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. Learn more about garage door springs here.
- 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 Make your garage door last longer
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. Make sure you’re careful if performing DIY garage repairs.
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.
8 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR GARAGE DOOR LAST LONGER
Maximizing your garage door’s lifespan is worth the effort. Here are 8 garage door use and maintenance tips you can begin implementing today:
1. USE OLD DOORS SPARINGLY
An easy way to keep your garage door from aging too fast is to use it less. This is especially important for older garage doors. The more you open and close your door, the more likely your door will experience wear and tear. While you should continue operating your door as needed, try only to use your garage door when necessary, and don’t allow young children to play with the remote.
2. EXAMINE SAFETY FEATURES
Your garage door has safety features such as an emergency release rope, photocell motion sensors and reverses functionality to avoid injury or property damage. You can test your sensors by placing a wooden block in the door’s path before closing or quickly putting the block in the way during a cycle. The door should reverse when it detects something in the way. For the emergency cord, pull the cord, ensure that you can move the door along the track manually and then plug it back into place.
3. INSPECT THE HARDWARE
Your garage door has various screws, pulleys, cables, springs, nuts and bolts holding it together. These components can loosen or wear over time. It’s smart to check and tighten your hardware every few months so that every component is secure. 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.
4. TEST THE DOOR’S BALANCE
Testing a garage door’s balance involves detaching it from its opener and manually moving it along its tracks. 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. You can test your door’s balance on your own, but fixing it will require professional assistance.
5. AUDIT THE WEATHER STRIPPING
Your garage door features rubber lining around its outer edges to prevent bugs, wind, water and debris from getting through or damaging the panel. These strips can rip or crack over time, so occasionally inspect them to catch issues before they worsen. Scheduling stripping replacement as soon as you notice the problem can save you a lot of money down the line.
6. CLEAN AND 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.
7. WASH YOUR PANEL
Keeping your garage door panel clean is another way to maximize its lifespan. A dirty garage door can corrode and lose its pristine look. Washing your door with an all-purpose cleaner will ensure your home’s most prominent feature looks beautiful and prevents 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.
8. MONITOR THE CABLES
A garage door’s cables connect to the opener to lift the door when you click your button. These cables must be strong to lift the door without breaking, so inspect for signs of damage. If a cable breaks, the door could fall, potentially injuring someone or damaging property.
SCHEDULE REGULAR MAINTENANCE WITH AAA GARAGE DOOR
While you can follow the above tips to take control over your garage door’s longevity, scheduling annual maintenance from a trustworthy professional crew is the best way to maximize its lifespan.
AAA Garage Door offers preventive maintenance services in Nebraska to spot problems before they escalate and extend your door’s life. Our crew will pay attention to the fine details so you can trust that your door is in good health until your next appointment. If we see a problem, we’ll fix your garage door on the spot or schedule a time to return with the necessary equipment.
For more on our garage door maintenance services, contact AAA Garage Door today!