You don’t have to be an expert to extend the life span of your garage door. A few simple DIY tasks will keep any garage door looking good and running smoothly for years.
Check the tracks, rollers and hinges
It’s important to give your garage door a once-over every once and awhile.
There are a lot of moving parts on a garage door — from the chain that moves it up and down, to the rollers that bring it up, to the hinges that allow it to bend. All of these items need to be inspected for wear and tear. All it takes is for one of these items to break or go off track for the entire system to fail.
Tighten all screws and bolts
It’s worth paying attention to all of the moving parts of the garage door, but specifically loose bolts and nuts, which can cause larger problems. The opener is likely loud on its own, but if things are loose, such as the connection from the motor to the ceiling, the sound is likely going to be amplified. Check all the connecting nuts and bolts to be sure that they are tight.
Apply lubrication liberally
The biggest preventive maintenance task a homeowner can do is making sure that all the moving parts of the garage door are well lubricated.
Obviously, the less friction you have when the door opens, the less work the opener has to do, and the longer that motor will last. It’s worth noting that not just any lubricant will do, so be sure to invest in one designed specifically for garage doors.
Homeowners “want to use a spray grease, and if they go to the garage door section of the big-box stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s, they can usually find a good garage door lubricant,” says Jon Jacobs of Sound Door Services in Seattle. “WD-40 is not great to use for garage doors.”
Be sure to lubricate all the moving parts, such as the hinges, rollers and the bearing or pulleys.
Keep it looking good
To maintain your home’s curb appeal, it’s important the garage door looks its best.
To rid it of grit and grime, you can wash steel and aluminum door surfaces with a mild household detergent and then rinse with water. In harsh or coastal environments, apply a quality car wax to the front side of a steel door surface twice a year, immediately after cleaning, to help maintain the finish.
Paint the garage door
Your garage door is exposed to the elements the same way the exterior of your home is, but it has the added challenge of also moving and vibrating several times a day. If the paint is flaking off, this added movement will accelerate your need to paint.
Painting the garage door can likely be accomplished in a weekend. Make sure that you prepare the door for paint before you start the process by removing any dirt, caulk, flaking paint, oil, wax, mildew and rust. A steel garage door can be painted with a high-quality acrylic latex exterior grade paint. Do not use any type of oil-based paint or Alkyd modified acrylic latex paint.