Garage Door Maintenance Checklist
Like many homeowners today with garages, you may open and close your garage numerous times a day. You may not realize anything is wrong with your garage until something doesn’t work correctly or your garage makes an odd sound. However, it’s crucial to take preventative measures when it comes to your garage door — especially if you use it heavily. One way to make sure your garage door is in great shape is to keep up with regular maintenance. Trust professionals to perform garage door inspections and maintenance at least a few times a year, as they are more likely to catch anything wrong with your garage door and can fix it before it causes any more damage. In between professional maintenance visits, you can go through this garage door maintenance checklist to keep an eye on the different parts of your garage door.
Broken garage door springs are one of the most common garage door issues. When you look at your garage door, there are usually two torsion springs above the door and extension springs on the side. These torsion springs are super strong pieces of metal that are tightly wound, creating potential energy that powers the springs to open and close your garage door when using the opener. The garage door opener acts to wind or unwind the springs for your garage door to open and close. Although these springs are designed to last about 10 years, all springs eventually wear out. Sometimes your garage may make a loud sound when springs no longer work, but sometimes your garage will not function correctly, have a hard time trying to close or open or stop working altogether when your springs break.
Since springs contain potential energy, you could severely hurt yourself if you attempt to replace your garage door springs alone. You must contact a professional garage door technician, who will arrive with the necessary tools and parts to repair the springs safely. However, just because a professional should perform replacement and maintenance doesn’t mean you can’t inspect springs as part of your regular garage door maintenance. Look for any visibly worn out, fragile or rusted springs and contact a professional if any look broken or like they’re about to break. You may be able to solve minor issues by applying lubricant.
If you’re unsure of the condition of your springs, you can do a garage door balance test. First, disconnect your door from the garage door opener, then manually lift your door. If you can’t open the door manually, call a professional at once. If it moves smoothly up and down, try leaving it half way. A well-balanced door will stay in place. If there is any movement, your door will likely fall down because the springs have lost tension. Never attempt to adjust the springs yourself and call a professional instead.
Although your garage door hinges are small, they are necessary to ensure your garage door can still open and close. If your hinges break and go undetected, it could lead to more severe damage, such as messing up your door’s guide tracks or damaging panels, which could eventually lead to an entire door replacement. Wobbly or missing screws may be the first sign that you need to replace your hinges. If screws are loose or missing, the metal plate they were in may have deteriorated. Sometimes using a nut and bolt to replace the screw provides a temporary fix. You should regularly check to make sure your screws are tight, that nothing is bent or twisted and that the lifting cable is attached to the hinges at the bottom of the door correctly to ensure your door is in excellent condition.
You should also check regularly for any rust or corrosion when you inspect your hinges. You may opt to use an oil lubricant on your hinges and other moving parts on your door to help prevent corrosion and other wear. Consult with a garage door professional to learn how to lubricate your garage door and determine which lubricant you should use for your specific model. If your hinges go beyond minor issues and you suspect they need to be replaced, you should also refer to a professional for help as soon as possible. It’s a lot easier to have someone fix your hinges than replace your entire garage door. Keeping up with regular maintenance will ensure you know how your garage door is holding up, and know when it needs help from a professional.
Your garage door rollers are crucial to smooth operation, opening and closing as your garage door should be. However, if you notice your garage door has gotten extra noisy when it opens and closes, your rollers are likely starting to misalign or aren’t moving correctly along the tracks. Sometimes rollers can be fixed with track grease, which helps the door open and close smoothly again and minimizes some of the noise, but other times rollers may need to be replaced. If your rollers don’t have enough lubrication, this could also lead to the garage door shaking, roller bearing failure and the loud opening and closing.
Check your rollers to make sure they are rolling, not sliding, in the tracks, and that your tracks are clear of any dirt or grease build-up. If your garage door tracks are filthy, your rollers may not move properly, so clean them regularly. Rollers may also go off of the tracks if the tracks aren’t anchored against the wall tightly, so check the brackets to make sure they are tight and that the tracks are where they should be. Be cautious of accidentally bumping your garage door with your car or any other large object, as this could also cause tracks to become misaligned and cause problems with rollers. If you keep up with maintenance and still suspect your rollers need to be replaced, contact a professional for help.
Garage door lifting cables are incredibly durable cables that allow your door to open and close by controlling the torsion springs. The cables prevent the springs from recoiling, so the springs can continue to do their job correctly to open and close the garage door safely. However, cables won’t last forever and may lose tension over time, so you must get them replaced when they’re showing signs of the end. How will you know when the cables are ready to be replaced? Usually, you simply have to look at your garage door. If your cable is rusted or frayed, you can tell by looking at it.
Additionally, if you notice any loud noises like screeching, rattling or grating, delayed opening and closing or not opening and closing at all, it could indicate a problem with your garage door cables. You should make sure your cables wind around the reel at the top of the vertical track and are functioning correctly. If your cables need to be replaced, make sure you trust a garage door professional to get the job done. If you attempt to replace cables yourself, you could be seriously injured since the spring and cable mechanism is fragile yet extremely powerful. You could also accidentally damage your garage door system, which could void your warranty.
Garage Door Opener and Sensors
If you’re having issues with your garage door opener and sensors, you could either repair your garage door opener or replace it altogether. However, it’s best to seek professional assistance when it comes to a faulty garage door opener so they can help determine which option would be best for you. If your garage door opener is 10 years old or older, a replacement is usually the best option, even if it could be fixed with a repair. Piling up repairs instead of replacing the opener is a temporary fix that will only lead to more repairs. Plus, new technologies are always emerging to take advantage of, so don’t get stuck with an outdated system.
To make the most of your garage door opener, however, make sure you regularly change the batteries in your remote. You should also make sure your garage door opener is compatible with a backup battery to use if the power goes out. If the power goes out and you don’t have a backup battery, you can’t open your garage door with your opener and would have to disconnect it from your opener and manually lift it. To test your garage door sensors, you could also conduct a reversal test. Start with an open garage door and put a 2-by-4 flat on the ground in the center of the door. Then, hit your opener to close the door. If the door hits the wood and doesn’t reverse immediately, you need to contact a professional for maintenance.
Contact EXL Garage Doors Today for Garage Door Maintenance and Repairs
Whether your garage door needs some routine professional maintenance to ensure everything looks how it should or you suspect something is broken and needs to be repaired or replaced, don’t keep putting it off. EXL Garage Doors has served customers throughout middle Tennessee for more than 20 years and can help you find the best solution to prolong the life of your garage door. Our highly-trained garage door professionals have the experience to check all parts of your door and identify and resolve any problem areas quickly and efficiently. Don’t wait, contact us and request a service today to keep your garage door in its best possible condition.
How to Keep Your Garage Cool in the Summer and Warm in the Winter
Many people today use their garage door as the main entryway to their home as opposed to the traditional front door, resulting in garage doors opening and closing numerous times throughout the day. In the colder months, this means letting more frigid air enter, and in the hot months, more heat is coming in. The best way to combat extreme weather in the winter and the summer is to insulate your garage, keeping it nice and warm in winter and cool in the summer, adding extra protection and saving you energy.
Garage Door Insulation Kits: The Best Way to Keep Your Garage Warm in the Winter and Cool in the Summer
While adding space heaters in the winter or portable fans in the summer can help regulate how warm or cool your garage is, insulation is ultimately the best way to keep your garage cool in summer and warm in winter. Insulation helps control your garage temperature since it reduces air loss and prevents air from getting in. Since garages are one of the worst parts of a home when it comes to energy efficiency, insulation is crucial. When you control your garage’s temperature using insulation, you’re also keeping energy costs down as you reduce the amount of energy necessary to heat up or cool down the rest of your home. Insulating your garage doors with insulation kits also makes your garage door more sturdy, since insulation helps strengthen the door and makes it less susceptible to dents from accidentally hitting it or other damage by natural elements.
Insulation kits also reduce noise from opening and closing your garage door and decrease any noise from outside your door. Insulation allows you to use your garage for your favorite hobbies or recreationally, making it a comfortable atmosphere no matter the weather. When you search for an insulation kit, look for one with a high R-value. R-value measures how effective a material is at insulating based on its chemical properties and thickness. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. However, when it comes to R-values for garage doors, they can sometimes be measured using different methods. This makes it challenging to figure out what R-value you specifically need to insulate your garage door, so it’s always best to seek professional assistance to find the right insulation kit for you.
Additionally, insulation kits require careful precision to cut the insulation to fit your garage door panels perfectly before securing them on. To ensure that your insulation kit works the way it should and your garage can stay warm in the freezing cold and cool in the scorching temps, trust a professional to install your garage door insulation. At EXL Garage Doors, we offer insulation kits and professional installation services, as well as a variety of Clopay insulated garage doors for your home if you’re looking for a complete door update.
Other Ways to Keep Garage Warm in the Winter
Even if you only use your garage for storage, freezing winter temperatures can infiltrate your garage and affect your belongings, such as your car. Colder temperatures can ruin your car’s battery, thicken its fluids, cause low tire air pressure and lead to unreliable wiring and spark plugs. Plus, if you often work or do any recreational activity in your garage, it needs to be habitable, and freezing temps can quickly make it unbearable. Garages act as a nice buffer as far as temperature goes from the outdoors to inside your home. Garages should be warmer than outside, and, though they may not always be as warm as your home indoors, you should be able to go from your home to your garage to grab something without having to put on all your winter layers.
To find the best way to heat your garage during winter, start by giving your garage an excellent, thorough cleaning. After all, what good is adding improvements to your garage if it’s still a mess? After you organize and clean it up, inspect your door and look at your weather stripping. Over time, your weather stripping could crack and break, and if water finds its way in, it can freeze and make your garage door stuck, unable to open. Broken weather stripping also leads to some severe air leaks which allow the cold winter air to come in. To replace your weather stripping, remove the existing weather stripping and scrape off any leftover sealant (not all doors will have sealant that needs to be removed, especially doors that were installed within the last 20 years). To put on your new weather stripping, you must accurately measure it and line it up to the door to ensure your seal is tight. Close the garage door and put the stripping down so the rubber flap is pressed against the door.
You can also explore various heater options for your garage. Think about the amount of space you have in your garage and shop around accordingly. If you’re scarce on space, you may even want to consider a wall-mounted heater. Mounted electric heaters are easier to install than a forced-air heating system, so you may be able to install it on your own. However, you could also go with a forced air heater or convection heater. For convenience, a portable space heater or propane heater could work best since they come in various sizes, making it easy to find one that works for your space and meets your heating needs. Unit heaters are also compact and relatively simple to install, and you can choose to run it on electricity or gas. You may opt to put in a mini-split heat pump to save even more energy.
Other Ways to Keep Garage Cool in the Summer
Similar to how you want to protect your garage from frigid winter air, you also need to keep it cool when summer brings extreme heat. In addition to insulation kits or insulated garage doors, you can find ways to use natural ventilation to keep your garage cool, especially if it has no windows. By opening any outside facing doors, windows or other doors besides the one that leads to your home, you increase the air circulation inside your garage, keeping things moving and preventing your garage from feeling too hot.
Portable fans are an affordable option that you can set up near your open doors, pointed inside your garage to draw the cool air from outdoors and pump it into your garage. You can choose from several styles of fans, such as pedestal fans, box fans or high-powered shop fans. Still, you should note that fans don’t really improve the overall garage temperature as much as they boost airflow, making it feel significantly cooler inside your garage.
You could also install a ceiling fan if your garage permits. Typically, garages need to be at least 8 feet tall to install a ceiling fan. You must also make sure the blades of the ceiling fans are between 7 and 9 feet above your garage floor and between 10 and 12 inches under the ceiling. Before you decide to incorporate air conditioning into your garage, you should think about how often you’re using it and how cold you need it to get. If you spend a lot of your time in your garage and determine air conditioning is a necessity for your garage, consider installing a window air conditioning unit or a portable floor unit as a more affordable option.
Keeping a clean, organized garage will also benefit you in the hot summer months as airflow can circulate better when there’s no clutter around your garage. As some other added methods you could incorporate to beat the heat, consider installing some attic vents for heat to escape through or put in a dehumidifier to prevent your garage from feeling like a summer swamp. Protect your belongings and work in comfort by finding the best way to cool your garage when hot weather comes around.
Trust EXL Garage Doors to Install Your Insulation and Keep Your Garage Temperature Under Control
Whether you spend hours a week in your garage or want to protect your valuables inside, it’s time to upgrade your garage with insulation to keep the temperature controlled no matter the weather outside and start saving energy today. Whether you’re looking for an insulation kit or a complete door replacement, EXL Garage Doors can provide you with quality materials at a great value and professional installation and maintenance services for any of your garage door needs. With more than 20 years of experience serving the Gallatin, Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee, don’t wait to see what we can do for you. Request a free estimate or contact us to start your garage update today.