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Tips for Inspecting & Maintaining Your Garage Door

Construction & Contractors Articles

Ever notice how often you open and close your garaged door every day? Each time your garage door is pressed into service, a lot of moving parts are involved. Over time, wear and tear can takes its toll on those moving parts. Performing an annual tune-up on your garage door is helpful to you and your family save money and increase garage security.

f you have a couple of hours and a few supplies, here's how to inspect and maintain your automatic garage door.

Getting Prepared

Gather up these essential supplies to get started on your tune-up:

  1. Tools: hammer, pliers, screw gun, wrench set, an old toothbrush, and a flat-head screwdriver.
  2. Supplies: can of WD-40, white lithium grease spray, rubbing alcohol, and a weather seal.

Before you do anything, unplug your automatic door opener so it won't accidentally get triggered.

Start With Hardware

The hardware in your garage door may loosen each time the door is activated. First, tighten the bolts and roller brackets holding the rails to the support brackets. Inspect the rollers – if they're made of nylon they can crack and chip over time. If your rollers are steel, the bearing can wear and start to tilt.

If you find the rollers have deteriorated, it's time to replace them. However, stay away from the bottom roller bracket because the attached lift cable is under great tension. You can still check its condition by looking for any broken strands, usually located where it attaches to the bracket. It's probably dirty from all the moisture and dirt, so clean it with an old toothbrush if you need to. Keep the door from dropping if it's open while you're working simply by securing locking pliers onto the track below one of the rollers.

Springs and Chain

Now let's move onto the springs and chain. The springs may be overhead, or mounted above the roller tracks. All springs will eventually wear out and snap from use, but you can prevent corrosion from hastening this process. Coat the springs with WD-40 to protect them. Don't try to replace springs yourself – leave this to the pros.

Your automatic opener is either chain or screw-driven. Lubricate yours with spray-on white lithium grease. This is a bit thicker than WD-40 and drips less, plus handles heavier loads better.  Check your owner's manual first as some screw-driven automatic openers don't need to be lubricated.

Weather Seal

The long piece of weather stripping or seal running along the bottom of your garage door helps protect the floor of your garage as the door closes, and seals the elements out of your garage. It wears out over time, becoming less effective at protecting your concrete floor and keeping out rain and cold. If it has holes, looks brittle or cracked, or lets visible light into your dark garage, it's time for a new one. Here's how to replace one yourself.

If you have a wooden garage door, simply pry off the old seal with a flat-head screwdriver. Align the new seal to the bottom of the door, and fix it into place using 1-inch galvanized nails. Start by nailing a few into the center first and followed by the ends before filling in the gaps. This ensures the seal gets aligned right as you hammer. Place a nail every 4 inches.

A steel door requires a U-shaped astragal, something a bit different from a simple weather strip. The U-shaped astragal is sized according to the width as it lies flat when the door is closed. If you have a bigger gap between the floor and the door, buy a larger seal.

With a flat head screwdriver pull the old seal out of the channels holding it to either end of the door. You can then remove the oil seal. Next, lubricate the channels with rubbing alcohol to make it easier to slide the new one into place. Once the seal in installed, use your pliers to crimp the channels closed once more.

By performing this annual ritual on your garage door, you can have a quieter, safer and more efficient garage door. Learn more about the process by visiting resources like http://www.planooverhead.com.

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1 May 2017