Garage doors are a wonderful invention but when they malfunction even just a little bit, they can become a real headache. They’re so convenient, especially when they’re automated, for pulling our vehicle(s) in and out with just the touch of a button. The problem is that we sometimes take them for granted. We see them as always being ready to let us in and then close without a problem, protecting both our vehicle(s) and our garage-stored belongings. But, without proper maintenance, they can quit altogether.

They’re generally heavy and cumbersome, not to mention dangerous to try to manhandle into submission by ourselves without the help of a garage door opener. Even a manual garage door can be a giant pain when it develops serious issues. That’s why it’s so important to know these seven DIY steps for proper garage door preventive maintenance.

As with many other things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You should start right now with inspecting and maintaining your garage door at least once a year for the sake of both your convenience and safety. An annual garage door tune-ups can ensure much more reliable, quiet, and safe operation. It’ll be well worth it when you find that your garage is always in proper working order.


  1. Checking Your Garage Door Hardware:

Doing a DIY garage door inspection should start with checking the nuts and bolts as well as the tiny screws on your garage door on a regular basis. This can go a long way toward ensuring that they haven’t been working themselves loose. So, then you should simply securely tighten up any of them that may have become even a little bit loose. Be sure that you’re inspecting and tightening the roller brackets as well as the bolts that are holding the rails to your garage door’s support brackets.

Remember, a little regular preventive maintenance is always a good idea. Simply doing a quick but thorough check of all of the door fasteners using just a socket wrench is an excellent way for catching loose ones before they have a chance to start falling out and then just disappearing altogether. If you do find any missing fasteners, you can usually replace them with big self-tapping screws.

Also, be sure that you’re inspecting the rollers to make sure they haven’t suffered too much wear and tear. If you have nylon rollers, it’s important to be aware that they have a tendency toward cracking and/or chipping when they start deteriorating. Be sure to also inspect your garage door’s lift cable for excessive wear by looking for any broken strands.

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  1. Lubricating Your Garage Door:

Using a spray lubricant, lubricate everything that needs it, from your garage door track to the chain and rollers. This will keep everything moving smoothly and without unnecessary friction. Anytime you’re working on your garage door, it’s always a good idea to hedge your bet by lubricating the track that your door rides on plus the rollers themselves. If your garage door opener is chain-driven, then applying some lubricant to it can help as well. Annually lubricating the screw or chain on your door-opener with some white lithium-grease will do the trick. In addition, there are spray-on versions of this type of lubricant available at hardware stores and home centers. Although lubrication can make your opener’s operation both quieter and smoother, and can also help your out by virtually extending your chain and opener’s lives, there are some screw openers that don’t need lubricating so be sure to start by checking your Owner’s Manual.


  1. Testing Your Garage Door Sensor:

Check your garage door closing sensor (if you have one) just to be sure that it’s working properly. You might be thinking something like, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, however, it only takes a minute to check it and maybe find something you didn’t even know was in need of repairs. And, checking the door’s sensors in the opening can ensure that they will stop the door from closing when an obstruction is in the way.


  1. Noisy Garage Door Fixes:

People often ask what they should do for silencing a noisy garage door to stop it from rattling and squeaking upon opening and closing. Due to the fact that there are numerous moving parts in them, as well as the fact that they get such frequent use, it’s not the least bit uncommon for their screws, nuts, and bolts to become loosened up over time. Tightening them and lubricating the moving parts should alleviate the noise.

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  1. Maintaining Torsion Springs vs. Extension Springs:

Most garage doors are equipped with either torsion springs or extension springs. Torsion springs are mounted on the header above your garage door . On the other hand, extension springs are found floating above your door’s upper-roller-track. Once you’ve identified which one you have, check your Owner’s Manual for instructions on how to maintain it.


  1. Safety First:

You’ll want to stay safe when you’re working on your garage door maintenance, so start by taking a few precautions, including:

  • Unplugging your automatic door opener to prevent it from being activated.
  • If your door is in the open position when you’re working on it, clamping locking pliers onto your door’s roller track just below the roller will stop it from dropping.
  • Remember never removing a lift cable when your door spring is under tension is crucial! If it gets released, it can cut like a knife.
  • Avoid attempting to release or adjust an overhead torsion spring’s tension because that’s a job that only a garage door professional should undertake.


  1. Testing Your Garage Door:

Finally, you’ll want to finish off by testing your door’s balance because a door that is properly balanced is far less likely to end up crushing something or someone. It also prevents overworking of your door opener, so proceed as follows:

  • Disengage the opener from your garage door- Simply pull the opener’s release handle.
  • Lower your garage door halfway and, if your door is properly balanced, it’ll hold that position without needing any assistance.
  • If your door starts rising back up all by itself, your springs are under excessive tension.
  • On the other hand, should it fall, then you need to increase the tension.
  • However, only a garage door professional should tackle a spring tension adjustment because it can be both tricky and dangerous.

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