Garage Door Maintenance & Care

Garage Door maintenance can be divided into two categories; visual and mechanical. Visual is about the need to keep your garage door looking good by keeping the surface free from airborne contamination and corrosion, which can potentially affect all cladding surfaces.

This will usually involve cleaning the garage door on a regular basis. For most surfaces this can be done using a mild detergent and a soft car brush, as regular as once or twice a month depending on the amount of “rain wash” the garage door is exposed to or whether or not you live in a coastal environment. On “Colour Steel” and “Powder Coat” surfaces cleaning will reduce the build-up of corrosive elements and increase the life of your door. Timber garage doors should be maintained in accordance with the specifications of the coating system used on your door. This also applies to painted timber doors.

Mechanical maintenance could be anything from a light spray with a suitable lubricant (see below) on components such as hinges and springs to a full service carried out by a qualified serviceman. This could involve re-tensioning the springs due to “settling”, (see paragraph on “Warranty Maintenance”) as well as checking alignment of tracks and motor settings.

Suitable Garage Door Lubricants:

There is often debate over what is a “suitable lubricant” for your garage door. In general it is safe to use a petroleum based lubricant such as CRC or WD40 on all metal components and a silicon based product for plastic or nylon components like the rollers on sectional garage doors and the carriage or trolley assembly that slides up and down the automatic opener rail. There is also a relatively new product on the market referred to as “synthetic grease”. This is ideal for hinges on sectional garage doors as it will stick once dry and is heat resistant. All these products are readily available at most hardware stores.

Roller Garage Doors:

Unless you have a very old garage door you must NOT use a petroleum based product to lubricate the guides of your roller door. Although initially you may notice an improvement this will soon deteriorate and often cause more serious problems. An application of silicon in the guides about once every three months is usually enough to keep the door reliable and smooth. If you experience a buildup of debris in the guides over a long period you can clean them out with a light solvent, let them dry and then re-spray with silicon.

Garage Door Warranty Maintenance

In order to validate your warranty you need to follow some guidelines.

If your garage door is on a new house it is likely that the power is not connected and may not be for some time. This will mean that the door needs to be operated manually, sometimes daily and often by different people each time. It is IMPORTANT to make sure the person or persons operating the garage door have been shown the correct method.

Although this sounds obvious, incorrect operation is often the cause of malfunctions, requiring a service call to remedy. Situations to watch out for include, but are not limited to;

  • If your driveway is not poured at time of installation, debris and other building materials scattered around the garage and rebate area can potentially damage the door.
  • Incomplete wiring protruding from the ceiling directly above the garage door, which has the potential to damage the face of the door when in operation.
  • The misconception that a big door is heavy so excess force is used unnecessarily to operate the door manually.
  • Also be aware that placing your fingers between the panels when operating sectional garage doors is likely to result in serious injury.

If your garage door is able to be connected to power and remain connected permanently at the time of installation there is significantly reduced potential for problems.

However in order TO VALIDATE YOUR WARRANTY YOU NEED TO HAVE A SERVICEMAN CONDUCT A FULL SERVICE ON YOUR GARAGE DOOR WITHIN SIX TO TWELVE MONTHS OF INSTALLATION. The time frame depends on the usage. This service call will cost $85.00. Although your garage door will operate smoothly immediately after installation and often not need any adjustment at all, it will likely settle over time and thus require some minor adjustments in order to guarantee long term reliability.

The springs on your sectional garage door are measured and cut specifically to fit, but after a few months they may “settle” or relax. This is normal and simply requires them to be re-tensioned. This work must be carried out by our qualified serviceman. Re-tensioning spring’s usually only needs to be done once, but in some situations they may need further minor adjustment after three to five years of operation. Failure to service your door could result in problems with your automatic operator. In order for the motor to remain reliable it is important that the door is well balanced. This applies to all garage door types. Your automatic is designed to stall if the force required to operate the door exceeds that which was required at the time of installation. The two main causes for this type of failure are the buildup of dust and debris in the moving parts of the garage door such as the hinges and the “settling” of the springs. Other causes specifically with timber garage doors is that they can absorb moisture is the wet months of winter and become heavier. To check spring tension, disconnect your automatic opener and operate the door manually. If excessive force is required the door needs servicing. It is possible that after eight to ten years the spring or springs may break. This is normal ware and tare and unlike tilt doors it is very unlikely to cause any harm. The symptom of a broken spring will be that the door will not open at all or only travel a short distance then stall. You will need to call a serviceman to have the garage doors springs replaced.

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CARRY OUT REGULAR ONGOING MAINTENANCE AND LUBRICATION TO AVOID BREAKDOWNS.

The old saying “If it’s not broken don’t fix it” does not apply to garage doors.
If you leave it until it is broken it will likely cost you more to fix.