Garage Door Maintenance


Is your garage door or opener giving you problems? Is there excessive noise? Is it struggling to open or close all the way? Is it having trouble staying open when it's in the half way position? Here are several things you can try to fix the problem on your own.

A noisy garage door doesn't always mean a broken garage door, it's very likely that all that's needed is careful inspection and a few minor maintenance steps for your garage door to return to normal.
Whenever a garage door is used, vibrations occur. These vibrations can in turn cause screws to loosen throughout the entire garage door system, and contribute to increased noise during function. A few of the most common areas to check and tighten are:
  • The ratchets connecting the garage door panels
  • The roller's brackets which need to be tightened with an open ended wrench or ratchet
Rust and a lack of adequate lubrication can also create noisy garage door operation. To prevent this, it's advisable to use a lubricant specially designed for garage doors on each of your garage doors system's moving parts at least 2 or 3 times a year at 4 to 6 month intervals.

Be sure to use your garage door manual as a guide to which areas need lubrication. Wipe away any old grease, then apply fresh lubricant. Make sure to remove any extra lubricant or grease to avoid the risk of lubricant dripping or spilling onto anything inappropriate.

Note of caution: Don't use a regular machine grease such as WD40 or anything with a weight heavier than 10W because if used it can create a build up of dirt and dust that may lead to door and/or opener failure. Instead apply a GDL (garage door lubricant), white grease (Lubriplate) or any other light weight oil of 10w or less.

Typical garage door lubrication areas:

  1. Steel rollers (don't lubricate poly rollers)
  2. Roller stems
  3. All pivoting portions of the garage door hinge
  4. The springs (once the door has been lowered)
  5. The bearings in the end fixture area through which the torsion spring's tube goes
You may also have to lubricate these areas of your garage door opener as well:

Typical garage door opener lubrication areas:

  1. Front idler sprocket located around the springs
  2. The top of the opener's rear sprocket
  3. Screw or chain drive area (may require the use of white operator grease depending on manufacturer’s recommendations)
If your garage door isn't holding up at the half way position or it's coming down too heavily, the tension may be the cause. An incorrect tension level can lead to serious injury and even death if neglected. Two ways to inspect and adjust your garage door's tension are to:

  1. Put something in the path of the door such as a board or box, when the door touches the item the door should immediately rise. If it does, your door is operating safely. However, if the rising doesn't occur immediately the tension on the door opener needs to be adjusted. Look for the garage door's pair of switches and either increase the tension by adjusting the counter clockwise switch or decrease the tension with the clockwise switch.
  2. If you find that the tension still needs correction, the next step is to pull the disconnect switch (it'll be red) to disengage the opener. Then manually lift the door to check the tension again. If the door is easy to lift and it's able to hold itself up at the half way point the tension is correct. If the tension still needs adjustment close the garage door and continue the process.
If your garage door has it's tension spring positioned on an arm located above the garage door, the pulley's set screws will need adjusting. In this case you'll need to make adjustments with the door in a fully open position to make sure the springs aren't under any tension. However, for safety purposes be sure to clamp a block or board into the roller to keep the garage door from coming down unexpectedly. Release the cable drum screws' tension, then increase the tension by tightening the tension spring.

This needs to be carried out on both sides, making sure not to tighten by more than 1/2 a turn on each side at a time. After each turn, tighten the screws as well and follow by checking to see if the door can then hold a half way position. If it can hold this position, the tension is perfect.
If you're short of time, you may want to check through this quick list of problems and their solutions that you can implement on your own before giving us a call.

If a garage door is giving you problems going down, coming up or staying at it's halfway point, then:

  1. See if the remote needs fresh batteries.
  2. See if the safety sensors (eyes) on your garage door are working properly. Probably located near the ground on each side of the garage door, one eye will usually emit a green beam and the other will emit a red beam. Make sure there isn't anything blocking these 'eyes' and check to see if they're in proper alignment. If miss-aligned, align correctly so they face each other than tighten the ratchets that hold them in place. Also clear away anything that's blocking the eyes.
  3. Check see if your garage door and opener are getting adequate power by inspecting the cables making sure they aren't frayed or damaged and also if the circuit breaker has been tripped.
  4. Check your garage door opener's up limit switch position. Also inspect the other limit switch as both of these manage the force your garage door opener uses to open and close the garage door.
  5. Check and tighten the screws on all the hardware connecting the garage door to it's opener. Use eventually loosens these screws over time and should be inspected and tightened regularly.
  6. The position of the rail's micro switch needs to be correct otherwise the door may not open or close like it should. In this case, try sliding it up or downward into the right position till your garage door closes and opens normally.

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