We all know that this time of year is often wet and windy. The few clear days give you plenty of reprieve from the summer heat so that you can make sure your garage door is ready for colder temperatures, snow, ice, or salt. At Commonwealth Garage Doors, we strive to give you the most recent information to ensure that you have all the knowledge we have to care for your garage door and your property. We list our top six tips for fall preventative maintenance for your garage door below.
Clean the door including the weatherstripping
Dirt and debris can get into the door tracks and rub against cables. Insulation like foam weatherstripping is easy to tear when mulch or glass are in the driveway. Regular sweeping or hosing down the garage and driveway can minimize this problem. To make sure that your door has protection from this problem, you can do a seasonal cleaning. Remember to use a damp cloth on the weatherstripping and around any windows. If you have a wood door, then it might be necessary to change out the door seal.
- Use only dish or laundry detergent and warm water
- Avoid using the power washer
- Rinse very well
Inspect all the mechanisms
Once you have everything spic and span, then you can get a good view of the door parts. Start with a list of things you are checking like springs, tracks, windows, seal, overall condition, nuts, bolts, and cables. As you inspect each item, check it off if it is good to go, or write down what you find wrong. This organization will help you remember where you are if you stop in the middle or you need to call someone for repairs. Check the tracks carefully for small rocks. See if the insulation is cracking. Look for rust, fraying, dents, holes, and misaligned tracks.
Lube the system
If your door is in good shape, then you can safely lubricate the mechanisms. For the hardware, you should use a silicone lubricant. Raynor tells property owners not to use WD-40 because the oil can collect dust and cause the hardware to get sticky. Teflon and lithium lubrication is also good to use. Be sure to lube up the weatherstripping to keep the snow from sticking to it. Your door will open much easier in the winter if you remember this tip. Adding too much lubrication is not a good thing, so be sure to apply the coat lightly for the best results.
Replace worn parts
You can replace the door seal by removing the old one with a flat pry bar. To place the new one, attach the seal at the sides first, and then along the top and bottom to get it in the right place. Start nailing the seal in the middle and then secure it every three inches as you go out from the center. If your springs are cracking or seem to stretch out, then it is best to have a professional check them out.
Perform safety checks
Be sure to turn off the garage door opener and secure the door with a C-clamp to ensure that it does not move unless you need to adjust it.
- Check the spring tension
- Ensure that the door is level
- Perform an emergency reverse check
- Remember to check the batteries for the door opener
- Check infrared beams
- Force or crush test
Protect against the harshest elements
When you live near the water, or you reside in a climate with snow and ice in the winter, then you need extra protection for your garage door. Salt is a highly corrosive substance that will eat away at your door whether it is wood, aluminum, or vinyl. To keep your door in good shape, each fall you should prepare it for the coming onslaught of precipitation and windy conditions. One way that you can do this is to treat your seal and weatherstripping with a liberal coat of car wax. Remember not to get the polish too thick, but to apply enough product to cover the seal completely. You can also apply the wax to the outside of aluminum and steel doors. If your Armorbrite door is less than three months old, then you want to wait a full 90 days before applying the wax. Regular washes and wax applying can keep your door cleaner and protect it from the elements all winter long. You may need to do these steps every couple of weeks in extremely harsh climates.
If you have any questions or concerns about caring for your garage door this fall, then please give our friendly specialists at Commonwealth Garage Doors a call at 804-920-9677. We offer free estimates, fast responses, and emergency service 24-7 should you need our assistance. We are proud to be a local provider of garage door repairs and installations in the Chester area and surrounding communities. Our technicians are fully licensed and insured.