Garage doors, both automatic and manual, are such an essential part of home ownership. The garage, whether for storage, work, or your car, is as important as the rest of the house to life’s daily operation. And the garage door is an element you are likely to use daily. So how can you ensure that its use will continue unabated for years to come?
Different Types of Garage Doors
There are many variations in garage door styles, extending far beyond the simple difference between manual and automatic. In fact, the only difference in maintenance between an automatic garage door and a manual one is the additional inspection and maintenance necessary for the electrical system. The mechanism is essentially the same.
However, your garage door’s mechanics may be slightly different depending on style of door. Some garage doors are single panels that do not bend or fold. Such garage doors can either open side-to-side, on hinges, or may use a mechanism to open and close upward by means of a lever system.
The most common garage doors, however, are doors that fold as they slide up on runners mounted in your garage’s beams. Some are made of wood, while some are made of metal. With the maintenance tips and instructions included in this article, your doors should remain pristine and running smoothly for years to come.
The Importance of Cleaning
The garage is often one of the dirtiest places on the property, with dust, sawdust, smoke, rain, and other materials accumulating on a regular basis. The door is no exception; it gets dirty. We have to clean out our garages on a regular basis to prevent mold, rust, and wood rot, and the door should be included in that regular cleaning cycle. Particularly in a climate saturated with salt-air, a garage door absolutely must be cleaned annually. To clean your garage door, dilute one part detergent in five parts water, and sponge the outside of it, then rinse it off. Alternatively, a wood door should be wiped with a dry cloth, and refinished as chips appear. These cleaning methods are essential for keeping debris from collecting and eating away at both the external and internal workings of your garage door.
We take our garage doors for granted, and our brains operate on an autopilot basis when it comes to daily observations. It is therefore necessary to take specific, conscious time to inspect your garage door on a regular basis, searching actively for any deterioration or rust. Springs, rollers, tracks, cables, and brackets must be inspected for rust, collected debris, and general wear and tear. Anything worn or frayed should be immediately replaced.
Additionally, check your garage door’s balance. If it’s a power door, disconnect the power before doing so. Then, lift the door up part way, at approximately waist-level, and slowly release. If it moves from that position, it’s not balanced properly, and requires the assistance of a trained technician.
The mechanisms present in a garage door, much like anything else that involves metal components, require regular lubrication, with particular focus on the rollers. Keep the tracks clean, too, using brake cleaner, which will then increase the usefulness of the lubricant. Maintained and lubricated properly, a garage door can last for decades.