A garage door works perfectly only when all the components, mechanical and electrical, operate harmoniously. But years of regular use, local weather conditions and friction among moving parts decreases performance. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep it working in a pristine condition. So, homeowners should have some basic understanding of the door working mechanism. This way they can undertake successful 'Do-it-Yourself' garage projects.
How to undertake Garage Door Maintenance
A garage door is unlike any other door in your home. It's the largest electrically operated entrance to your home. Since it has both electrical and mechanical components, you should start by thoroughly reading the door's Instructions manual. It will help you get acquainted with all the basic components and their respective working mechanism. Afterwards, you can proceed to undertake some general door maintenance.
Here are 6 Maintenance tips for homeowners:
1. Inspection: Take a close look at all the components of the door - big or small. Check the door opener, metal tracks, chain-belt or drive belt, dents in panels, electrical connections, rollers and bearings etc. Look for any signs of rust on metal parts or general wear and tear. If the metal tracks are not in proper alignment, use a carpenter's scale to align them in a straight line.
2. Lubricating Moving Parts: Door components need a friction-free surface for smooth operation. Use the ideal oil grade as recommended by the door manufacturer. Do not use WD-40 grade oil for lubrication. It attracts dirt/dust and causes damage to the components. Oil or grease the metal tracks in the rolling shutter doors. Other parts that need lubrication include chain, rollers, pulleys, hinges, screws etc.
3. Garage Door Opener Settings: Modern doors work via electronic openers that can be programmed by the user. A professional technician sets the default settings as considered suitable for the daily use. Do not temper with these settings unless you understand the operating instructions as detailed in the opener manual.
4. Minor dents in the Panels: Regular use causes dents to appear on flimsy panels. For example, light-weight aluminium door panels are known to get damages quickly. Homeowners can repair them quickly. Take a small hammer and large piece of cotton cloth. With the help of another person, place folded cloth on the dent surface and a hard-board on the other side. The board acts as a support for the panel. Remove the dent using subtle hammer movements.
5. Garage door Ventilation: Garages can get quiet hot in the summers and cold in the winters. Install a suitable ventilation fan to lower the humidity. Another option is to install a freestanding exhaust fan near a window. Insulated doors help in saving electrical energy and lower heating/cooling costs.
6. Door Insulation: Polystyrene panels are known to resist variations in temperature. Homeowners can add polystyrene foam in the hollow aluminium door panels. Also, the gap between the bottom of the door and garage floor should be plugged using a rubber or fiber strip.
7. Bonus Tip - Rust Prevention: Dirt and dust accumulation can lead to rusting. Initially, rust can be removed by simply washing the aluminum and steel doors with a mild household detergent. Use sandpaper to remove extreme rust. Sand the area thoroughly and apply zinc-rich primer. Now, apply a premium 100% latex paint on the affected area.
Garage door maintenance by the homeowner can save hundreds of dollars in repairs. It is recommended that people maintain their doors to avoid costly replacement. However, serious repairs like opener replacement and garage door spring should be undertaken only by the professionals. These experts have years of experience in handling all types of doors and models. Call in a reputed garage door repair company for professional installation, repair or parts replacement.
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