How to Maintain and Service Your Garage Door with many homes and their appliances, residential garage doors take in a lot of wear and tear during the course of their operational lives. They are used as basketball courts, tennis ball partners and goalies. They’re run into, dinged, dented, rained on, snowed on. They’re beat up on and used daily, and it’s good idea to do a performance test on your garage door every few months to make sure that it is in optimal performance condition. If you see any issues while performing any of the steps listed below, you should always contact a professional service person to complete repairs safely.

Test your garage door opener.

  • There are a few things you can do in order to ensure your door opener is still working correctly and will not need any repairs soon. First, do a reversal test. What this means is that you are testing the doors ability to sense something is in the way and stop closing and reverse direction. This is strongly recommended for families with children. To do a reversal test, simply lay a 2”x4” piece of wood down on the ground in the middle of where the door would close and push the transmitter to start lowering the door. When the  door reaches the piece of wood, it should automatically stop and reverse. If it doesn’t call a serviceman for repairs or replacement.
  • Another force test to perform is to hold onto the bottom of the door as it’s closing and apply downward pressure. The door should also stop and reverse. If for any reason your door does not have a reverse feature, it will need to be replaced due to current federal regulations of overhead garage doors.

Test your garage door

Once a month it’s important to do a quick check of your garage door to ensure it doesn’t need professional maintenance.

  • Do a visual check. Look at all parts of the garage door. This includes the door sprigs, all the cables, rollers and pulleys. Look for fraying, foreign objects, cables that are loose where they shouldn’t be, missing screws or loose brackets. Keep in mind that the springs are under an incredible amount of tension and you should not try to adjust that on your own or you may cause yourself serious injury. If you see any issues, stop using the door until you have a professional examine it.
  • Lubrication. Keep everything moving smoothly by lubricating the moving parts of the door. It’s not necessary to lubricate anything made out of plastic. The owners manual that came with your door should have further instructions for your specific model.
  • Balance. Check the balance of the door itself. To do this, first close your garage door completely. Your opener should have a release mechanism you will use so that you can safely move the door by hand. Once you have released the door, lift it up by hand. It should lift smoothly and easily. Once the door has been manually raised about 3 or 4 feet, the door should stay open on it’s own. If it does not there might be an issue with the balance that will need to be adjusted.

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