Your garage door is a part of your home that is often forgotten about, though it’s used many times during the day. Winter garage door maintenance and repairs are often needed for your garage door to keep it functioning efficiently and safely while adding to the overall aesthetics of your property.
When the winter weather hits and temperatures drop, this can put a great deal of wear and tear on your garage door.
We would like to share some ideal winter garage door maintenance tips with you that can be completed before the start of winter but can also be performed during the winter.
1. Assessing Your Garage Door
It’s easy to simply hit the button to open and close your garage door without paying much attention to the process of the door moving, but we encourage you to take a second to really listen to the door and survey its movement.
Things to Watch Out For
- How is the noise level of your garage door? Do you notice a lot of squeaking, scraping, or grinding?
- Does your garage door move up and down symmetrically? Both sides should move in unison and close completely at the bottom.
- Does the door open and close smoothly or does it jerk or stop frequently?
2. Balancing Your Garage Door
A garage door will be balanced properly when it’s first installed, but it’s not uncommon for the door to become unbalanced over time with more and more use.
A garage door that continues to function in an unbalanced fashion can end up permanently damaging the door or the garage door opener, so this is an issue to address quickly.
It’s also important that you let the professionals take care of balancing your door for safety reasons.
How Can You Tell If Your Garage Door Is Unbalanced?
- An unbalanced garage door will look uneven when it’s closed, open, or in the process of moving up or down.
- An unbalanced door tends to be much louder than one that is moving freely.
- Does your garage door seem to take longer than normal to open or close?
- Your unbalanced door may get stuck in one position.
3. Replacement of Weather Stripping
The rubber seals that are around your garage door keep moisture out of your garage, keep cold air from coming in, and can even keep rodents and pests away.
If you notice that these seals are discolored, torn, or brittle, replacing them can help protect your home from winter garage door issues and exposure to the elements.
4. Lubricating Springs and Other Garage Door Parts
There is lubrication on your garage door in the area of the springs and bearing plates.
This lubrication will eventually dissipate as time goes on, but you’ll want to apply more lubrication at least yearly.
This will ensure that your garage door moves freely and is nice and quiet while in motion.
5. Inspection of Garage Door Cables
Garage door cables are an important part of how a garage door functions.
Located on each side of the garage door near the roller bracket, cables move in unison with extension springs and torsion springs to lift and shut the door smoothly.
This is a process that you always want to have completed by a professional.
Coming too close to a malfunctioning cable or trying to repair it could put you in extreme danger.
Those cables are under a lot of tension and can be deadly if they come loose.
Signs Your Garage Door Cables Need Repair or Maintenance
- Loud noises coming from your door when it’s in motion can be caused by malfunctioning cables.
- The door may seem out of alignment.
- Instead of moving up and down smoothly, the door lurches now and again.
- A loud bang may occur when the door opens or closes as a broken or malfunctioning cable snaps in and out of place.
6. Testing the Safety Features of Your Garage Door
These days, garage doors are equipped with a number of safety features that will prevent injury or harm.
It’s a good idea to have these features periodically inspected to ensure that they still work properly.
There are two different safety features that are most commonly used for garage doors:
Mechanical – The mechanical safety portion of your garage door will result in your door opening back up if it’s in the process of closing and it physically hits something.
You can test this system by hitting the button that closes your garage door. Place something in the path of the door, such as a piece of wood or brick.
If your mechanical safety feature is working properly, the door will hit the item and then reverse its movement so the door opens back up.
Photoelectric System – A photoelectric system incorporates motion beams on either side of your door. If anything passes through those beams, it causes the door to stop and then reverse back open.
You can test this feature by engaging your garage door and waving something in the path of the beams to see if the door reverses. Never test your garage door with your body in case something malfunctions.
If you have a garage door opener that is very old, it’s likely that you don’t have either of these safety features included in its design.
It might be time to upgrade to a newer model as part of winter garage door maintenance in order to utilize the new technology that is offered.
7. Cleaning Garage Door Tracks
There are tracks on each side of your garage door that are used to help guide the door open and closed. Over time, those tracks can become dirty with dust, dirt, and debris.
The tracks should be cleaned to allow the door to freely move without being slowed down or stopped.
Dirty tracks can be very dangerous to your garage door if it causes the entire door to get knocked out of balance or a spring break.
For more information on winter garage door maintenance or repairs, reach out to the experienced staff at Tip Top Door.
We can help you get ready for the upcoming winter season or assist with any concerns that you have in the midst of cooler and colder weather.