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Garage Door Maintenance 101

Garage Door Maintenance 101

garage-door-maintenance-101

As a homeowner, you might use your garage door several times a day, in all types of weather. Your garage door is likely the largest appliance of your home, exposed to the elements and subject to heavy use. These factors are bound to result in wear and tear, which can accumulate into larger issues if left untouched. You can save time and money by catching potential problems early, addressing them before they can worsen. 

To keep your garage door running smoothly, it’s important to plan regular preventive maintenance. Even if you have yet to see or hear any issues, preventative upkeep will ensure optimized performance and a longer life span. Learn all about preventive garage door maintenance below — why it’s important, how often to schedule it and what its primary benefits are, plus the best professional services. 

Garage Door Maintenance: Is It Important?

Garage door maintenance, especially preventive upkeep, is important for several reasons. Neglecting routine upkeep can cause small issues to become larger ones, which are more expensive and time-consuming to repair. You may even have to replace the entire garage door, which you should only have to do after a decade or longer. A failing garage door can lead to safety concerns and major inconveniences. For safety, convenience and monetary savings, you should keep up with routine garage door maintenance. 

Even if you have yet to notice any issues, taking proactive steps will ensure smooth operation. Preventing problems is better than repairing them after they’ve formed. Compare it to your yearly physical — you should go to the doctor at least once a year, with or without symptoms, to check your health. Annual visits matter because medical problems can go undetected in your everyday life. 

The same is true for your garage door — emerging issues can be silent and invisible. It’s best to catch them before they grow into larger concerns. 

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How Often Should You Have Your Garage Door Serviced?

You should schedule preventive maintenance at least once a year, before the winter hits — and more often if you notice issues. You may want to plan biannual maintenance, once before winter and once before summer, for added assurance. If you live in an area with extreme seasonal weather, biannual checks are a good idea. Severe cold, heat or humidity can be taxing on any moving appliance. 

You’ll also want to schedule maintenance any time a concern arises. Here are some signs of potential issues to look out for — you need not be a garage door expert to recognize these symptoms. If you notice any of the following, you should plan a garage door checkup as soon as possible: 

  • Strange noises: Any grinding, scraping or screeching noises can indicate a track or hardware problem. A quiet garage door lends itself to a more pleasant experience. You may need to oil metal hardware, tighten screws or realign the track. Some of these tasks you can do on your own, but you might want to hire a professional for the best results. 
  • Uneven movement: Watch your door as it runs. Does it operate in one smooth motion, or does it jerk, getting stuck in places? If the latter is true, the door will need servicing. Smooth, even movements indicate proper function. Anything else might be a sign of an issue. 
  • Light shining through: Wait for the sun to set and stand outside your garage door. Turn the lights on in your garage. If you see any light shining through, air can escape as well. This problem can mean poor insulation, which drives up your heating and cooling bills. To fix this issue, replace the weatherstripping and any worn parts or panels. 
  • Water damage: Your garage door is exposed to the elements, which include rain, snow and humidity. These things can cause water damage. On wood doors, keep your eyes open for warping or peeling from water damage. On steel doors, look for rust spots. Water damage can be an eye-sore, but it can also lead to more serious issues over time. You may need a fresh coat of water-resistant sealant. 

Benefits of Preventative Garage Door Maintenance

Scheduling regular garage door maintenance is necessary for any homeowner. Proactive garage door care has many benefits for your safety, convenience and bank account. Some benefits of garage door maintenance include: 

  • A longer life span: With routine service, a garage door will last much longer. Small issues, which may go unnoticed, can become irreversible down the road, so it’s important to schedule upkeep whether you recognize any problems. 
  • Improved safety: Garage door issues can be dangerous. Doors are heavy, and the springs work under extreme tension. A faulty door may cause injury or leave your home vulnerable to intrusion. Preventive maintenance helps avoid unexpected issues, which means improved safety for your family. 
  • Convenience: Preventive maintenance keeps your door working, so you can dodge unfortunate situations. A door stuck open or closed can present a major inconvenience, if not a hazardous situation. You’ll have to wait for emergency maintenance service to arrive, which could take hours or days. In either case, you’ll be stuck either inside or outside the door. Preventive maintenance helps you avoid such predicaments. 
  • Money savings: While preventive maintenance is often inexpensive, extensive repairs and replacements are a different story. You can save a lot of money long term when you plan regular garage door maintenance. 
  • Energy efficiency: Improving your door’s insulation can reduce your energy bills and increase your energy efficiency. Reduced energy usage is better for both the environment and your wallet. 
  • Attractive appearance: Your garage door makes up a large part of your home’s facade. If it looks and operates like new, it’ll add to your home’s visual appeal. On the other hand, a rusting, sticking, screeching garage door can detract from your home’s beauty. Keep up with garage door maintenance for an attractive abode. 
  • Increased home value: A beautiful, working garage door contributes to your home’s curb appeal and can increase its resale value. To get maximum value from the real estate market, keep your garage door in top shape. 

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Schedule Garage Door Maintenance With Central Ohio Garage Door

Keeping your garage door in the best possible shape is an important investment for any homeowner. You’ll need a knowledgeable, professional service to help you, which is exactly what we offer at Central Ohio Garage Door. We provide expert garage door maintenance and repair services. We’ll make sure your door is well-lubricated, tighten any loose screws and address any other emerging issues. Get in touch with us and request service to maintain your garage door’s longevity and appearance.

If you have any questions about garage door maintenance, feel free to contact Central Ohio Garage Door today

How to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter

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Homeowners have plenty of work to do to make sure their homes are ready for the harsh winter months. From insulating windows to checking that heaters are functioning properly, there is a sizeable checklist of things to inspect and repair to ensure the cold temperatures stay outside and the warm comforts of the home remain inside. 

Often, people forget to inspect the gateway of the home — the garage door. With its many moving parts and exposure to extreme winter elements, your garage door has a tough task in the winter. Make sure your door is functioning at its peak before winter strikes to potentially save yourself from stressful moments down the line. 

How Your Garage Door Can Be Affected by Cold Weather

Low temperatures, snowstorms, sleet, ice and wind all take a toll on your garage door. One of the effects of cold weather on your garage door is the metal components shrinking. This can put extra friction on the door, forcing the opener to work harder. When your opener works overtime, it can decrease the door and opener’s durability and life span.

If your garage door is wooden, it can absorb moisture from rain and melting snow. This causes the wood to expand, creating pressure between the separate sections of wood. The increase in door size strains the moving parts of the garage door such as hinges and the hardware that holds them together. Moisture can also contribute to your garage door’s metal components rusting. If your garage door is made of metal, rusting can grow into an even bigger issue. 

If your garage is connected to your home, it is also the last line of defense between your living space and extreme winter elements. Cracked weather stripping or an uneven seal allows frigid air to enter your garage and creep closer to the inside of your home. Constant contact with cold temperatures can also result in the garage door freezing shut.

Steps to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter

If your garage door is working perfectly, you can enjoy the convenience it offers without much thought. When it starts to malfunction in any way, the garage door is difficult to ignore until it is fixed. It could even prevent you from entering or exiting your home like normal if it unexpectedly breaks. 

This is especially true in the winter months when an issue is much more inconvenient than during the pleasant days of summer. That’s why it’s wise to make sure your garage door is functioning properly before you experience any mishaps. Get ahead of potential issues, and your garage door could run smoothly throughout the winter months and beyond.

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Here are some tips to prepare your garage door for cold weather to make sure your schedule stays on track:

  • Tighten the hardware: Your garage door may open and close nearly a thousand times per year. This daily use generates heavy vibrations and constant impact, which could loosen the garage door hardware. Use a socket wrench to make sure all the nuts and bolts are secured. 
  • Lubricate the moving parts: Checking that the moving parts of your garage door are well lubricated is a quick and easy way to protect the door’s long-term performance. Use a spray lubricant on every moving part, including the overhead springs. Doing this can minimize unpleasant sounds and the strain on your garage door opener.
  • Clean the tracks: Removing debris, gunk and other obstacles from the garage door tracks is another easy measure you can take to prevent malfunctions. You can also check to see if your tracks are level on both sides. If not, consider calling a garage door professional to make necessary adjustments. 
  • Inspect the rollers: Damaged or broken rollers can prohibit the smooth functioning of your garage door opener. They can also contribute to loud noises when the door opens and closes. Check to see if the rollers are cracked, chipped or loose. If they are, it would be wise to call a professional to install new rollers. 
  • Check the cables: The high-tension cables on your garage door are dangerous to try to adjust yourself. Professionals highly recommend letting an expert fix or replace the cables, but you can still check to see if yours need any work. If you see any loose strands of cable or signs of damage, you’ll know it’s time to request a professional repair. 
  • Test the garage door balance: If your garage door is unbalanced, the opener may be forced to use more effort in opening and closing the door, which could result in costly damage over time. Pull the red release handle to disengage the opener and manually move the door to the halfway position. If it falls closed or slides open, your garage door is unbalanced and should be adjusted by a professional.
  • Give your garage door some TLC: Applying a new coat of paint or stain to your garage door does more than enhance its visual appeal — it protects it from weather and rust. Before the weather gets too cold, consider repainting or staining your wooden garage door and any exposed metal hinges. Sand and paint your metal garage door to likewise protect it from rust. 

When to Call a Garage Door Expert if Your Garage Door Freezes

If you go to open your garage door and find it won’t budge, it may be frozen shut. Inspect the door to see if you can identify where the issue is located. Most of the time, ice may have fused the door to the ground. If you try to dislodge the ice by kicking the bottom of the door or engaging the opener repeatedly, you could cause damage to the door or opener. 

From the outside of the door, you can try to dislodge the ice by hand with a scraper. Another good method is to use a heat gun and aim it where the garage door meets the ground. Either of these methods may successfully dislodge the door. If you find your garage door still won’t open, there might be another issue that an expert should take a look at. 

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Choose Central Ohio Garage Door to Prepare for Winter

At Central Ohio Garage Door, we provide quality service for the communities of Newark and Columbus to cover all your garage door needs. With some routine maintenance work, our skilled technicians can keep your garage door running smoothly for years to come. 

It’s never too early to start preparing your garage door for winter. Now through December 17, we’re running a $60 tune-up deal to help you prepare your garage door for winter. Stay one step ahead of the issues that could arise this season by contacting us today to request an estimate or schedule an appointment for service. 

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