Your garage door acts as a barrier between weather elements and the interior. In the colder months, it will be subject to moisture, rain, and fluctuating temperatures. Regular maintenance is essential to keep you and your home safe. Here are the top maintenance tasks to do in the fall.
Inspect Garage Door Mechanisms
You may start maintenance with an inspection of the door’s track mechanism. Inspect the tracks on either side of the door and ensure that there is no debris blocking its movement. You can test it by switching to manual mode. Try opening and closing the door. It should open smoothly without glitches.
Also, check that the photosensors are working. The photosensors are installed on either side of the door at no more than six inches above the ground. The safety device prevents the door from closing when there is an obstacle in between. You should ensure the sensor is secure on the side of the door.
You can check if the sensors are working by placing an object at its height. If you press the close button, the door should not close. If it does, it could be a safety hazard. In such instances, you can consult Garage Door Doctor, a top-rated service provider in Indianapolis.
Test the Garage Door Spring
Your garage door spring can continue to function efficiently for up to 10,000 cycles of closing and opening. During the summer months, the door can take a beating from all the activity in your home. Therefore, you should test the spring to ensure that it has not sustained any damage during this time.
You can start the evaluation by visually examining the condition of the spring. However, sometimes a faulty spring stretches instead of snapping. In either case, you may notice the door has an imbalance. The top half may appear to be out of alignment with the rest of the frame.
Another sign of a broken spring is when the motor is working and the door is not moving. You may also hear a sharp screeching sound as it struggles to open. It indicates that the spring is not moving with the motor, and therefore, it is faulty.
If the spring is faulty, using the opener may lead to further damage. At Garage Door Doctor, we recommend calling a technician immediately. Otherwise, the rails may bend, or gears may strip off from the opener’s mechanism.
The cables and pulley system should also be in good condition to support the weight. Look out for cords with worn-out or fraying strands. Consult a professional if you suspect an issue with the pulley mechanism. Such complications can lead to higher repair costs in the future.
Observe a Regular Cleaning and Lubrication Routine
By autumn, your garage door may have accumulated debris and dust. Before cleaning it, visually inspect the exterior of a metallic door for rusting. Wood is prone to warping because it is exposed to excess moisture. If the surface has rust or peeling paint, you should sand it and repaint it for maximum protection.
You can clean a wooden garage door with a dry cloth. For plastic, metal, or other synthetic surfaces, use a soft cloth and an appropriate cleaner.
When cleaning, make a point of lubricating every moving part. Friction on rollers and the tracks can cut down the lifespan of your garage opener. You can apply a high-quality lubricant twice a year to keep it efficient.
You can apply oil on rusty parts of the torsion springs to stop further corrosion. If the opener has a drive chain, you can also spray lubricant on it. However, you should not lubricate the belt drive.
Garage door professionals recommend lubricating with silicone or lithium-based grease. Oil products like WD-40 are degreasers, which can increase friction. Use a grease spray for an accurate application. After lubricating parts, wipe up any spills to prevent staining the opener or the garage floor.
Inspect the Weather Stripping
In the winter, the garage door’s surface will be subject to extreme cold, snow, and ice. Therefore, the door must have adequate weather-stripping at the bottom. Replace the entire stripping if it has broken down.
For wooden openers, the weather-stripping is secured in place by a nail. Metal doors will have an aluminum stripping holding up a u-shaped rubber gasket. The rubber gasket is much easier to replace than other types of weather-stripping.
The door may also have vinyl and rubber on its sides to stop rain or wind. Vinyl can warp when exposed to moisture, rain, or snow. If old or worn out, replace it and ensure that the flange is firm against the door for a perfect seal.
Test Your Garage Door Balance
During your inspection, you should also be sure that the garage door is level. When the weight balances evenly across the springs and pulleys, it exerts less stress on the system. If you continue opening an unbalanced door, it will eventually cause the spring to break prematurely.
A visual examination can tell you if it is level. A slanting door indicates that the force is not being exerted equally on the springs. In such instances, you must call a garage door technician before the door breaks.
Another balancing test is to lift the door until it is halfway open. When you release it, it should remain in place. But if it slams shut, it means that the door is out of balance.
You may also notice that it takes longer than usual to shut or close the garage. Unbalanced doors are noisy, producing strange sounds when you open or close them. After lubricating moving parts, if it still makes noises, you may want to schedule repairs.
It is also worth noting that a professional should fix defective parts such as the spring. The internal components of the opener can be dangerous for an inexperienced person. Also, do not attempt to open the door if the spring breaks. According to statistics, more than 20,000 people sustain injuries annually from garage door accidents.
Organize Your Garage and Schedule Maintenance Service
Organizing your garage can help increase the lifespan of the door. In the cold season, ventilation is essential for preventing moisture accumulation that could cause water damage. Therefore, rearranging and clearing areas of your garage prevents rust and warping.
Your maintenance routine will depend on the type and number of layers on the door. A triple-layered door offers additional protection and is quieter than a single-layered one. However, the multiple layers make it heavier and more expensive.
Ideally, you should schedule maintenance service at least once every 18 months. For busy homes or commercial establishments, once a year or more is recommended. The garage door is one of the heaviest items in your home. Ensuring that it is in working condition will prevent accidents and keep your home safe.
As a family-owned and -operated company, Garage Door Doctor has been offering unbeatable solutions since 2009 for commercial and residential garage door sales, service, and installation. We provide customized services to meet your home or business’s needs. Our team has a reputation for our honesty and professionalism. Call the Garage Door Doctor’s help desk today for an estimate of our services in Indianapolis.