Garages are the unsung heroes of any home. They provide space for parking your car, room for a workshop, and extra space for storage. According to the American Housing Survey, up to 63% of all occupied housing units in America have a garage.
Despite its usefulness, many homeowners often fail to look after this important space. A well-maintained garage door is the first line of defense. It keeps out burglars and protects your property from damage.
This article outlines some common garage problems and ways of mitigating them.
3 Common Garage Problems
A well-maintained garage door can be used for years. You don’t have to be an expert to know when the garage doors need repair.
Below are the signs to look out for:
- Noisy Garage Doors
The first sign of problems is usually noisy creaky sounds. Noisy garage doors can be caused by several reasons. The most likely culprit for noisy doors is worn out door hinges. Simple basic maintenance should get rid of the noise. If it persists, complete replacement is the way to go.
- Worn Out Springs
Garage springs are what make it possible to lift the door with minimum effort. The weight of the door is counterbalanced by the garage springs. The constant pressure the springs are subjected to eventually cause wear and tear.
You can tell the springs are worn out if the garage door begins to get heavier. Spring doors are very dangerous and any repair should be done by an expert.
- Faulty Garage Door Opener
Garage door openers make it possible to open at the touch of a button. You might not appreciate this convenience until the garage opener fails. It is even worse if this misfortune occurs on a rainy day.
A simple diagnostic is all it takes to solve the problem. Other signs to look out for include sagging doors, worn outdoors, rust, jerky motion, and faulty locks
Top 6 Garage Door Maintenance Procedures
- Replace Rollers
The rollers along the edge of the garage door help minimize the friction. Any damages to the rollers could cause serious problems. Look out for cracked, chipped, or worn-out rollers. These need replacing immediately.
To replace the rollers, remove the brackets holding the rollers to the door. Careful not to remove the bottom roller brackets due to intense tension.
- Clear the Tracks
Over time debris and rust build up in the tracks. These can impede the movement of the garage door. Any damages to the tracks can be rectified using a level. This makes it the tracks perfectly vertical. Most of these adjustments can be made at home. Further repairs require the help of a professional.
- Check the Pulley System
The cables and the pulleys are what make it possible to lift the garage door. Although there are two types of springs that work differently, both work with cables. Extension springs are less complicated than torsional springs. They can be easily serviced by the homeowner.
Torsional springs on the other hand store potential energy. This makes them more dangerous. For this reason, homeowners should leave this part of the repair to the professionals.
- Lubricate Moving Parts
Prevention is often better than cure. Carrying out regular garage door repair and inspection is the best way. Lithium-based lubricants are very effective on the rollers and hinges. The pulley system and the extension spring openers also require regular lubrication. As for the torsion springs, some grease will do the trick.
Rust can sometimes cause the moving parts to get stuck. To get around this, apply some penetrating solution like WD-40. Then wipe it dry before applying the grease or lubricants. Do not apply any lubricant on a belt drive garage door opener.
- Door Balancing
The garage door can become unbalanced if a spring on either side breaks. The result is a door that tips on one side. The unbalanced door also makes the power garage opener carry a heavier load.
Eventually, the motors wear out and the door may stop to open completely. If the door can remain halfway open then the door is balanced.
- Test the Auto-Reverse Feature
Most garage openers come with an automated reverse feature. This makes the door reverse direction every time it senses an obstacle. You can test if the feature works by placing cardboard on the door’s path.
Auto-reverse works either by pressure sensors or photocells. The settings are available in the manual.
When In Doubt Seek Professional Help
A well-maintained garage door can remain in service for between 15-30 years. On the other hand, the automatic opener can last for 12 years. Simple procedures such as lubrication, inspection, and cleaning can make all the difference.
This will ultimately save you from having to spend thousands of dollars in repairs and replacement down the road. While most garage door repairs can be performed by DIYers, some may need to be serviced by a professional. Consult an expert in such circumstances.