Garage Door Maintenance: How to Tune up a Garage Door

What You'll Need
Screws, screwdriver
Wood filler
Carpenter's glue
Rubber mallet/ hammer and scrap wood
Lubricant (i.e. lithium grease)
Cleaning brush

Garage door maintenance is necessary for your family’s safety. The garage door is used more than 500 times per year, so it comes as no surprise that it can break. You can perform a tune up from time to time. The tune up of a garage door can be done in a few simple steps and it will take you no more than 30 minutes.

Step1: Tighten Hardware

Check the door and make sure that the hardware is tight. Due to the fact that the garage door is used frequently, the hardware can loosen. If you have a swing up door, look at the screws on the plates and tighten as needed. If you have a roll up door, the hinges may be loose. If the hinges or screws are damaged, replace these. If you find a screw hole that is longer, you will have to get a longer screw. If the holes are wider, insert wood filler in the hole. If there are cracks in the door at a hinge, you will have to replace the hinge. Use a wood filler to repair the area and get a new hinge.

Step 2: Check Metal Tracks

The metal tracks may have dents or flat areas. Get a rubber mallet or a hammer and a bit of scrap wood and repair the dents. If the tracks are too damaged, they need to be replaced. Get a level and see if the tracks are aligned. The vertical tracks should be perpendicular, while the horizontal tracks will angle away toward the back of the garage. Check the height of the tracks, which should be the same on both walls. If these are not at the same level, loosen the bolts and have someone hold the brackets while you adjust the tracks. Clean the tracks with a commercial cleaner and lubricate them with WD-40.

Step 3: Inspect Rollers and Pulleys

Nylon rollers and pulleys can easily wear and you may detect cracks. Steel rollers can tilt. Inspect the rollers and pulleys and see if you need to replace these. If replacements are needed, get these from a hardware store, remove the old rollers and install the new ones. When removing the rollers, don’t touch or remove the roller bracket on the bottom, which contains a cable that is under tension. If the rollers are not damaged, you need to use a cleaner such as WD-40, which will also be a great lubricant for the rollers and pulleys.

Step 4: Inspect Lift Cable

The lift cable may have broken strands, especially in the area where it is attached to the bottom roller bracket. Get a cleaning brush and clean the dirt to be able to identify any broken strands. Don’t touch the cable with your hands, as it is under tension. If the cable is damaged, you need to call a professional for the job.

Step 5: Lubricate the Chain or Screw

The chain or screw on the opener should be lubricated with lithium grease, which can be found in the form of a spray.