Garage doors are iconic features of residential architecture across Southern California, but they seldom get the maintenance they deserve. Prospective homebuyers tend to pay attention to garage doors and are not afraid to use them as bargaining tools so sellers will feel compelled to repair them, replace them, or lower the sales price. It is important to remember modern garage doors feature a combination of electronic and electromechanical functionality that require periodic maintenance.
The National City home insurance experts at American Tri-Star Insurance have four recommendations you can follow to keep your garage door in good working order.
1. Lubricate the Mechanism
The mechanism that makes your garage door rise and fall smoothly features a combination of chains, rollers, hinges, springs, and other interconnected parts mostly made of metal or hard rubber. As long as your garage door is properly balanced, you should be able to operate it by hand and without experiencing friction. The easiest way to lubricate the mechanism is to find the rollers on both sides of the door and place a few drops of silicone-based lubricant or lightly spray some WD-40. The next step is to lightly coat the rest of the moving metal parts.
2. Check for Balance
If your garage door exhibits an uneven or jerky motion when it activates, it could be out of balance and may require a service call from a technician. You can test whether your door is properly balanced by disengaging the mechanism so you can operate it manually. Close the door completely and lift it slowly until it reaches shoulder height. A properly balanced door should be able to stay at that height without closing. If this is not the case with your door, schedule a visit from a technician to rebalance it. The adjustment is made by means of tension in the springs. However, the springs may also need to be replaced.
3. Make Adjustments
If your garage door opening system was manufactured after the year 2000, it probably allows you to adjust the sensitivity as well as the force of the mechanism that lowers it. To test the sensitivity of the door, place a box, an old phone book, or a stack of magazines under the door to test if it stops closing and bounces back to an open position. The ideal setting for sensitivity should make the door bounce as soon as it strikes something. You do not want a door that closes with too much force since it can cause damage or injury.
4. Clean the Tracks & Springs
Aside from lubricating the parts that make up your garage door mechanism, you also need to keep them clean and free of grime. It is easier to keep the tracks clean than to brush, scrub, and wipe the springs. You may want to use a portable vacuum attachment once a month to aspirate debris that could attach to the springs.
Make sure you have adequate homeowners insurance in case your garage door sustains damage. At American Tri-Star, we offer reliable and affordable home insurance as well as commercial, health, and auto insurance. National City residents can give us a call at 619-474-3900, and one of our friendly agents can provide a complimentary quote.