10 Garage Door Maintenance Tips Homeowners Should Know

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated September 27, 2021
Two modern garage doors in a residential district
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Performing regular maintenance on your garage door keeps it in peak condition and extends its life

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Your garage door sees a lot of use, which means some problems are inevitable. But you can prevent and get ahead of many issues by following some simple garage door maintenance tips before trouble strikes. 

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite tips to help keep your garage door working properly and avoid unnecessary garage door repair costs.

1. Lubricate Your Garage Door

You should lubricate all moving parts at least once per year to ensure they work smoothly and last for a long time. Use white lithium grease to lubricate the opener chain and screw. For the overhead springs and other moving parts, use a garage door spray lubricant.

2. Clean and Wax Your Garage Door

Keeping your garage door clean is one of the best ways to keep it operating at its peak. Over time, dirt and grime accumulate on the door, reducing its lifespan considerably. It's a good idea to regularly wash your garage door with hot soapy water to remove the buildup, then rinse off the suds with cold water.

Let it air dry, and then it's time to apply the wax. Waxing your garage door protects the paint and the metal of the door from corrosion. Remember to use liquid wax, not paste, and to coat the door's interior and the bottom lip of the door.

3. Check Your Torsion Springs

A cottage house with a white garage door
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Regularly check your torsion springs for any signs of wear. If they start to look worn down and frayed, consider replacing them. You should also make sure to wind your torsion springs properly and be sure they have enough tension. 

If there's not enough tension in the springs, the door will sag when you open it up—meaning you'll need to wind them tighter. On the other hand, if there's too much tension in the springs, the door won't open and close smoothly and will have to be unwound. 

Torsion springs can also break and, when they're approaching the end of their useful life, they can stretch, meaning there’s no mechanical tension when you try to close the garage door. If this happens, you’ll want to address it right away.

Note that replacing torsion springs is not a DIY project and, for safety, hire a local garage door technician to do this repair.

4. Give Your Garage Door Extra Winter Care

Winter weather can not only make driving tougher, but it can also cause a host of problems with your garage door. Ice dams and snow buildup can warp or bend the metal over time, leaving you with an unstable frame that's more prone to breakdowns and getting stuck.

Clear off any snow and ice, including from in front of the door, to ensure your garage door moves properly and isn't put under unnecessary stress when in operation.

5. Check and Clean Out Your Garage Door Tracks

It's a good idea to clean your garage door tracks out regularly to keep the rollers moving freely. Take a toothbrush and scrub the tracks clean, removing dust, grease, and general debris. If there are any large obstacles in the tracks, remove them as, in extreme cases, such obstacles can cause the garage door to warp.

Make sure that the tracks are perfectly level so the garage door moves in a smooth, straight line as it opens up and closes. A slanted track can cause unnecessary friction on your springs and eventually lead to failure. But note that if you need to make any more than the most minor adjustments to the tracks, you'll need to hire a local garage door repair service.

6. Check Your Garage Door Opener

A garage door with a man’s hand holding a remote controller
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Check all of your garage door opener components—including the remote, the wall control, and the spacers. Just make sure to disconnect your door from the power supply before you start. This prevents you from electrical shock risk and stops someone from raising or lowering the door via the remote while you're working. You should also always work with the door down for safety.

7. Look and Listen for Garage Door Issues

Look and listen to your garage door for signs of problems every time you use it. Can you hear a grinding noise? Does it tend to stick when you open or close it? Does it move evenly? Keeping an eye out for issues like these will help you catch any problems before they get worse. 

You can troubleshoot any obvious issues yourself, but if you can't find the root of the problem, you'll need to hire a garage door pro to fix it for you.

8. Check and Tighten Roller Brackets and Bolts Regularly

During a garage door installation, a pro will tighten your roller brackets with the bolts to ensure that nothing is shaking and moving while the door is open. Over time, all the components experience wear, and these parts in particular start to loosen.

The best way to prevent breakage is by checking them regularly and tightening them when needed. You can do this monthly or whenever something feels loose to make sure nothing falls off.

9. Check Garage Door Balance

To prevent early failure of the opener, the garage door has to have good balance. If the door looks uneven while in operation or takes longer than usual to open or close, you could be looking at a balance problem. While you can conduct further tests yourself, you're probably better off calling a pro at this point.

10. Check the Garage Door Weatherstripping

Check the weatherstripping on your garage door to make sure that it's still keeping dirt and moisture out. Clean it with hot soapy water and check for gapping, cracks, or brittleness.

If you spot any of these signs of wear, simply remove the existing strip and replace it. This step is an easy DIY job that takes only a few minutes.

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