A garage door can last for decades on end, but only if it's properly cared for. Keeping your garage in great shape also sidesteps many of the nuisances associated with garage door operation, plus you'll be able to prevent small problems from snowballing into larger and more expensive ones. Here are a few simple pointers to keep in mind when it comes to garage door maintenance:
Check All of the Nuts, Bolts and Other Fasteners
It pays to take a look at each and every fastener on your garage door, as these can loosen up after years of exposure to vibrations caused by frequent garage door usage. Grab a socket wrench and tighten each bolt you find loose. Nuts and bolts with stripped threads should be removed and replaced.
Inspect and Clean the Tracks
Dirt and debris can make their way inside of the tracks, so it's up to you to clean them out periodically. As you do so, look out for any signs of dents or other deformation. Fortunately, you can smooth out your garage door's bumpy ride by straightening out with a rubber hammer.
Lubricate All Moving Parts
Lubrication is the key to smooth garage door movement. The garage door's tracks, rollers and pulleys all need lubrication from time to time to keep things smooth.
Use heavy-duty silicone spray to lubricate tracks, metal rollers, chains, screws and pulleys. A small amount of automotive engine oil also works in a pinch, but only if you have a rag on hand to prevent drips. Lubrication should be performed at least every six months if you want to keep your garage door in great shape.
It's also a good idea to avoid water-displacing lubricants, as these are usually thinner in viscosity. This makes it easier for the lubricant to wear down and disappear in a relatively short amount of time.
Inspect and Adjust the Springs
As your garage door ages, the torsion springs or extension springs that help handle the weight of your garage door can loosen up over time. Adjusting these springs on your own can be quite dangerous, so it's a good idea to have a professional perform this task unless you're well-versed in the risks and dangers associated with it.
Keep a Close Eye on Rust and Corrosion
Rust is one of the biggest problems you'll face when it comes to garage doors. When rust forms on critical components, it can cause serious problems. For instance, rust on the track can cause your garage door to work sporadically or become stuck.
If you do see rust, it's usually a good idea to replace the rusted part, especially if there's heavy rust or the part has rusted through. If there are only light amounts of surface rust, you can use fine-grit sandpaper to take care of the problem.
Check the Paint and Add a Fresh Coat If Necessary
Years of constant exposure to the elements can do a number on your garage door's paint job. With time, the paint can peel and flake away, exposing the material underneath. It's a good idea to give your garage door an annual once-over for peeling or cracked paint. If you do happen to find any rough spots, you can sand or scrape the old paint away and apply a fresh coat.
Look for and Seal Cracks
It's not just the paint that can crack. The actual door itself can have cracks that allow moisture to seep in and ruin your garage door. Use caulk to seal up any cracks you happen to find in the garage door.
Don't Forget about the Weather Sealant
Notice that long strip across the bottom of your garage door? It helps keep the elements from sneaking into your garage area. Your weather sealant strip can dry out and crack over time, which is why you should not only check it on a yearly basis, but also replace it as soon as possible if you do find cracks.
If your garage door needs repairs or a full replacement, then contact a garage door company online at a site like http://www.shankdoor.com for assistance.