Many people never stop to consider how their garage door rises and lowers into place each time. Simple garage door tracks guide the garage doors into place, and regular maintenance of those tracks will prevent many potential problems.
An unbalanced garage door can bend, dent, or otherwise damage the tracks of the garage door. Though a door's balance has little to do with the garage door tracks, it still needs to be maintained. If the door becomes difficult to lift or lower, then you need to evaluate and, if necessary, correct any issues with the door's balance as soon as possible. Problems with the door's balance usually involves the tension in the springs. This needs to be corrected by a qualified garage door repair professional.
Though regular inspection is the easiest way to discover and prevent problems with your garage door tracks, a surprising number of garage door owners skip this easy step. At least once a year, and preferably more often, inspect your garage door for loose screws and bolts, worn hinges, or anything else that seems out of context. Correct these problems as soon as possible. Ensure that the wheels are rolling through the garage door tracks smoothly and that they "ride" the tracks straight and in the center of the tracks.
Many problems arise from a garage door that is not properly lubricated. Just like the motor in your vehicle, your garage door needs oil to work properly. At least once a year, you need to oil the hinges and rollers of your garage door, as well as the shafts of the rollers. Check your garage door owner's manual to find the type of oil recommended by the manufacturer, and always use this type of oil to lubricate your door. The oil will also prevent rust from developing on the garage door tracks, rollers, and pulleys - a common problem, since the garage door is constantly exposed to moisture and the elements.
Garage door tracks must be properly aligned to guide the rollers. However, track alignment can be a very difficult process. If one or both of your garage door tracks need alignment, you will need a hammer and a wood block. Loosen the mounting bolt and, with the wood block between the hammer and the track, gently tap the track into alignment. You may need to repeat this process several times to get the track into its proper position.