Have you been in your home for a few years without experiencing any garage door trouble? If so, you might not realize how crucial it is for you to take an active role in garage door maintenance. The door is in place, it goes up when you tell it to, and right back down with the push of a button. So why do you need regular maintenance on it? Because you never know when your safety and security are at risk, and discovering a problem quickly could save you a lot of heartache.
Your Responsibility: A Monthly Visual Inspection
So far, your biggest problem with the garage door may have been having to replace the batteries on the opener. But each day the springs, sensors, and other mechanisms that make up a working garage door are exposed to the elements. Sensors and tracks could become misaligned or springs and rollers could wear down. Damaged parts become a safety hazard because you could be injured by a door that doesn't open or close properly. To prevent this, your responsibility is to give your garage door a monthly visual inspection that includes:
- Cleaning Debris: Clean the sensors with isopropyl spray or a damp cloth each month. If dirt and cobwebs encrust the sensor, the debris will signal that something is in the way of the door. It won't close all the way. Also remember to clean off the tracks so they don't get misaligned or wear down the rollers prematurely. When cleaning, tighten any loose screws so that the roller can move along the track without creating friction.
- Checking for Wear: Look for worn parts in rollers, springs, and pulleys. If anything looks damaged, consult a professional at a site like http://www.shankdoor.com about getting parts replaced. Don't attempt repairs on your own – these parts are under a lot of tension and if you don't handle them properly, you could damage the safety mechanisms on your garage door and have a lot of weight come crashing down on you next time you try to use it.
- Checking for Function: Check that the garage door is opening and closing properly. This includes checking that the sensors are working (place a block of wood or something that won't be ruined in the door's pathway and test to see if the item triggers the door to move back up when it comes in contact with it). Also watch the hinges to see that they move smoothly when the door is in motion. You can lubricate the track and hinges with a light lubricant if they creak.
A Professional's Responsibility: An Annual Systemized Inspection
In addition to your monthly visual inspection, you should hire a professional to do an annual inspection. The professional will provide a more thorough examination of the door and its parts. If any parts are damaged, they can be repaired or replaced by the professional during the inspection. Replacing small parts will prolong the life of your garage door. You will also feel reassured in your security following an inspection of door parts and function – a professional will be able to tell if your cables or door opener have been tampered with and give you tips on increasing home security.
Regular maintenance on your garage door doesn't need to take up a lot of your time, but you should still give the door a monthly inspection. This, combined with an annual professional inspection, will ensure your safety and security. It will also prolong the life of your garage door. Even if your garage door has functioned smoothly up until now, remember that your efforts could prevent a major problem – or at least catch it before it causes major damage.