As spring settles in with longer days and warmer weather, we each experience some degree of motivation to shake out the dust and detritus, toss out the accumulated boxes and old items now counted as junk, and maybe spruce up with a good scrubbing — perhaps even pry open an old paint can to do some touch-up. We call it "spring cleaning", but the urge to straighten and spruce things up can come over us at any time. It’s a healthy and useful catharsis. But here’s something we want you to consider: Do you give your garage door the same care and attention you give to a broom closet? You should, and here are some ways you should make it happen…
Even if it starts with a simple hosing, take to time to see if there is an accumulation of mud, grit, or oil that can damage the finish of your garage door. This is important whatever the material, but especially so if you have a wood door. Is the waterproofing on your door holding up? If not, don’t let it go. Look for signs of dry rot, mold, termites, or other evidence of damage, even superficial damage. A good soap-and-water washing can do wonders (though check the care instructions for your door if you still have them) and can help you find little problems before they become more serious. Wash the door on both sides, and pay attention to the hardware. The weatherstripping deserves special care—look for splitting, warping, or signs of pulling away from the frame, allowing water to get through. Water damage usually starts at the bottom.
Deal Promptly with a Fading, Peeling or a Dulled Finish
Any garage door is going to require repainting, refinishing, or water-sealing every few years. Spring is as good a time as any to make an honest assessment of your door’s finish. If it is painted, you should have some of the original paint kept for simple touch-ups. Perhaps you want to change the color, and make more of a project of it. Natural wood doors, such as mahogany or teak, require some real TLC and regular maintenance. Check with the manufacturer or the company that installed the door, to learn the best way to keep it in top condition. There are steel doors with life-like wood grain embossing and natural coloring, and a growing list of materials and surface textures and treatments. Learn the best way to maintain your garage door in optimal condition, and tend to it at least once a year.
Test the Moving Parts, Listening as Well as Looking
All modern garage doors have mechanical parts, and most will have automated electronics. If they fail, we don’t need to explain to you the possible consequences. It’s important to run the door through its paces every now and then, and spring cleaning is a good time to do that. Most manufacturers will recommend a monthly inspection; a quarterly or twice-yearly schedule is closer to what most diligent homeowners attempt. Even a 10-15 minute test of the door's functionality can pay big dividends over time. There are other blogs on this site that go into more detail but, simply, your door should hum and not screech, flow smoothly and not jerk or shudder, settle into place quietly and snuggly, and respond effortlessly to keypad or remote commands.
Safety Features Take Priority!
Needless to say, the single most important thing to be aware of is the safety and security of your garage door. The automatic reversal of motion if there is an object in the path of a descending door is paramount. If any structural hinges or braces are out of alignment or loose, or if the high-tension springs are near the end of their projected life span, You may want to turn to a professional service.
When to Call the Pros…
At Automatic Door Specialists, we consider every installation we complete the beginning of a commitment to excellent service. Our highly-trained specialists hold very rigorous standards; we know a well-built and properly installed garage door will give the best service of the full life span of your door. We encourage you to ask about our annual service plan, an economical way to make your garage door spring cleaning a much easier task. Take a breather, and give us a call at 858-266-9563.