How to maintain a garage door
During my time as a garage door repairman in Scottsdale Arizona, I have completed dozens of repairs that could have been avoided if someone would had told the customer about basic garage door maintenance.
Loud, creaky and unbalanced doors, and non-responsive sensors don’t always require a visit from a garage door pro. This is easy maintenance information that you can share with the homeowner after installing their new door. Whenever I see a problem that could have been fixed by customer education, I take the time to teach them how to do simple repairs themselves to prevent these inconveniences in the future. Giving customers basic repair tips is beneficial for everyone because it saves them money and saves us professionals time in the future.
Here are a few basic maintenance tips you can share with your customers to help them save their money and your time.
Lube the door points
One of the most annoying sounds in the world is a noisy garage door. Let your customers know that the creaking, screeching, and banging noises are a sure sign that their garage door is in desperate need of lubrication.
Purchase a silicone spray or anything labeled as a garage door lubricant. I would not recommend using WD-40 since it’s a light duty lubricant and most garage doors need something more heavy duty due to their size and frequent use, also WD-40 attracts dirt more than silicone.
Being a door contractor in the field, its best to carry some of these cans with you. Carrying extra cans gives you the option to sell them to the homeowner when you are done with the job. Sometimes part of the battle is homeowners not knowing what to buy, providing them the option to purchase saves them the headache of going to the store and searching.
Tell them to start by spraying all the hinges, which are located on both sides of your garage door. Then they will need to lubricate the door’s roller brackets (the wheels) which can be found on all four corners of the door. Finally let your customers know they will need to spray the door’s Torsion springs, which helps lift and close the garage door.
Lightly apply the lubricant to each part of the door, and keep a rag on hand to wipe up the overspray. Let the customer know that they should not lubricate the tracks on the garage door, but they should wipe off any dirt and grime with a cloth.
Every garage door opener made since 1993 was sold with safety sensors. These sensors can be found approximately six inches from the bottom of the door on each side. Most customers know that these sensors prevent the garage door from shutting when it sees something under it or passing through it. However, many customers do not know that cleaning their sensors and the area around them can improve their reliability.
Dirt, dust and spider webs can accumulate in the area of these sensors. This dirt and clutter can obscure the sensors’ lenses and keep the garage door from closing. The problem is easy to fix. Simply clear the area where the garage door sensors are. That means moving any boxes or other materials and sweeping the area around the sensors. Finally, tell the customer to wipe the sensor lens down with a micro-fiber towel.
Check the Door Balance
A balanced garage door means the weight is evenly managed by the tension system in the springs usually above the door. An unbalanced door can cause the opener to fail prematurely.
To check a door’s balance simply close the garage door with the operator. Once the door is shut, pull the safety release chord hanging from the center of your garage. The customer will then want to lift the garage door up with their hands. If the door is balanced it should lift without little resistance. When let go at mid-point, the door should stay put, neither rise nor drop. If the door drops or rises by itself, then it’s unbalanced and will require the help of a professional to recalibrate it.
Ray Dal Soglio is a professional garage door repairman for A Always Open Garage Doors in Scottsdale Arizona.