Garage Door Maintenance Checklist for Beginners

Garage Door Maintenance Checklist for Beginners

As a homeowner, you likely open and close your garage door multiple times a day as you enter and exit your home. However, most homeowners pay little attention to their garage doors until the system malfunctions.

Nothing lasts forever, but overhead garage doors can last 15 to 30 years with regular maintenance. Our garage maintenance checklist prevents significant repairs with these simple tips.

Garage Door Maintenance Tips

Following these six steps on our overhead door preventative maintenance checklist can give you the peace of mind that your garage door system is functioning correctly and reliably.

1. Detect Issues

The first step on a garage door inspection checklist is to detect issues. You can do this by picking a day every week to open and close your garage door while you’re inside. Watch the door to ensure it opens smoothly and stays on track.

Listen closely and note any unusual sounds, such as scraping, grinding or squealing. If you notice any issues, contact a garage door services professional.

2. Test Your Door

Every time you use your garage door, it wears on your operating system. To ensure your operating system remains in good condition, you should:

  • Inspect your door: Check your door for dents, damage or gaps. If you see any, make a careful assessment to ensure the door’s operation hasn’t been affected and moisture can’t enter your garage. Also, make sure the emergency cord is present and in working order. In the event of a power outage, you’ll need this feature working well so you can bypass the power-equipped features and open or close your door. 
  • Test your door’s balance: An off-balance door puts extra pressure on the opener, which can damage it. To check the balance of your door, pull the release handle on your opener, lift your door halfway and see if it stays. If the door closes, contact a professional.

3. Test the Opener

A faulty opener will prevent your door from lasting as long and can increase your energy bills. Follow these garage door opener maintenance tips to keep it in excellent condition: 

  • Test and replace the batteries: Check the batteries on your remote and replace them as needed.
  • Test your opener’s backup battery: Your opener has a backup battery in case the power goes out. Unplug the opener and try to automatically open your door to test the backup battery. If the door opens, the backup battery is good.
  • Check and replace the light bulbs: The opener has light bulbs so you can see in the garage at night. Replace any loose or blown light bulbs.
  • Inspect and repair gears: Inspect the belt or chain for signs of deterioration and check the tension. Contact a professional to repair the motor gears if needed.
  • Inspect the wires: Check the coating of the wires in your opener for cracks or tears.

4. Examine the Moving Parts

Your garage door’s operating system has many components working together to ensure its smooth operation. Inspect these components for damage:

  • Rollers: Any rollers that are broken, worn or don’t roll freely in the tracks are likely ready for replacement. If left unrepaired, they can cause wear on your garage door and long-term damage. 
  • Joints: Take a look at the joints between the sections of your door. If you can see daylight through these joints when the door is down, if there are gaps or if the sections appear misaligned, your Omaha garage door definitely isn’t weather-tight. You are losing valuable heating and cooling through your overhead door.
  • Springs: Find the springs and examine them with a critical eye. But, don’t get too close if they appear broken, worn or rusted — it’s just a matter of time before one breaks, causing frustration and inconvenience, not to mention potential injury. Replacing the garage door parts, i.e. springs, is dangerous if you don’t have the right tools and experience. If they look worn at all, it’s best to call in the garage door service experts in Omaha, AAA Garage Door, Inc.
  • Hinges: Inspect the hinges on your residential garage door. If you see anything bent or twisted, or if there are loose or missing screws, further attention is required.
  • Cables and pulleys: Look for rips or damage in the cables and pulleys at the bottom of the roller brackets.

You should lubricate all the metal garage door parts and the opener every six months. Before and after the winter season are ideal times. If you notice any loose nuts and bolts while lubricating these parts, tighten them.

5. Test the Auto-Reversal System

The auto-reversal system is a safety feature that prevents your door from closing on objects. Commercial and residential garage doors have different systems:

  • An automatic garage door opener has a mechanical safety reverse system. You can test it by placing an object, like a piece of wood, on the door’s threshold and try to close the door using your remote control. The door should go back up immediately when it comes in contact with the object. If not, it isn’t safe for your family or pets and will not prevent accidental entrapment or injury — a professional needs to fix this right away.
  • Test the photoelectric safety system on your commercial overhead garage door. These are the “electric eyes” on each side of the door that should prevent your door from closing if an object breaks the safety beam. They can sometimes get dusty, misaligned or bent, rendering them ineffective in doing their important job. Ensure you clean them with a cloth before testing the system.

6. Touch-up Your Garage

Cleaning your garage door’s exterior increases its aesthetic appeal. When you clean the interior parts, you ensure their functionality and longevity. Here are the steps for cleaning your garage door:

  • Clean the tracks: Cleaning debris and rust from the tracks prevents the door from becoming stuck.
  • Wash the windows: Clean windows let in natural light.
  • Examine the weatherstripping: The weatherstripping around your garage door helps maintain a comfortable temperature and prevents pests and moisture from entering. Check the weatherstripping for tears, rips and gaps. If you notice any, contact a professional.
  • Paint your door: Wash your door, then cover scratches and chips with paint. You can also change your door’s color.
  • Organize your garage: Reorganizing your garage removes clutter and gives you additional space.

Schedule an Appointment With a Garage Door Professional

AAA Garage Door, Inc. can take the worry out of overhead door maintenance by regularly inspecting and remedying problems before they even occur. You can work with our professional services experts to create a garage door maintenance schedule. In between these visits, you can perform maintenance by following the six steps in our overhead door maintenance checklist. 

Your Omaha residential garage door, even older doors, can perform better and longer with maintenance. AAA Garage Door, Inc. is the Omaha expert for everything from garage door parts, simple repairs, regular maintenance, and inspection, to total replacement. When you see an issue, don’t wait! Call us at (402) 727-0789 or complete our online form.


Felipe Pinales

Reviewed By: Felipe Pinales - Felipe is Nebraska’s first IDEA-certified Master Technician. He has been employed by AAA Garage Door for 6+ years, and has had the Master Technician Certification in his sights since he began. Felipe has also passed four written examinations including Residential Installer Certification, Commercial Sectional Door Systems Technician Certification, Commercial Rolling Door Systems Technician Certification, and Rolling Steel Fire Door Technician Certification. Felipe is constantly looking for ways to improve his abilities within our industry. His goal is to become the best garage door technician possible to best assist his customers and fellow co-workers.