Every homeowner knows that every part of the house requires proper and routine maintenance, and with an automatic garage door opener, this is especially true. The garage door components themselves can be expensive, and with the goods you keep in your garage—such as your cars—the last thing you want is for a big accident to cost you a lot of money to repair and replace. Here’s a quick guide on proper routine maintenance for your automatic garage door opener.
Make Sure Nothing Is Loose
First, make sure all the nuts, bolts and screws holding it all together are tightened as the constant use and vibrations over the months and years will loosen some of them. If you want to get an idea of what areas might be loose, open and close your garage door and listen for any signs of rattling. Here are the main parts to look out for:
- Hinges—for each section of the garage door that holds them together
- Brackets—any brackets holding the chain, cable, or other components together or to the walls, floor or ceiling
- Anchoring plates—the parts that keep the tracks in place
- Mountings—such as for the safety reversal sensor that triggers the auto-reverse
Those are the parts more likely to come loose and are more important to stay tightened. If you let various components come loose, it’s more likely that something will break off or accumulate greater wear and tear. You can also check all the handles and more minor components while you’re at it.
Inspect the Rollers & Tracks
The next important components to inspect are the rollers and tracks. They should be inspected twice a year and replaced every five to seven years, depending on how often you open and close the garage door. To test them, disconnect the door from the motor and try opening or closing the door manually. It should feel smooth, but if it catches or feels too tough you should check the following:
- Wear and tear—look for bends, chips, cracks or rust on the tracks and rollers
- Lubrication—make sure the tracks and rollers are properly lubricated
- Chain or cables—check the links or strands for signs of wear especially near the bottom roller
For the chains or cables, they are very high tension so it is strongly advised that you only inspect and do not try and touch or fix them yourself. You could get seriously injured or killed, so call a professional for any repairs and maintenance.
Check The Automatic Motor
The last part of the door you should look at is the motor and its components. There are a lot more moving parts with this, but there is still some quick and basic maintenance that you should perform at least semi-regularly:
- Batteries—check the charge of the batteries in the motor and any buttons, remotes, or safety sensor
- Safety-reverse—test that the auto-reverse works as it should so you know it won’t accidentally close on your car or family
- Limit screws—adjust the screws on the motor if the door fails to fully open
- Motor components—while the motor is running listen for sounds of grinding, whining, or metal-on-metal
The motor components might be the most tricky to fix if there is an issue, but you might be able to do some basic maintenance such as lubrication or cleaning away debris. For more complicated problems, contact a professional to look at it to avoid causing further damage if you are inexperienced.