Automatic garage doors typically have a lifespan of 10-15 years.
However, the lifespan can be shortened when it’s not maintained correctly.
Instead of regularly getting garage door fixes, try avoiding them by following these four maintenance tips below to make garage doors last longer.
Tip #1: Test the Safety Features
Garage doors manufactured after the 1990s are invariably equipped with a few safety features: infrared sensors, auto-reverse, and manual control.
This is due to the many accidents, even including death, involving garage doors prior to creating these safety measures.
Although the measures became mandatory to protect homeowners, their family, and their property, these features also preserve the garage door.
Thus, it is crucial to regularly test the safety features to ensure that they are functioning correctly.
First, test the closing mechanism of the garage door without doing anything.
Open the garage door again and place an object under the doorway to obstruct the beam between two sensors.
Then, try to close the garage door using the opener.
If the door does not close while the object is there, then the infrared sensors are functional.
If the door closes while the object is there, then it’s time to call for repairs.
Check the auto-reverse by placing an object directly along the door’s path, then close the door using the opener.
This can be tested by using a hand instead, while making sure the whole body is far enough so that the arm is outstretched and easily retracted while the feature is being tested.
When the door directly comes in contact with the object or hand, and the door immediately automatically reverses, the safety feature is functional.
If the door needs more resistance before it reverses, the sensor’s sensitivity will need recalibration.
If the door doesn’t reverse at all, then it’s time to call for repairs.
To test the manual control, try to disconnect the door from the motor by pulling an emergency cord on the door trolley while the door is closed.
Once disconnected, try to operate the garage door manually.
If the door can be opened and closed just fine, then the manual control is functional.
Tip #2: Inspect System Parts
Always inspect the different parts of the whole system for any dirt, rust, and damages because unmaintained small parts will eventually lead to more significant damage to the entire garage door and incur higher costs.
Tracks and Hinges
Always make sure that there is no dirt residue on the tracks and hinges from dried grease.
Clean the parts regularly by brushing without using water or chemicals, which can damage the material.
Then, make sure to lubricate thoroughly.
Generally, rollers last up to seven years, however, that lifespan could shorten if not adequately maintained.
Regularly check the rollers for damages such as cracks, chips, deformities, and more.
Replace the rollers as soon as damages are spotted.
The garage door’s springs are the most overworked part of the system as their role is to counteract gravity while carrying the door’s weight.
Because of this, wear-and-tear defects are common in the springs.
An unusually heavier door that doesn’t open all the way and large gaps in the springs are signs of defects that need replacements.
Tip #3: Tighten Parts Consistently
Garage doors are opened and closed regularly, most likely twice in a day.
When the doors are moving, vibrations travel throughout the system, which could loosen screws and bolts.
It is vital to regularly check for loose hardware and tighten them as soon as discovered.
This procedure will prevent the tracks and doors from becoming crooked and misaligned, which could further worsen the whole case.
Giving a few minutes every few weeks and merely checking and tightening the components will surely extend the entire garage door system’s lifespan.
Tip #4: Check the Garage Door in Action
When applying individual and local fixes to different parts, it is vital to check the whole garage door system’s performance afterward.
Even without applying fixes, it is still recommended to check the entire system in action regularly.
To do this, open and close the garage door using the opener and then manually.
While the doors are opening and closing, inspect any irregularities with the movements, sound, and placements.
Immediately apply a fix for any issues found.
By doing this inspection regularly, homeowners are making sure that no problem is left unattended for too long, thus minimizing further damages.