Your garage door’s life expectancy will depend on a variety of different factors. Some of these include the materials the door is made out of, the type of climatic conditions it is exposed to, and how often you open and close it. In saying that, you can usually expect a well-maintained garage door to last about 30 years. This doesn’t necessarily include the life span of certain components – an opener can last up to 10 years, and torsion springs tend to handle around 7,500 cycles.
The best way to extend the life of your garage door, and ensure that it performs to the best of its ability, is to keep up with your annual maintenance checks. It is recommended that you take the time to inspect everything at least once a year, or preferably every 3-6 months.
If you aren’t confident about your DIY abilities, you can always request a garage door professional to perform an inspection for you. Qualified technicians can help you adjust your door’s limit settings, test your reversing systems, tighten bolts and brackets, replace worn out and damaged components, and lubricate your opener bearings.
By the way: we don’t recommend you try to fix any broken springs, roller cables, or out of track doors yourself. These are very dangerous to handle – a mistake could easily lead the door to collapse, causing expensive property damage or even personal injury.
Before calling out a technician, here are some quick-fire checks you can do in your own time:
- Visually inspecting your garage door’s components
This is very easy to do as it only requires your eyes and ears. First, look around your closed door for any signs of damaged components – including the springs, cables, and rollers. Next, open your door and listen out for any suspicious noises. A squeak is merely a sign that one of your components needs a bit of oiling, but any gnashing or rusty sounds are a sign that something is amiss.
- Cleaning and inspecting the photo eye sensors
The photo eye sensors are two rounded glass mechanisms placed on either side of the door. These are meant to trigger your door’s reversing functions when there is something along the door’s path. Check if there is any dirt of debris around this area, and clean it using a streak-free cleaner and some warm water. Be careful not to scratch the glass as you do this. Also ensure the eyes are level – you can do this by measuring them from the ground to check if both sides are lining up accordingly. If you have a spirit level, you should be able to realign these yourself if required.
- Testing the door’s reversing mechanisms
Not just the photo eye sensors, but also the manual reversing system. All doors built from 1993 onwards will have both of these installed – they are legally required to do so. If your door was installed prior to this, we strongly recommend that you discuss some options with your local garage door professional as both systems play important roles in your door’s safety and protection. To test the manual system, turn off your sensors, place a piece of wood or a brick along the door’s path, and try to close the door – it should reverse back up as soon as it touches the object in its way. Your photo eye sensors should trigger the door to reverse as soon as you brush your arm or leg along the door’s path as it is closing. Contact a repairs technician if one or neither of these are activating as expected.
- Checking if the door is balanced or out of track
Like we said, there will be visual signs and noise indicators that a door is out of balance. But another way to check this for yourself is to disable your automatic opener and lift it up manually. No need to open it up completely – going about halfway should suffice. If you struggle to open it manually or the door doesn’t stay in position, you are dealing with an out of track door. You should check the door closes too – if you need to force it down or it is sliding downwards in full force, you’ll need to get an expert to rebalance your door for you.
- Oiling your door’s hinges, tracks and rollers
Remember: when it comes to extending the life of a garage door, a little bit of grooming can go a long way. Whether that means patching up paint chips, addressing any issues with rust or water damage or ensuring your components are clean and lubricated. For the tracks and wheels, the first thing to do is to clean out any debris and dust that has accumulated along the way. Just use a broom and brush to do this – water and other chemicals might damage this part of your door. Then you can go on to lubricating your hinges, rollers, and track. A light coating of silicon lubricant, which you can buy from a garage door specialist in your area, is all that’s needed here. If you’ve never done this before, and you don’t feel confident about tackling this task, a technician will gladly do it for you.
For full peace of mind, always call a professional garage door repair technician as soon as you notice a problem. Never had to do this before? Then the final section of this blog post is for you.
Hiring the right repairs professional for the job:
The best way to ensure you are hiring a reputable professional is to get a couple of recommendations from family, friends and neighbors and follow-up with your own inquiries. Look at how long each recommended business has been around, how well their operations are going, whether there are negative reviews for them online or if any complaints have been filed against them at your local Better Business Bureau. Always call your chosen technicians, and ask about minimum callout charges, product warranties and a full breakdown of costs for specific services. Never pay full price upfront, do not hire a business that has no verifiable address, and try to be present on the day that your hired professional is conducting repairs.
Those of you from Goodyear, Arizona are more than welcome to get in touch with us to discuss your maintenance issues. Goodyear Garage Door Repair is more than happy to clarify any questions you may have, and we can always make a free consultation with you about your specific requirements.