Some home maintenance items you can do yourself, but for others you should call an expert. Garage doors are no different. Homeowners who want to save a penny can try these DIY suggestions to help keep their garage door in the best condition for as long as possible.
Monthly Visual Check
It’s smart to do a visual overview of your garage door each month. Make sure to check the following for signs of wear or damage with the door closed:
- Garage door springs
- Mounting hardware, such as hinges
Specifically, check for cable fraying or loose mounting hardware, and always notice if something doesn’t look or sound right. If you notice any of these problems, have the garage door inspected by a trained technician.
Safety Eyes Check
This might be the most important DIY maintenance you can do. Each month, check the safety eyes at the front near the bottom of the garage door to ensure they sense anything blocking the garage door from closing. If a child or pet is in the way of the door closing, these keep the door from lowering fully.
You can do a simple test. Open your garage door and then push the wall button to close the door. Stand near the garage door and wave a long object—like a broomstick, golf club, or rake—in front of one of the door’s safety eyes to block the sensory beam. If it successfully blocks it, the door should reverse.
If it does not reverse and reopen, pull the item out of the path of the closing door. Close the door again. With it closed, clean the sensor eyes with a soft, dry cloth. Gently adjust them by hand if they look out of alignment. Open the door and repeat the sensor eye test. If it still won’t reverse and reopen, a trained service technician should take a look at it.
Reverse Door Check
Garage door openers made after January 1, 1993 are required by federal law to include a reversing mechanism and edge sensor eyes as added safety measures to prevent entrapment. If your system does not have these features, replacement of your automatic operating system is recommended.
With the door fully open, lay a piece of wood such as a section of a 2 x 4 on the floor in the center of the garage door opening where the door touches the floor. Push the wall button to close the door. When the door hits the wood, it should automatically reverse and open. If it doesn’t automatically reverse, it’s time to call a trained service technician.
You can also apply a small amount of grease lubricant to the door’s hinges, rollers, and tracks, but make sure it’s specifically for garage doors.
For more tips on garage door cleaning and maintenance see our post on Cleaning and Maintaining Garage Doors.
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