Your garage door is a big investment, and considering that it serves to both secure your home and contribute to its curb appeal, it’s worth it to spend a little time each year to keep it functioning properly and looking clean. Proper maintenance can also help to avoid costly repairs.
Follow these guidelines to protect your home and save money.
Inspect, Clean, Test, and Tighten Parts
Before you clean the door itself, carefully check the parts and hardware that do the job of lifting and closing:
- Start with the tracks and rollers on the garage door, and brush off any dirt or debris. Then, use the garage door opener to watch the path of the door. If it looks like the door has a rough ride up to the top and down, you may need to replace the bearings. If the test shows the rollers are in good shape, add some lubrication to keep them moving smoothly.
- Make sure that the brackets that attach the track to the garage are secure and tighten any loose bolts and screws.
- If your garage door is spring-operated, inspect the cables and pulleys. If they’re damaged or frayed, they should be replaced (and it’s best if you have a professional do that job).
- Try lifting up the door manually – it shouldn’t be too difficult to move it up and down. If it does require some effort, that could be because the springs have worn out, which requires that a power garage door opener will have to work harder to lift the door. When the garage door opener has to work harder than it should, it could wear out the motor. Spring replacement is also a job that’s best suited for a professional.
- For safety reasons, you’ll want to make sure that the auto-reverse function is working on the garage door opener. That’s the feature that automatically reverses the direction of the door if an obstacle gets in the way as the door is coming down. If the auto-reverse function isn’t working, you need garage door opener repair.
Clean the Door Front
It’s advised to use a mild cleaning solution (typically the ratio is one cup of mild dish soap to five gallons of water) to clean your garage door. For steel doors, make sure that the detergent has less than 0.5% phosphate.
Everything else about the cleaning process should be gentle. Use a standard garden hose with a spray nozzle to loosen dirt, but never use a pressure washer. Once the door has been hosed off, use soft sponges or rags – nothing abrasive – to apply the soapy solution. Finally, rinse off the soap with the hose, and dry the door with a soft towel.
If you own a door that’s made of steel, fiberglass, or aluminum, you may want to spray a silicone wax after rinsing and before drying. Spray wax is easy to apply and protects the finish from fading.
If your door is made from wood, you’ll want to prime and add a finish to any areas that are thinning or eroding. Your wood door could wear down over time if you don’t keep it primed.
For all doors, avoid the use of bleach unless you’re trying to clean a tough stain. In that case, make sure the bleach is heavily diluted, and don’t ever mix bleach with other household chemicals. You should also avoid using any kind of solvent-based cleaners.
Don’t Forget About the Weatherstripping
It’s important to clean the weatherstripping band at the bottom of the garage door. The weatherstripping band helps in the functioning of the door and also protects the items stored inside. Clean the band with a damp rag every few months since dirt or debris can cause the rubber to degrade.
It’s also a good idea to lubricate the weatherstripping band, but don’t use products that contain petroleum. You can find weatherstripping kits at home improvement or hardware stores. If you see that your weatherstripping is cracked or dried out, it’s time to replace it.
Garage Door Repair and Garage Door Installation in Austin
If your inspection has shown that parts need to be repaired or replaced, Austin’s Greater Garage Doors can handily take care of your garage door needs. For more than 10 years, our experienced crew has provided superior installation and repair service for both residential and commercial garage doors.
We also offer 24/7 emergency support. To learn more about our services and our 100% satisfaction guarantee, contact Austin’s Greater Garage Doors today!