Your garage door is the largest moving appliance in your home. Parts of it are under extreme tension – 500 pounds or more. For these reasons, you need to know when to work on it yourself, and when to call in the professionals. Follow the guidelines below to determine if you need professional help.
Garage Door Service Tasks for the Average Homeowner
Keep the area around the garage door clean. This reduces the amount of dirt, cobwebs, and other debris that will get into the garage-door mechanisms, causing them unnecessary strain and possible failure.
Perform a visual inspection of the door periodically. Once a week or so, look over the garage door for obvious signs of deterioration – broken or relaxed spring, frayed cables, loose cable connections, squeaky rollers or panel hinges, loose screws in panel hinges or roller plates, jerky and exceptionally noisy operation, and so forth. Fix what you can; call a professional for what you can’t fix.
Clean the roller tracks. Wipe the tracks out with a clean, dry cloth. Do not lubricate the tracks. It may cause the rollers to slip.
Clean the drive channel of the garage door opener. Again, wipe the drive channel out with a clean, dry cloth. Not doing so may cause unnecessary strain on the garage door opener.
Lubricate the panel hinges and rollers. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the roller’s bearings, and on the hinge pins. Do not overdo it. A special garage-door lubricant is available at your hardware store, or you can use 10W motor oil, or lighter.
Tighten loose, panel-hinge and roller-plate screws. Too many loose hinges may cause your garage door to buckle.
Safety feature checks. There are three, basic safety features – emergency release, solid-object detector, and photoelectric object detector. Refer to the garage-door opener manual for information on how to check these features.
Garage Door Service Tasks for the Professional
Yearly inspection and adjustment of your garage door. Professionals do this best because their training and experience has taught them exactly what to look for and how to fix it.
Anything to do with the garage door springs and associated parts – especially the cables and cable fasteners. There can be 500-pounds or more of tension on these parts, making them especially dangerous to service. A professional garage-door technician has the training, experience, tools, and parts to effect repair or replacement safely and quickly, and with the assurance the job has been done right.
Emergency repairs. It is quicker and safer to call a professional in an emergency. Most service shops try to get to you on the day you call.
Garage door opener maintenance. The garage door opener is a complicated piece of equipment with repairs and adjustments that are best done by a professional.
Replacing the panel hinges and rollers. Incorrect replacement procedures for these items can result in the garage door collapsing, or sudden release of the spring tension. Both of these events are life threatening. Call a professional.
Wouldn’t you feel much safer and more confident in the job if a professional has done it?