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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's Time To Tune Up Your Garage Door

It's that time of year. Put the porch furniture away, rake up the leaves and don't forget...get your garage door ready for winter. A lot of homeowners ignore the sounds that their garage door may be making but can be easily addressed without calling a professional. Here are just a few preventative maintenance tips to keep your garage door working properly.

1. Lubrication - this is one of the easiest steps that can be taken but is probably the most overlooked. A little bit of garage door lubricant once a year can prolong the life of all of the moving parts on the garage door. First get yourself a good long lasting lubricant like Chain & Cable Fluid Penetrating Oil. Don't use WD-40 because it tends to get tacky and attracts dirt. Spray the lube on the torsion springs if that is the kind of springs your door has (they are on the torsion bar mounted above the garage door). If you have extension springs (these are the springs that stretch back into the garage on either side of  the door) then you should lubricate all four of the cable pulleys - just spray a little on the bearings. Lubricate all of the door hinges, all of the rollers and the operator chain. If you have a belt drive opener don't lubricate the belt - it doesn't need lubrication.

2. Replace Bent or Damaged Hinges - the hinges are are numbered from #1 up to #4 on residential doors. The number of the hinge should be stamped on the hinge. The #1 hinges are mounted between the bottom section and the #2 section (second section up from the bottom). There is a #1 hinge on either end of the bottom section and one #1 hinge in the middle (or two #1 hinges in the middle if it's a 2-car wide door). The #2 hinge is mounted between the 2nd and 3rd section on either end of the section with #1 hinges in the middle of the door section. The #3 hinge is between the 3rd and 4th (or top) section. A #4 hinge would be used if you have a 5 section high door and would be mounted between #4 and #5 (or top) section. 

3. Replace Worn or Damaged Rollers - there are 10 rollers on normal 7' high (or 4 section high) garage doors. Some of the less expensive doors come with cheaper rollers that don't have any ball bearings and can wear out in short order. The 10-ball bearing short stem rollers will last much longer. Eight of the rollers can be easily replaced by removing the door hinge, installing a new roller and reinstalling the hinge. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU HAVE A PROFESSIONAL REPLACE THE TWO BOTTOM DOOR ROLLERS. The bottom brackets of the garage door are under extreme tension and if the spring tension is not removed from the springs before removing the brackets it could cause serious injury.

These are just a few tips to keep your garage door running smoothly. We'll have more maintenance tips in the near future. And remember, if you're not comfortable doing your own garage door maintenance call a professional....a service call will be cheaper than a hospital bill.

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