When it comes to Garage Door Failure, the biggest culprit is lack of maintenance.
You can have an older garage door out there; but if it’s properly maintained, it will work as good as or better than newer garage doors that aren’t being cared for.
“Garage doors are the largest moving part of your house. Yet it is the least maintained.” — Charlie, Overhead Door Company of Houston
The spring on your Garage door should last for decades, but if it is unevenly tensioned, it can break much, much sooner.
The motor should give good service for years and years, but if the belt or chain or screw isn’t properly lubricated, or it’s fighting to pull the door up a warped track or to overcome un-lubricated rollers, you could be wearing that motor out before it’s time.
Want a quick and dirty way to see if your door is suffering from lack of maintenance?
Disconnect it from the electric operator and then open and close it by hand — using muscle power and the spring alone to raise and lower the door. If it operates smoothly, it’s still in need of some preventative maintenance, but the door itself is probably in decent shape.
If it’s rough going, you’re door is in need of some definite TLC.
But the biggest reason to get preventative maintenance isn’t just to keep your door running smoothly and prevent breakdown.
The biggest reason is safety. More on this later, but first, let’s talk about how people mess up the maintenance on their garage door when they try to do the job themselves…
If NOT Doing Maintenance is the Biggest Cause of Failure, What’s the Second?
Doing it wrong.
Most people don’t have professionals come out to inspect and maintain their garage doors. Instead they do it themselves.
And while there are things you SHOULD be doing yourself, there are two ways that most people mess this up and end up actually causing more harm than good.
Mess Up #1: Putting Oil or Grease In The Door Track
While you do want to lubricate the garage door rollers, you DON’T want to put any oil or grease inside the track. The rollers need traction to help roll up the track and lubricating the track causes them to slip, which causes the motor to have to pull extra hard. Not good.
Mess Up #2: Using The Wrong Kind of Lubricant
Basic household type oils and silicone-based lubricants attract dust and end up gumming up your system. There are special lubricants specifically formulated for Garage Doors and that’s what you should be using.
So besides the rollers and hinges, what else should you be checking?We recommend twice a year maintenance and service, and during that time, the technician should do the following:
- Check the track for proper alignment and secureness to the jambs
- Check the springs and make sure that they have the right tension on them so that the door opens and closes properly.
- Check all the hardware for secureness.
- Lubricate all the hinge points, rollers, and springs as well as the unit’s chain, pulley, or screw.
- Check your electric operator to make sure it’s meeting safety code and that it does reverse properly when it comes in contact with an object that’s stationary in the door’s downward path of travel.
- Check your doors photo cells, to ensure that they can detect a moving object under a closing garage door, and that the photo cells then stop and reverse the door back up.
These last two points are particularly important, because they ensure your door’s safety features are intact. This is especially the case if you have small children or pets. The last thing you want is for your garage door to cause an injury to a family member or loved one.
So What’s The Best Thing to Do If You Haven’t Done Maintenance In A While?
Obviously, the best thing is to call the genuine, the original Overhead Door Company and have us come out and perform that maintenance for you.