When it comes to maintaining your home, you might not give much thought to your garage door. However, routine maintenance is the best way to extend the lifespan of your garage door. Seasonal garage door maintenance prevents damage, reduces hardware strain, and keeps your door looking great. And performing a few simple tasks each season can save you time and money in the long run. Not sure where to start? Check out the seasonal garage door maintenance schedule below for the tips and guidance you need.
Spring Garage Door Maintenance
Many people clean out their home (and garage) every spring as part of the annual spring-cleaning ritual. The maintenance tasks below are the perfect break from carrying junk to the curb.
Lubricate the Moving Parts
It’s important to lubricate your garage door’s moving parts every spring and fall. The only exception to this is the track. Instead of using a silicone or lithium grease lubricant, wipe the tracks down with automotive brake cleaner to loosen any dirt. Make sure you’re lubricating the following parts:
- Bearing Plates
- Lock and Keyhole
Frequent maintenance of your door’s moving parts is especially crucial if you live in a coastal environment, where salty air can corrode and rust the door’s tracks, hardware, and steel frame.
Wash the Windows
Spring is also the perfect time of year to wash your garage door’s windows. You can do this with an all-purpose glass cleaner (like Windex®) and a soft cloth or paper towel. Cleaning your door’s windows keeps them looking great and allows them to transmit as much light as possible into your garage.
Summer Garage Door Maintenance
Summer is the perfect time to maintain the face of your garage door. As temperatures warm up and you spend more time outside, dedicate a few hours to the tasks below.
Wash Your Entire Door
Summer is a great time to wash your garage door. All you need is a mild detergent (e.g. dishwashing liquid or biodegradable cleaner) and a soft rag or soft bristle brush. You should never use scouring powders or solvents or mix your cleaner with bleach. Summer is also a good time to inspect your door and weather stripping for mold, especially if you have a wooden door.
As you wash your door, make sure you’re cleaning all of the weather stripping and the door stop. When you’ve finished cleaning your door, rinse it with a garden hose or low-pressure garden sprayer. You should never use a pressure washer to rinse your door.
Touch Up the Finish
If your garage door is painted, you’ll want to use touch-up paint to cover any marks. It’s a good idea to apply a coat of Turtle Wax® each summer, as this thickens the finish and adds sheen. If the paint is peeling significantly, you may need to sand and repaint the door.
If your garage door is stained, you may need to refresh its protective top coat. If your door has lost its sheen, try applying a coat of Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane. Any small dings or scratches can be lightly sanded and covered with touch-up stain.
Artisan offers several products to help keep your doors looking great, like our Maintenance Coat and Faux Stain Paint Finish. Please contact us for more information.
Fall Garage Door Maintenance
Your garage door can take a beating over the summer, whether from extreme heat or stormy weather. Make sure you check these fall maintenance tasks off of your to-do list.
Visually Inspect Your Door
Make sure you inspect the face of your garage door at least once a year. Look for fading, cracking, peeling, and blistering, and check for dents, scratches, and gouges that might allow moisture to penetrate the door.
If bright sun and extreme heat caused your door to lighten over the summer, take the time to refinish it. If you have a wooden door, determine if it has expanded or contracted after an especially rainy summer. Warped wooden doors detract from your home’s curb appeal and also negatively affect your garage’s insulation and security.
Check Your Door’s Sensors
Summer heat can also damage your garage door’s sensors and mechanisms. If you have an automatic garage door opener, make sure you test the auto-reverse feature. Your door should stop and reverse direction as soon as it touches something. You should also test the photoelectric system to make sure the door reverses as soon as it “sees” something in its path.
Winter Garage Door Maintenance
Garage door maintenance doesn’t end just because it’s cold out! Here’s what you need to do to prepare your garage door for winter.
Inspect the Weather Stripping
Weather stripping and astragal keeps cold air out of your garage and helps prevent warm air from escaping. Weatherstripping also keeps moisture from leaking into your door’s moving parts and freezing, which prevents door movement.
Start by inspecting the weather stripping on the top and sides of the door for rips and tears. You should also check the astragal at the bottom of the door. With the door closed, look for gaps in weather stripping at the top, bottom, and sides of the door opening.
Weather stripping should always be flexible, rather than stiff. If your weather stripping is stiff and brittle from exposure to cold air, it’s time to replace it.
Test the Door Balance
If your door isn’t balanced, the automatic opener has to work harder, which can cause more expensive problems down the road. Testing your door’s balance is easy. Start by pulling the release handle on the automatic opener and manually lifting the door until it’s halfway open. Then, let go of the door. If it says in place, it’s balanced. If it doesn’t, it’s time to get a professional to replace the springs.