One of the most commonly used machines in the household is the garage door. If your family makes use of cars and other vehicles, it is likely your garage door is opened many times a day.

Garage Door Contemporary Stone Exterior image via A1 Garage Door Service

The last thing one needs is to be late for work or school because the garage door won’t open. And if the garage door won’t open, you are not getting your car out. In this article, you will learn a few helpful garage door maintenance tips you can try to decrease the chance of your garage door breaking down.

– Visual Inspection:

To keep your garage door and opener in good health, you should perform a visual inspection at least once a month. Before starting the visual inspection, make sure the garage door is closed and the lights are on for maximum visibility. Start on one end of the garage door and slowly move to the other end, looking over each visible part in the process. When you gaze over the cables, pulleys, rollers, torsion springs and hinges, look for signs of damage and/or wear. Also keep an eye out for fraying and wear on the cables or parts that seem loose.

– Balance Test:

Another monthly maintenance test you can do is the balance test. If you have an automatic garage door system equipped with a garage door opener, close the door and remove the power from the opener. Next, walk up to the garage door and attempt to open it. It should be relatively easy to open, and should stay all the way open. If the door is difficult to open, it could need lubrication, or more advanced repairs. If it will not stay open without being held, it may be out of balance and should be serviced by a trained technician.

– Check Safety Eye Mechanism(s):

The last part of the garage door that is imperative to it functioning correctly is the safety eye mechanism. The safety eye/eyes are located towards the bottom and on either side of the garage door. They will look like little cameras or sensors. To make sure they are working correctly, start with the door open, and press the button to close it. While it is closing, wave your hand in front of the safety eye to block the transmission of signal. If the garage door stops and reverts to the open position, then the safety eyes are working correctly. It is important that the safety eyes are checked often, as a malfunctioning safety eye is dangerous.

Garage Door White 16 panel Sunbursts image via A1 Garage Door Service

If you can apply the above tips, you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in garage door repairs for the next few years. It is still recommended that a service technician come out every few years to perform advanced preventative maintenance, and to perform proper upgrades. If you find that there is damage to your garage door system, call a service professional to have the problem fixed immediately.

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Editor’s Note: For more from us on Garage Doors, including selecting and installing, please see our category – Garage Doors. For a deeper dive on this tips, here’s another nice overview from Lowe’s –  Maintain a Garage Door. ~jb