DIY Garage Door Maintenance Tips

Garage door maintenance should be a continuous process. It is the only way to ensure these doors operate effectively and more importantly, to avoid instances of accidents or possible door malfunction. A number of people only think about this process when the door is actually faulty.

Why Perform this Inspection Yourself?

Well, a number of people strive to save every penny at their disposal. Many believe hiring a technician to inspect garage doors will cost them a lot of money. While that may be the case, you should only do this if you have an idea of how your garage door operates.

So, where do you start from? I will take you through a step-by-step process, but first, maybe I should remind you of safety procedures you must consider.

  • Safety Gear
  • It will keep you safe from injuries such as deep cuts, broken limbs or welding light. These may include helmet, gloves, face shields and overalls.

  • Electrocution
  • You must switch off all electrical components of the garage door. This is to avoid possible electrocution, especially for automated garage doors.

  • Notify Everyone
  • Let everybody know that you will be performing regular maintenance. If possible, you should block the main path/road leading to this door. This will ensure no one opens or closes the door before you finish the job.

With all these in mind, you can begin the actual garage door inspection and maintenance process. Below are the recommended tests and maintenance procedures you should follow:

Visual Inspection

You need to do a visual inspection of various sections of the garage door regularly. This could be every month or once a year depending on the age of the garage door components. Ironically, people will tell you that visual inspection of garage doors is a simple process. This is not the case since, you have to draw conclusion as you compare the present state of the door and initial condition when you had just installed it.

Inspect the door when it is closed and opened. In each case, evaluate all the key components of the door. These include:

  1. door springs
  2. rollers
  3. pulleys
  4. mounting drives

Look for any possible damage or wear and tear. For the electrical parts, check whether there are instances of cable wear or fraying. In case you find a situation that you can’t understand or fix, it will be advisable to consult a qualified garage door repair technician.

Garage door balance test

During this garage door maintenance test, disconnect the automatic opener of the door. Try to lift the door gently and be keen to note any unusual resistance during the process. The door should remain open. There are two things you need to note during the process:

  1. resistance
  2. The door doesn’t remain fully open

Either of these is an indication that the garage door is out of balance, thus, you may need a trained technician. You can conduct this test on a monthly basis.

Reversing mechanism test

When was your garage door opener manufactured? It should conform to the requirements set by the Federal law after January 1, 1993 on automatic operating mechanism of door openers. That is, the doors should have a reversing mechanism and a photo eye or edge sensor. So how do you go about this test?

Open the garage door and lay a small piece of wood of about 3 by 5 on the floor just at the center of the door opening. Switch on the transmitter to close the door. Under normal circumstances, if your door strikes this wood, it should automatically reverse. In case it doesn’t, then you should know that the reversing mechanism is faulty and it needs repair or total replacement.

Garage door photo eye test

To prevent instances of people becoming injured by a garage door in the process of being lowered, the Federal Law requires that all garage doors manufactured after January 1, 1993 must be equipped with a reversing mechanism and photo eye or edge sensor. Check if your garage door meets this requirement. In case it does not, then it is the first thing you must fix during your garage door maintenance process.

In case your garage door has this equipment, you can go ahead to conduct this simple test:

With the door fully opened, switch on the transmitter to close the door. Using a long stick, wave it in front of a photo eye sensor so that there is a discontinuity in the beam’s path. This should force the door to reverse. In case it doesn’t, then the photo sensor or its circuitry system could be faulty. In such situations, you should consider the following before you hire a trained garage door maintenance technician:

  1. Adjust the photo sensor, especially if it is out of alignment
  2. Clean the photo sensor using a soft cloth

After you have done all these, repeat the procedure above. If the problem persists, it will be time to hire a trained technician.

Force setting test

You should use this door test to determine whether the garage door has an excessive force of not. In situations where it tends to have excessive force, you have to hire a garage door repair and maintenance specialist. How can you determine this?

Open the garage door and then push the wall button to close the door. As it closes, hold on the wall button. This should force it to reverse to an opened state. In case it doesn’t, you will have to service the door.

As you may have noticed, you need to conduct these tests on a regular basis to ensure that the door operates as desired. This will not only eliminate uncertainties associated with automatic garage doors, but also, eliminate instances of accidents in case the door doesn’t reverse when it is supposed to.


Your garage doors have moving parts. To reduce friction that causes wear and tear, you need to lubricate these sections such as rollers, tracks and hinges. It is recommended that you do it after about 6 months; however, this may vary depending on other factors such as the environment.

In summary, these garage door maintenance tips will help you to determine whether your garage door is due to have problems soon or not. As a matter fact, you will save a lot of money since you won’t hire a technician to troubleshoot for you.

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