Regular maintenance can prevent most of the common garage door repairs. It will also save you money; reduce unexpected, garage door failures; and make your garage door safer to operate.
Once a year, have a professional check your garage door. Be aware of how your garage door is operating. If it runs smoothly, without undo or unusual noise, it is probably okay. If not, check it, or have it checked.
Once a month, inspect, perform preventive maintenance, test the safety features, and perform necessary servicing. For faults found with the garage door spring(s), call a professional to correct them. Spring(s) tension makes it too dangerous for the average homeowner to service.
Clean the area around the garage door to prevent debris from collecting in the garage-door mechanism.
Check the spring(s) to see if it is broken or relaxing. If it needs servicing, call a professional. Lubricate it lightly.
Check the spring cables for wear and looseness. Again, call a professional if they need service.
Check for loose screws on the panel hinges and tighten them. Lubricate at the bearing area, lightly.
Clean the tracks, inspect and tighten loose hanger hardware and joint fasteners. Do not lubricate.
Inspect the rollers for damage and looseness. Tighten loose rollers. Replace damaged rollers, except for those on the bottom panel. The spring cable is attached to that roller plate and should be replaced only by a professional. Lubricate the roller’s bearings lightly.
Check the drive unit for the garage door opener. Clean its track. Lubricate chains and drive screws on those types of opener drives. See the manual for instructions.
Check the motor/control unit for the garage door opener. Excessive or unusual noises indicate a problem. Have a professional analyze the unit.
SAFETY FEATURE CHECKS
Garage door openers manufactured since 1993 are required to have the safety features described below. If your garage door opener does not have one or more of these features, it should be replaced.
The quick-release feature disconnects the garage door from the garage door opener. Pulling a red lanyard located on the door end of the opener drive activates it. DO NOT activate it with the garage door open as the garage door may fall to the closed position.
To check this feature, close the garage door and pull on the red lanyard. You should be able to open and close the garage door manually. Reconnect the door and opener.
The solid-obstruction feature reverses door movement when the door encounters a solid obstruction while closing. Check by opening the garage door and placing a two-by-four beneath the door. Close the door. When it hits the two-by-four, the door should reverse its direction. Remove the two-by-four after the check.
Photoelectric, Object Detector
The photoelectric, object detector transmits a light beam across the bottom of the garage door to a receiver. If the beam is broken as the door is closing, the door reverses its direction. Check by opening the garage door and placing something in the light-beam path. Close the door. It should close part way, and then reverse its direction. Remove the obstruction and close the door.