Unfortunately, most of us tend to overlook automatic garage door maintenance but inspecting it twice a year and getting problems fixed is a must, preferably in the early spring and late fall. Regular maintenance of these doors keeps them in good working condition and might save you from an expensive repair bill.
Watch and listen while the door is in operation
Problems with your garage door and automatic opener are often manifest in jerky movements and grating, scraping sounds. A well-maintained, well-tuned garage door is relatively quiet as it moves up and down, and you should not see jerkiness in its motion. Look at both sides of the system, and make sure they look symmetrical.
Look at cables and pulleys
Check the lift cables and pulleys that attach to the bottom roller brackets on the door. These provide the connection between the springs and the door to help lift and lower the door safely. Garage doors also have torsion and extension springs that use cables to lift the door. Most experts advise that cables and springs should not be touched by homeowners, since these high-tension parts can be dangerous. If you spot any broken strands or other signs of wear or damage on the cables, call in a professional.
Take care of the weather-stripping
Along the bottom of the door is the rubber weather-stripping that keeps out the cold, along with water, dirt, and dust. Check it twice a year to make sure it is in good shape. Some weather-stripping fits into the bottom of the door by means of a flange that slides into a groove in the bottom of the door. Weather-stripping for wooden garage doors is usually nailed in place. If the weather-stripping is along the sides, inspect its condition and reattach any loose spots or replace the entire length of stripping if it is badly worn or damaged.
Clean and paint the door
Have you looked at the door itself while checking out other components? If the door is made with steel, look for rust spots that should be sanded, primed, and painted. Fiberglass doors can be washed with an all-purpose cleaner. Pay particular attention to wood doors, since warping and water damage are common. Remove chipped and peeling paint, then sand and repaint. If a wooden door is sans weather-stripping along the bottom, seal or paint this edge and then install a weather-strip.
Keep these seasonal maintenance tips in mind so your garage door remains functional for a longer period of time.