A garage door does more than let your vehicle in and out. It is an important part of your home’s design and can increase your home’s value. It also helps keep your home and vehicle safe and secure. Given the many purposes a garage door serves, it makes sense for you to want your garage door to stay in tip-top shape.
How Can I Make My Garage Door Last Longer?
Certain steps and methods can help make your garage door last longer. Here is how to increase the life span of your garage door:
1. Clean the Garage Door Panels
The traditional, classic residential garage door is the raised-panel style. The garage door is broken into sections or panels which follow a track and move into the roof space when it opens. While many of these components should be checked twice annually by a professional, the panels themselves can be looked after by the homeowner.
Keep the panels free of any dirt or grime buildup that might naturally occur. Rinse them with water between seasons. You can research how to clean your garage door panels depending on what your door’s made of, whether wood, steel, metal, aluminum or another material.
Do visual inspections as well to ensure that there are no cracks or damage from harsh conditions or a rogue soccer ball.
2. Lubricate the Springs and Moving Parts
You can lubricate your door’s springs and other moving parts. Lubricating moving parts helps your door work smoothly.
You’ll definitely want to lubricate the springs. The tension springs carry all the garage door’s weight when moving into open and closed positions. These springs need to be able to do their part and stay flexible. White lithium grease and silicone-based lubricants can help protect the springs from drying and stiffening up.
Here are some more ways you can make your springs last longer:
- Avoid bringing road salt into the garage: Road salt is very similar to table salt and is used to melt ice in cold regions of the United States. Road salt has many potential disadvantages for homeowners, including damaging metal and concrete, contaminating drinking water, and harming the groundwater. It can also cause damage to the unprotected parts of your garage door, including the springs.
- Keep your garage door balanced: Service your garage doors at least once a year to ensure the door is balanced. If the door starts to sag on one side, the imbalance will affect the springs, causing wear on at least one of them.
If your springs need to be replaced, your best option is to call a professional.
3. Clean the Tracks
You might think the tracks stay relatively clean as they are up on the ceiling of your garage. But think about the top of your kitchen cabinets or your curtain rails. Dust and grime have a tendency to collect in all sorts of places, including your garage door tracks. Keep the tracks clean of any obstacles or grime buildup.
A buildup of dirt or an in-the-way obstacle can cause the tracks to derail or make the door stutter or even get stuck. These can lead to an accident and potentially cause damage to the garage door and anything underneath it.
4. Read Your Owner’s Manual
Reading your owner’s manual helps you understand your specific door. If you want to avoid reading the manual, you can also chat with a professional about your door’s maintenance needs. Each style, type, design and brand of garage door is unique.
You can lengthen the usefulness of your garage door by understanding the parts that make up your specific garage door.
5. Prepare for Winter Weather
If you live in a state that experiences harsh weather conditions — such as snow, hail, rain or freezing temperatures — preparing your garage door for winter can lengthen its life span. Here are some tips on preparing your garage door for the colder months:
- Do a visual inspection: You will want your door to be in top condition before the cold sets in.
- Check the weatherstripping: A weatherstrip covers the gaps between the edges of your door and the outdoors. Checking the weatherstripping is essential for keeping the cold outside where it belongs.
- Lubricate: Garage doors and motors will take strain during this time. Ensure everything is lubricated so that parts stay flexible and move smoothly.
6. Service Your Door Regularly and Leave Repairs to the Professionals
There are some items that homeowners can do themselves when it comes to the maintenance of their garage doors. But larger items, such as garage door replacements, balancing the doors or fixing the motor, should be left to the professionals. You’ll want to service your garage door regularly and receive an inspection twice per year from a professional to keep your door in long-lasting shape.
How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
Garage doors can last about 30 years. You can get the most out of your garage door by receiving preventive maintenance services. The life span can increase depending on the following factors:
- Weather and climate: Each region has its own weather. For example, some areas have harsh wind and hail, while others might have extreme heat in the summer. Each material is vulnerable to different weather conditions. For instance, metal can rust if exposed to moisture for too long.
- Usage: Chat with a professional about how many cycles your garage door can do. If you know you tend to use the door often, choose a garage door style that matches your usage.
- Maintenance: Garage doors should be serviced regularly and maintained in between. Do a visual inspection every now and then and especially after harsh weather.
- Quality of door: The higher the quality, the more durable the garage door.
Garage doors often only need a replacement component, such as a spring or a panel, to return them to optimal performance. However, there may be a time when you will need a completely new garage door. Signs like physical damage and increasing energy costs can alert you it’s time for a new garage door.
The Best Maintenance Tip Is to Service Your Garage Door Regularly
Receiving preventive maintenance services helps keep your door in excellent condition. You should leave tasks like ensuring the door is balanced, inspecting safety features and servicing the motor to the professionals. You can let them know if you have any concerns or notice anything unusual during your visual inspections.
Quality Door Company is the leading dealer in residential garage doors in Western Michigan. We offer personalized maintenance services and carry high-quality models like Clopay®, Liftmaster and Cornell.
Send us a message online to request an estimate or schedule your service appointment for your garage door.