Simple Green®, or some other non-toxic biodegradable cleaner with two gallons of warm water, (less than 0.5% phosphate). *
Five gallons of room temperature water with one cup of household ammonia.
Never use harsh materials such as solvents, scouring pads, or scouring powder cleansers.
- Make sure you rinse your door thoroughly.
- After your thorough cleaning and drying use a liquid car wax to preserve your new door’s natural finish. (do not use paste car wax)
- What about the windows?
- Use a soft (non-abrasive) cloth.
- Clean with a mild solution of a dishwashing detergent. (some examples include Palmolive Liquid – a Colgate Palmolive product, Top Job – also a Colgate Palmolive product and Joy – a Proctor & Gamble product)
- NOTE: do not use any abrasive, solvent-based, or ammoniated cleaners.
As the years go on, there are some other items to be inspected. Be diligent by inspecting your door for any nuts, bolts or screws that may have loosened over time. Check your hinges as well. Make sure no hinges are bent or broken.
No one wants to imagine their overhead garage door being hit by a car or other vehicle for example. But, these things do happen. More often than we like to think! Sometimes the door “seems” to run fine after these mishaps. Your periodic inspection can help ensure a small accident does not become a major repair. Here are some items to check:
- Is the track bent? The track should be straight and cupped to ensure the rollers run smoothly in the track. After a door is hit or bumped, over time a little crease in the track can deteriorate. This compromise of the structural integrity of the track can wind up allowing a roller to “pop” right out of the track! Causing the door to become stuck….or worse yet, the door can fall.
- Make sure your rollers have not become bent or frozen.
- Again, check the hinges, are any hinges bent, twisted or broken?
Following these simple maintenance tips can help you and your overhead door enjoy a long and happy life together! If you have any questions on these suggestions, remember, we’re only a phone call (or email) away.
If these maintenance tips seem to be more hassle than you are ready to deal with, don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer both automatic annual maintenance as well as on-demand maintenance schedules. We’re here to make your entire overhead garage door ownership as worry-free as possible.
*NEVER BLEND AMMONIA OR CLEANERS WITH BLEACH.