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Top 10 tips for looking after your garage door

24th April 2024

Top 10 tips for looking after your garage door

A garage door is a critical component of your home’s security and convenience, necessitating regular upkeep. In this article, we detail the top 10 tips for garage door maintenance, from basic tasks that you can perform yourself to recognising signs that call for professional attention. Start protecting your investment today with these essential care practices.

Observing your garage door

Regularly observing your garage door is the initial step towards maintaining its health. This habit allows you to identify potential issues early before they turn into expensive repairs. A visual inspection can reveal problems that might not be immediately noticeable, such as small dents or loosening hardware. Similarly, listening for unusual sounds can alert you to issues that are not visible to the naked eye. By following these garage door maintenance tips, you can ensure the longevity and smooth operation of your garage door.

Most garage doors move up and down over a thousand times annually. This frequent use can lead to wear and tear over time, so it’s worth taking a few minutes every month to perform regular garage door maintenance and ensure your garage door is operating smoothly.

Visual inspection

A visual inspection of your garage door, despite being a simple task, can prove beneficial in the long run. It’s recommended to perform this check at least once or twice a year. What should you be looking for? Pay attention to the following:

  • Springs
  • Cables
  • Rollers
  • Pulleys
  • Other hardware

Look for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any fraying on the cables or rust on the springs, it could be a sign that these parts are nearing the end of their life.

Remember, detecting and addressing minor issues early can prevent serious injury and costly repairs down the line.

Listen for unusual sounds

While a visual inspection can reveal a lot about the condition of your garage door, it’s equally important to use your ears. Unusual sounds can be a clear indicator that something is amiss. For instance, grinding, squeaking, or rattling noises could signal a problem with the garage door.

If your door is straining to open and close or making scraping noises, it could be an indication of an imbalance in the system. Failing to address these sounds promptly may lead to permanent damage to the door, reinforcing the need for immediate attention.

Maintaining door balance

For the safe and efficient operation of your garage door, maintaining its balance is of utmost importance. An unbalanced door can cause serious damage and put undue stress on the door opener. But how do you know if your door is balanced? This can be checked by:

  • Disconnecting the automatic opener
  • Manually lifting the door halfway
  • If the door stays in place, it means the door’s balance is right
  • However, if it moves up or down, it may be a sign that your door is off balance.

A professional garage door technician should be contacted for garage door spring adjustment to inspect and adjust the garage door springs in such cases.

Professional Assistance

While many maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners themselves, some tasks require professional assistance. For instance, if the garage door doesn’t stay halfway when manually lifted, it’s a clear sign that the springs need adjustment. Adjusting the springs is a task that must be performed by professionals to ensure safe and correct maintenance. After all, the springs provide the necessary force to lift the door, which is critical for maintaining the door’s balance.

So don’t hesitate to call a professional garage door technician if you encounter any serious issues with your garage door opener or the door itself, as they can efficiently handle garage door repairs. In fact, one of the best tips for garage door maintenance is to rely on the expertise of professionals.

Cleaning and Lubricating Components

For the smooth operation and longevity of your garage door, regular cleaning and lubrication of its components are indispensable. Key components to lubricate include:

  • the hinges
  • the springs
  • the rollers
  • the tracks
  • the opener’s chain

Regularly removing debris or dirt from the tracks and replacing worn, chipped, or cracked rollers can prevent further damage.

This maintenance task should be performed every 3-6 months using high-quality silicone or lithium-based lubricants. Remember, a well-maintained door not only operates smoothly but also lasts longer, saving you from potential costly replacements.

Cleaning tracks and rollers

Cleaning the tracks and rollers of your garage door is just as important as lubricating them. Over time, debris and dirt can accumulate in the tracks, leading to malfunctions or even causing the door to get stuck. During the cleaning process, it’s also important to check for any loose or missing screws or bolts and secure them appropriately. After cleaning, the tracks should be dried completely to avoid rust development.

For sectional garage doors, clean running tracks are crucial as they contribute to the door’s proper functionality and longevity.

Tightening hardware and inspecting parts

The hardware of your garage door may loosen over time due to its frequent usage, leading to vibrations. That’s why it’s important to regularly tighten the nuts, bolts, and roller brackets. These simple steps can ensure smooth operation and prevent accidents.

While tightening the hardware, you should also inspect the garage door parts for any wear and tear. Remember, every piece of hardware on a garage door is crucial for its operation. Even a small malfunction could lead to accidents, emphasising the importance of thorough inspection and maintenance.

Bolts and nuts

The nuts and bolts of your garage door play a key role in its operation. If they become loose, it can lead to an imbalance, affecting the door’s stability and potentially causing accidents. Using a socket wrench and screwdriver, you can easily tighten these parts yourself. But be careful not to overtighten them as this can cause damage and accelerate wear on the components.

Checking cables and springs

Cables and springs are among the most crucial components of your garage door. They bear a lot of the load and tension, making them prone to wear and tear. Regularly inspecting these parts for signs of damage is crucial in preventing potential disasters. Look for signs of wear such as:

  • kinks
  • breaks
  • cracks
  • stretching
  • misshapen appearance
  • loud noises
  • rusting or corrosion

If any of these signs are present, it’s best to consult a professional for a thorough examination, service, or replacement.

Weatherstripping maintenance

Weatherstripping is the material that seals the gaps around your garage door. This simple component can play a big role in maintaining the comfort and energy efficiency of your garage by preventing draughts, moisture, and pests.

Regular inspection and maintenance of weather seals can significantly enhance the garage door’s appearance and operational functionality. If weather seals are cracked, brittle, or deteriorating, it needs to be replaced immediately to maintain its effectiveness.

Replacing damaged weather seals

Replacing damaged weatherstripping is a straightforward task. Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the old weather seals.
  • Clean the surface thoroughly.
  • Measure and cut the new weather seals to size.
  • Install the new weather seals securely in place.

Testing safety features

Garage doors are equipped with safety features like auto-reverse and photoelectric sensors, as safety should never be compromised. These features are designed to prevent accidents and ensure that the door operates safely. However, like any feature, they need to be tested regularly to ensure they’re functioning properly.

The auto-reverse feature, for instance, can be tested by placing an object in the door’s path. The door should reverse direction on contacting the object. Similarly, the photoelectric sensors can be tested by interrupting the door’s path while closing.

Seasonal garage door care

Our garage doors, like our routines, require adjustments with the changing seasons. This includes tasks such as:

  • Preventing ice buildup in winter
  • Applying a protective coating in summer
  • Regular inspection of weatherstripping to prevent the intrusion of pollen, dust, and debris

These tasks are crucial for protecting stored items in the garage.

By performing these seasonal maintenance tasks, you can maintain the appearance and functionality of your door all year round.

Winter maintenance

During the winter months, it’s especially important to ensure that your garage door is functioning properly. Preventing ice buildup is essential, as it can compromise the door’s sealing and proper operation. Keeping entryways clear of snow helps prevent potential damage from the weight of snow accumulation.

Furthermore, well-maintained weatherstripping is crucial for keeping the garage at a comfortable temperature during winter, leading to reduced energy costs. These simple steps can protect your garage door from harsh winter conditions and ensure its smooth operation.

Summer maintenance

Summer comes with its own set of challenges for garage door maintenance. The increased humidity can lead to rust and corrosion if the door is not properly maintained. Applying a new protective coating on a dry, low humidity day can prevent cracking and prolong the door’s lifespan.

For coastal properties, it’s particularly important to clean sectional steel doors weekly to prevent corrosion caused by the salty sea air. By taking care of these summer-specific maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your garage door remains in top condition all year round.

Different types of garage doors

Each style of garage door, among the variety available, carries its unique advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular types include:

  • Roller garage door: compact and efficient, making them ideal for garages with limited space
  • Sectional garage door: offers excellent insulation and security features
  • High-security models: come with added security features, making them a preferred choice for those who prioritise security.

In contrast, the average garage door may not have all these specific features but still serves its basic purpose of providing security and convenience.

Understanding the different types of garage doors can help you choose the best garage door that suits your needs and preferences.

Professional maintenance and repairs

Despite regular self-maintenance keeping your garage door in good condition, certain tasks necessitate professional expertise. Experts can diagnose and fix a variety of issues, improving the safety and functionality of your garage door. They can also provide regular maintenance services, ensuring that your door functions correctly and lasts longer. This not only saves you from potential costly repairs but also gives you peace of mind knowing that your garage door is in safe hands.

If you encounter significant issues or are unsure about any maintenance tasks, it’s best to seek professional help. For instance, if there’s any damage to the door panel or gear of sectional garage doors, immediate repair by a professional is necessary. Also, frayed cables and severely damaged tracks should be handled by professionals due to the potential safety risks involved. It’s recommended to schedule at least one professional inspection annually, with additional checks suggested during the autumn and bi-annually for sectional garage doors.


In conclusion, regular maintenance of your garage door is not just about keeping it functioning properly; it’s also about ensuring your safety. From observing the door regularly and maintaining its balance to cleaning and lubricating its components, and from testing its safety features to performing seasonal care – all these tasks can keep your garage door operating smoothly and extend its lifespan. And remember, while many of these tasks can be performed by homeowners themselves, some require professional help. So, don’t hesitate to call a professional garage door technician when needed. After all, a well-maintained garage door is not only a safe garage door but also a lasting one!

Get in touch with Security Direct to find out all about our top of the range garage doors today!

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