How to Make Your Garage Door Last Longer
You might open and close your garage door every day, but how often do you think about maintaining it? Like any part of your house, your garage door requires regular maintenance to work correctly and last as long as possible.
As a general rule, plan to inspect and maintain your garage door at least twice a year. This upkeep schedule allows you to tackle minor repairs and maintenance tasks before they escalate into more significant issues. If you’re having problems with your garage door that you can’t solve in a few simple steps, it might be time to call the pros for help or consider a replacement.
In this post, we’ll share tips for maintaining your garage door to help you extend its life and prevent malfunctioning. We’ll also show you when it’s time to finally replace an old garage door.
How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
Garage doors typically last 15 to 30 years, but this can vary depending on the following factors.
- Maintenance: If you treat your garage door with care and practice regular maintenance, you can lengthen its lifespan and avoid costly repairs.
- Quality: A quality garage door made from durable materials can withstand regular wear and tear better than a lower quality door. A well-constructed garage door can also stand up to the elements better.
- Usage: How often do you use your garage door? Garage doors with a standard torsion spring last around 10,000 cycles. So, the more you open and close your garage door, the sooner you’ll need to replace the spring. For example, if you use your garage door two times a day, the torsion spring will last about 13 years. By contrast, if you use the door six times a day, you’ll need a new spring in about five years.
- Environment: Where you live can affect your door’s condition. For example, Nebraska homeowners must prepare for severe weather events like hailstorms and strong winds. Any destructive weather can shorten a garage door’s lifespan.
When Should I Replace My Garage Door?
If your garage door shows damage or isn’t opening and closing correctly, you might be wondering if you need to replace it. In some cases, you’ll only need to replace a component of the garage door system to make it work like new. Other times, you’ll need a total replacement.
Here are signs it’s time to consider a new garage door.
- The door is visibly damaged: If your garage door is cracked, bent or noticeably damaged in other ways, you may need a replacement. Otherwise, your garage door might not open and shut correctly or keep out rain and wind as it should.
- You want to enhance your home’s curb appeal: Even if your garage door’s in excellent shape, you might want to replace it if it’s old or doesn’t complement your home’s style. Upgrading to a new, more attractive garage door can boost your home’s curb appeal and increase your property’s value. Seventy percent of Realtors agree that a new garage door can also help a house sell faster.
- You want better climate control: You might want to replace your garage door with a more insulated option. An insulated door can keep your garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It can improve year-round comfort and potentially help you save on energy costs.
How to Maintain Your Garage Door and Make It Last
Garage door maintenance is relatively easy and doesn’t require special tools or a week’s worth of time. Set aside a Saturday afternoon to give each component some attention, and you’ll help the whole system operate more efficiently.
If you discover your garage door needs a major repair, you’ll want to contact a professional. Some tasks, like replacing a torsion spring, can lead to severe injuries and require handling by a qualified technician.
Ready to give your garage door some TLC? Here are tips to make your garage door last longer.
1. Reduce Usage
An easy way to keep your garage door from aging too fast is to use it less. The more you open and close your garage door, the sooner you’ll need to have it repaired or replaced. Try only to use your garage door when necessary, and don’t allow young children to play with the remote.
2. Inspect Components
A garage door has many different components that allow it to open and close. These include springs, rollers, pulleys and cables. About twice a year, check for any cracked, warped, worn or frayed parts. If pulleys, springs or cables show signs of damage, contact a professional for help.
3. Lubricate Moving Parts
By keeping parts lubricated, you’ll place less stress on the garage door opener and help it last longer. You’ll want to lubricate moving parts, such as the rollers and hinges, at least twice a year.
You can lubricate the rollers with engine oil by putting a drop of oil onto each one. The rolling action will pull the oil into the bearings, doing most of the work for you. It’s best to avoid using grease on the rollers, as this will attract dirt and clog the tracks.
You’ll also want to lubricate the hinges that hold the door panels together. You can apply a spray lubricant, like white lithium grease, to the hinges and remove excess with a clean cloth.
Lastly, lubricating the opener’s chain or screw with spray-on white lithium grease will help your opener operate more smoothly.
Before you lubricate your garage door’s parts, be sure to check the manufacturer’s manual. The manufacturer might recommend a specific lubricant or tell you that you don’t need to oil some parts.
4. Clean the Tracks
The tracks guide your garage door and its rollers as it opens and closes. Over time, the tracks collect grease, dust and dirt, which can keep the rollers from working correctly. You can dislodge dirt buildup with a toothbrush, then wipe the tracks down with soap, water and a clean cloth.
5. Wash the Door
Washing your garage door in the spring and fall helps protect its surface and prevent rust. You can wash your garage door with a simple mixture of mild detergent and water. Be sure to use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe it down and avoid abrasive materials. As you clean the door, check for signs of insect damage and consider if it needs repainting. Finally, rinse it with clean water and let it dry.
6. Tighten Hardware
Garage door movement causes vibrations, which can loosen hardware over time. Loose hardware can cause rollers to malfunction or get off track. Every year, check the door’s brackets and tracks and tighten any loose nuts and bolts you find.
7. Check the Balance
When a garage door is imbalanced, the opener must work extra hard to move the door up and down. Check to see if your garage door is balanced so you can maximize your opener’s life. To do this, pull the opener’s release handle and manually open the door halfway. If the door’s correctly balanced, it will stay in place after you let go. If the door falls, it’s imbalanced, and you’ll need to call a technician.
8. Inspect the Weather Seals
Check your garage door’s bottom gasket and the weatherstripping along the sides and look for damage. Your door needs an intact seal to keep out bugs, waters and wind, which could ruin it. Repair or replace damaged or loose stripping to protect your garage door from the elements.