The better you care for your garage door, the longer it will last -- and the fewer repairs it will require. It's easier to do a little maintenance each season than to wait until problems start appearing. Try implementing these garage door maintenance steps throughout the coming year. Your door will thank you with smooth operation and a long life expectancy.
De-salt the door
After the last snowflakes have fallen and the ice has melted, it is time to remove any salt that has built up on the bottom of the garage door or from splashes kicked up by your car tires. Close the door, and give the outside a good hose-down. Then, attack the inside with a bucket of water and a sponge. Removing this salty residue will help prevent corrosion and staining.
Lubricate the springs.
After all of the wetness your garage door has been exposed to throughout the winter, those springs probably need a new coat of oil. Start by wiping down the springs and tracks to remove any dirt buildup. Then, apply a thin line of oil across the top of the torsion springs and the extension springs. Also apply the lubricant to the door tracks. Open and close the garage door a few times -- this will distribute the oil evenly.
Check safety mechanisms.
Summer is the season when you're likely to have guests over and when kids are most likely to be playing outside near the garage. Thus, it's the perfect season to focus on safety. Most garage doors offer several safety features. One feature ensures that if something is detected below the door while it's closing, it stops closing. Test this by sticking a broom handle under the door while it is closing. If the door does not stop closing, you'll need to have a garage door repair person come re-program the safety mechanism.
The other safety feature causes the door to automatically reverse if it hits something while closing. Test this by putting a cinder block under the door. Push the "close" button, and ensure the door reverses when it hits the block. If not, make that call to the repairman before someone gets hurt.
Lubricate the springs.
Experts recommend lubricating the springs twice per year, and with the wet winter season around the corner, fall is the perfect time for the second lubricating session.
Look over the weather stripping/rubber gaskets.
With cold weather and snow on the horizon, you want to make sure your garage door is well sealed. Look over the weather stripping at the bottom of the door. Some doors have weather stripping along the sides too. If you spot any cracks in the weather stripping or gasket, you'll want to replace it so that it does not let water seep inside.
You should be able to peel the old rubber gasket off quite easily. Take it with you to a home improvement store to ensure you buy one that's the same size. Then, after ensuring the tracks that hold the weather stripping are clean, slip the new stripping into place. You may need to cut off the ends, using a pocket knife, to ensure the gasket is flush with the edge of the door.
Wipe down the door and closing mechanisms.
You probably don't want to do any heavy cleaning when it's freezing out, and that's fine. That can wait until the spring. However, you should take a damp cloth and wipe any obvious dirt or grime off your garage door and its closing mechanisms whenever you spot them getting dirty. This way, your cleaning job will be a lot easier when spring comes.
Stick to the schedule above, and caring for your garage door won't seem like such a burden. If you have any other questions about your garage door, consider looking into the websites of local garage door specialists, such as http://www.shankdoor.com, for more information.