An automatic garage door is a great convenience to have at home. Push a button, and the door opens and closes when needed. Without the automatic function, you’ll have to open and close the door by hand. So, how do you keep your garage door working as it should? The key to proper function is routine preventative maintenance by a professional garage door technician. Through this maintenance, the technician can identify damage and excess wear and tear. The technician will also perform tasks to increase the safety and longevity of your automatic garage door system. With professional help, you can get the most life out of your automatic garage door and ensure safety while operating it.
The Steps to Garage Door Maintenance
Professional maintenance involves many steps to ensure your automatic garage door continues to operate as it should. As part of the annual maintenance plan, the following are steps the technician will take to check for damage and increase the longevity of your door system.
Perform Safety Tests
Pulleys, springs, and rollers contribute to the ease of opening and closing your garage door and may make the door seem very light. However, the door itself can weigh up to 200 pounds. Without safety mechanisms in place, the door could cause serious injury or damage should it fail. Two simple tests are performed by your technician to ensure safety. The first test involves making sure the door stops. The technician will disconnect the power to the door and roll it up. Without power, the door should stop when the technician stops and stay in place without falling back down.
The other safety test involves checking the safety reversal of the door. To test this, the technician will place an object on the ground where the door closes. When the door reaches this object, it should automatically reverse direction and open back up. If either safety test fails, the technician will make repairs immediately. Do not use your garage door until repairs have been made and the door is deemed safe.
A motor for your automatic garage door is hardwired into your home’s electrical system. You may also have a battery for backup power. The motor works alongside the other parts of the door system to open and close the door safely when you push the button. If your garage door opens or closes very quickly or extremely hard, your technician should make adjustments, finding the right settings for the ideal operating speed. If you have problems getting your door to open and close and have replaced the batteries in your remote opener, you may need to look at the motor.
Manual Adjustment of the Springs
Springs in your garage door system work to balance the weight of your door, providing smooth and steady opening and closing. Over time, the springs may become loose or worn. As part of the maintenance appointment, your technician inspects the springs. The technician checks to see that the springs are tight and makes adjustments as needed. If the springs are overly worn, the technician will replace them. These springs are under high tension and should not be handled by anyone other than a trained professional to avoid damage and injury.
Lubrication of Moving Parts
Garage doors require moving parts for operation. These moving parts may create friction as they act. This friction causes wear and tear and can damage the parts over time. Your garage door technician lubricates certain moving parts as part of the maintenance plan. Parts requiring lubrication include the rollers, springs, and hinges. Failure to lubricate these parts may cause premature failure.
However, it is important to remember that only certain parts should have lubrication. For example, you should never use lubricant on the tracks of your automatic garage door. The lubricant will attract dirt and debris, causing a gunky mess in the tracks and causing opening and closing to become difficult. Lubrication is one of the only points of maintenance on your garage door that you can tackle on your own. Your technician will lubricate the parts during your annual maintenance, but you may need additional lubricant throughout the year.
Service the Chain or Belt
A chain or belt works with other components of your garage door system to move the door up and down. The technician inspects this chain or belt, assessing for signs of damage or deterioration. The belt is subject to cracking or loosening with time and requires replacement occasionally. A damaged chain or belt could lead to faulty operation and safety hazards.
Examine All Hardware
Bolts, rollers, fasteners, springs, and lift cables all require inspection during your annual garage door maintenance. Each piece of hardware directly relates to the safe and sound operation of your garage door. Bolts and fasteners should be tightened as needed to keep the system on track. With time, nylon rollers may crack, and steel rollers are subject to rust and worn bearings. Springs and lift cables should also be inspected for signs of rust or corrosion. Any part deemed damaged or excessively worn needs to be replaced before the door can be used again.
Inspect Seals and Weatherstripping
A weatherstrip attaches to the bottom of your garage door. This strip keeps dirt, debris, and moisture out of the garage. The strip may also help with temperature regulation by blocking excessive cold and hot air. Your technician inspects this seal for cracks or breaks. Over time, the rubber strip may become brittle under cold temperatures and come apart, providing a weakened barrier. Dirt and dust will start coming through your door where the strip has worn or is missing. You may also see wet spots from rain and snow if the weatherstrip is damaged. Talk with your technician if you notice signs of the weatherstrip failing.
Check and Replace Battery and Bulbs
Many automatic garage doors have a backup battery that provides power should the electricity fail. This battery serves as an emergency backup so that you can still open and close the door without electricity. You may also have lights on your opening system. Your technician will inspect the battery and bulbs on the lights, ensuring they have plenty of life left. If the battery or bulbs are old, they should be replaced so that they have a lower chance of failure between maintenance appointments. You may also find it easy to remember to change the batteries of your remote openers by changing them at the same time you schedule your annual maintenance.
As discussed, there are many steps to garage door maintenance. Each step plays an integral part in prolonging the life of your automatic system and ensuring safe operation. At ADS Automatic Door Specialists in San Diego, we offer a variety of services related to automatic garage doors, ensuring our customers have the convenience of opening and closing their doors with the push of a button. In addition, our technicians help with garage door openers and are highly trained in emergency garage door services.
Keep your garage door opening and closing automatically by calling ADS Automatic Door Specialists now and scheduling your annual garage door maintenance.