As the largest moving part on your home, the garage door operates several times a day, every day, throughout all seasons. That’s a lot of expectation to put on such a critically functioning piece of equipment. You wouldn’t drive your car for years without taking it in for periodic service, regular tire rotations and oil changes…so why would you neglect your garage door?

Yet that is what most homeowners do. We get it: we’re all busy. Our garage doors don’t always take top priority on our to-do lists. Usually we pay attention only when something goes wrong and a repair is needed. To prevent the need for frequent repairs or costly premature door replacement, preventive care is needed. Here are six tips to keeping your garage door in optimal working condition.

  1. Observe: Test out your garage door. Open it and close it, all the while listening and taking note of what you see. Do you notice jerky motions, squeaks, strange noises, vibrations, grinding or scraping? Observe the springs, pulleys and cables to make sure they are symmetrical.
  2. Tighten up roller brackets and bolts with a socket wrench. With the average garage door moving up and down more than 1,000 times per year, you can’t expect all that movement to not loosen things up a bit.
  3. Replace weatherstripping: Check out the condition of the rubber weather seal strip at the door’s bottom. If it looks cracked or brittle, replace it to keep your garage more energy-efficient and to keep the elements out.
  4. Lubricate moving parts: All that movement can dry up any oil that is there to lubricate the rollers and overhead springs. Keeping these areas well-greased with a spray lubricant will add to the lifespan of your door and ensure smooth operation.
  5. Test out the safety features: Place an object such as a block of wood under the path of the descending door. Does it stop and reverse direction as soon as it comes into contact with the wood? If not, call your local garage door specialist immediately to resolve the problem or install a new garage door opener.
  6. Give the door a once-over: Take a good look at the door itself. Is the paint peeling, do you notice cracking or warping, or are there rust spots? Your door may need a new coat of paint or just a good cleaning. In the case of water damage and rot with wood doors, you may have to consider replacement.

While handy homeowners can address some of the more basic tasks, many of these should be performed by a licensed and trained garage door specialist. For that, call M&M Garage Doors at (586) 610-5434.