Do It Yourself Garage Door Maintenance

Do It Yourself Garage Door Maintenance

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You probably use your garage door every day, but when was the last time you maintained it? A garage door is just like any other part of your house – it needs to be cleaned and tuned-up to keep it safe and working properly! The average homeowner doesn’t usually know what the safety warning signs are when it comes to their garage door, nor do they know how to clean and maintain it!

You may be wondering why we’re bringing you this information, though. Truth is, Landmark repairs and replaces failed garage door openers with home warranty coverage often. We have noticed that many of these garage door opener breakdowns could have been prevented with a little bit of maintenance. That’s why we have this DIY post about what YOU can do to make your garage door last longer and stay safe.

unplug your garage door opener

While you’re completing this list, make sure that you have unplugged your garage door opener, you’re wearing gloves, and you do not touch the lift cable or torsion spring. If you need help on those two parts of the garage door, call a technician. Home warranty coverage will take care of the garage door opener, (the motor, etc.) but doesn’t cover the garage door.


Visual Inspection

First thing you should do when you’re tuning up your garage door is a visual inspection. Look over the roller tracks, rollers, and brackets. If there are any parts of the garage door that are spray painted red, or have warning labels, do not touch them. If you notice something wrong on the torsion spring or cable, call a certified garage door technician (or if you have home warranty coverage, your company) to help you. Garage door springs are under tremendous tension, and you could hurt yourself if you try to repair something. Leave it for the professionals, or your home warranty coverage technician.

Tighten any loose bolts

Tighten Nuts and Bolts on Garage Door

Since your garage door has moving parts, the hardware could become loose over time. Check to see if any of the nuts or bolts on the garage door and opener need to be tightened.

home warranty no coverage on rollers

Inspect Roller Tracks and Replace and Clean

Next, check the roller tracks and rollers themselves. If you see a build up of dirt in the roller track, you can clean it out with brake cleaner (wear gloves!). If the rollers on the track are bent or broken, they should be replaced as soon as possible. If you notice a problem with the bottom roller, call a certified technician (or if you have home warranty coverage, your company). The bottom roller is connected to the lift cable and can hurt you.


Check Lift Cable for Fraying

Finally, check the lift cable for any fraying or broken strands. You may need to brush away dirt and grease from the cable to inspect it properly. Once again, this cable is under a lot of tension. If you notice that it is breaking, call a technician who can help you replace it. 

Safety Checks

A garage door is extremely heavy, and the spring that helps to lift and lower the door is powerful. Although most new doors (made after 1993) have added safety features, it’s always a good idea to test and see if they are working.

Check the Door’s Balance

The first thing to do is test and see if the balance is off on the door. A balanced door is less likely to crush something, and will make sure your opener isn’t working too hard to lift and lower the door. You can do this easily.

  1. Unhook the door from the opener, only while the door is closed.
  2. Raise the door halfway (waist height) 
  3. If the door rises, the torsion spring is too tight. If the door falls, the spring is too loose. This is a job for a garage door technician- call them as soon as possible.
  4. Hook the garage door back up to the opener.

Check the Photo Electronic Eye

All modern garage door openers have a photo-electronic eye that will stop the door from going down if something is pushed/runs in front of the photo-beam. You can test to see if this feature is working properly by completing these steps:

  1. Stand outside of the garage door and push the button for the door to close.
  2. As it is closing, move a broom (or pool noodle - something that won't break if the door doesn't work) in front of the electronic eye.
  3. The door should reverse. If it does not, clean the eye off with a dry cloth and make sure the two photo beams are level and pointing at each other. If it still doesn’t, and you have home warranty coverage, call for a technician.

Check the Auto Reverse Feature

Another safety feature a garage door has is to auto reverse when it comes in contact with an object. It’s easy to test this feature too.