Garage Door & Opener Service, Maintenance & Care Guide, A Comprehensive Overview

Your overhead garage door may have worked for many years without any issues, but you may have one or more problems in the offering if you haven’t had it inspected and maintained since its installation. A lack of maintenance can lead to various inconveniences like being stuck outside on your driveway or inside the garage, resulting in costly repairs or frequent service visits once you do discover a problem. The average garage door opens and closes 1,800 times each year. Regular servicing can improve safety, reduce repair costs and increase the life expectancy of your garage door. Looking for a new garage door or a new door opener? Don’t forget to review our door opener buying guide and garage door buying guides for a comprehensive breakdown of factors you need to consider when purchasing these products.

Do Garage Doors Need Maintenance and Service?

Although your garage door may work fine without it, periodic servicing includes an inspection of all moving parts, plus tightening of screws and bolts and adjusting spring tension will help prolong the door’s life and improve overall safety.

Do Garage Door Openers Need Servicing?

In addition to the door itself, you should also get automatic garage door opener service, so the device receives routine care for efficient operation. Overhead doors are often the largest and heaviest moving pieces of equipment around your home, meaning they can put a lot of stress on the opener, making testing and maintenance essential.

Garage Door Opener

Lubrication requirements and adjustment details are typically found in the owner’s manual. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, you can usually order a replacement copy by contacting an installing dealer or the manufacturer. Some manufacturers even make owner’s manuals available online. All you need is the brand and model number. Common overhead door problems include:

  • Safety beam sensors that are faulty, unplugged, or misaligned
  • A short in the wiring or a loose connection at the switch
  • Remote controls that don’t work due to weak or dead betters or a dead transmitter
  • Worn gears or chain-drive sprocket, a broken chain, or the door disengaging from the operator, all of which prevent the door from opening
  • Faulty transmitters, wall switch shortages, a stray signal, or a faulty circuit board that causes the opener to act on its
  • Incorrectly set open limit or sensitivity that causes a door to reverse while closing or doesn’t completely open or close
  • The opener strains when the safety reversing mechanism activates or from an improperly set close limit

How Often Do Garage Doors Need Maintenance and Service?

Service companies differ on how often you should have service for your overhead garage door. Most indicate once a year is sufficient if you have no issues. However, you will find some contractors who recommend twice yearly.

A good rule of thumb involves how many cycles your garage door goes through. A cycle is equal to one opening and closing. The average number of cycles for servicing is 3,000. Depending on your usage, the time-span could range from a few months to a few years.

Climate and weather conditions can also determine the servicing frequency. If you are not sure how many cycles your overhead door has gone through, have your door serviced in the fall to prepare for harsh conditions and cold winter weather.

Periodic checks that you can do by yourself can help you alert your contractor to issues. Among the tasks you can do are:

  1. Open the door manually from the outside without the opener
  2. Check that the door closes entirely without issues
  3. Listen for unusual noises when opening or closing
  4. Check for broken glass

Repair of Garage Door Seal

Disconnecting the door from the opener will help determine the door’s alignment. The door should easily raise and lower. If it doesn’t open smoothly, or if you need to force it open, the door may have an issue that requires resolution. Another task you can do is raise the door halfway and then let it go. If it moves, the door is out of balance and requires the services of a technician. If your door has no issues, you should be able to easily reconnect it.

Regularly inspecting and testing your automatic opener can prevent property damage and severe injury. Never allow careless operation or children to play with the opener controls, keeping them out of reach of little ones and teaching them that these devices are not toys. Wall-mounted controls should be in areas where you can clearly see the door.

Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Homeowners can perform some maintenance and inspection tasks monthly to help head off more serious problems that can occur if neglected. However, when it comes to more complicated garage door maintenance tasks, you’re better off hiring a professional than doing it yourself. For many weekend warriors, accomplishing a new DIY project is a badge of courage as they will add to their knowledge base. The sheer size and weight of overhead doors make them dangerous, meaning you can hurt yourself quite severely if you don’t take proper care. It’s easy to get your fingers caught in the hinges while attempting maintenance. Bruises may be a minor inconvenience, but having a heavy garage door fall on you can be deadly. If you are unsure of your abilities, err on the safe side and call a professional.

Garage Door & Opener Repair & Service Prices from Local Pro's
Garage Door Installation And Repair At Home. Contractor Man In H
Garage Door Installation And Repair At Home.

If you attempt the project yourself, you may also make costly mistakes as you may not have the correct tools for the job. Not only will you have wasted time, but you’ll end up spending more money in the long run.

When you hire a garage door contractor to do the work, you’ll also get a warranty to ensure that the job is done right. If anything happens to your overhead door that results from the service, you’ll receive a repair free of charge for a specified amount of time.

Maintaining a Garage Door & Garage Door Opener

How to Maintain a Garage Door, Common Maintenance Tasks

Inspections you do on your own can reveal problems that a professional can easily fix. Most new garage doors also come with a warranty against defects and improper installation. Note that for manufacturer’s warranties to remain valid, they must be serviced by a professional. Whenever you have your door maintained, your technician should accomplish the following tasks:

  • Inspect springs and look for signs of rust or excessive wear
  • Look for relaxed springs and retention them, if necessary
  • Tighten all hardware
  • Remove debris from tracks and sensor
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Inspect cables, drums, shafts, bearing plate, and spring anchor attachment
  • Perform a safety inspection on the door and opener

After performing maintenance on the entire system and hardware, your technician should put the door through another cycle to note and recommend any needed repairs.

How to Maintain a Garage Door Opener, Common Maintenance & Service Tasks

Several tasks are essential for garage door opener service too. Make sure that these tasks are completed whenever a technician makes a service call:

  1. Check the automatic opener photo-eye mounted near the floor on both sides of the opening. The photo-eye should be properly aligned, so there is a direct path from one side to another. This component also affects the reversing mechanism that makes the door reverse its downward direction and rise when an object is placed in its way. If your garage door opener is more than 20 years old and doesn’t have a photo eye or a reverse feature, consider replacing it, even if it still works well.
  2. Service the opener’s chain or belt if you hear groaning or slapping sounds as the door lifts or lowers. Check the drive chain or belt for slack. Disconnect the opener from its power source and then lower it to adjust the chain or belt through nuts on either side of the drive mechanism.
  3. If the door opens or closes too quickly or slowly, adjust the tension of the torsion springs until you get the desired results.
  4. Replace batteries in the remote and bulbs in the opener

Maintenance & Service Costs, and Frequent Servicing Tasks

How Much Does Garage Door Service Cost?

Home Advisor indicates that the average garage door service cost is $223. The typical range is $150 to $350. Several factors go into your price, including whether you have a service contract and what types of tasks and services are included. Refer to our repair and service cost guide to get an idea of how much service may be.

Where Can You Find a Garage Door Service Company?

Many people rely on word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family for garage door service. For some people, this works just fine, but what if you don’t know where to turn or have had a bad experience with a company? Go to our quotes/estimate page to find a reliable garage door service contractor.

Garage Door & Opener Repair & Service Prices from Local Pro's

What Parts of the Garage Door Need Frequent Servicing?

Overhead doors have a lot of working parts, and as such, need periodic servicing. Checking these components can reveal necessary information about the condition of critical components that control balance. Hinges and rollers that are not maintained can crack and split. Interior and exterior surfaces, edge seals, cables, and tracks need periodic visual assessment as part of garage door maintenance.

Repair of a Broken Garage Door Spring

Release Handle

Check the release handle that disconnects the overhead door from the openers to ensure it sits properly on the track.

Reverse Feature

After making sure that the photo-eye works properly by testing three different points in the beam’s eye, ensure that the reverse feature works properly by placing an object underneath the door. It should immediately stop and reverse its progress.

Doors Operating

Proper alignment and lubrication are critical maintenance tasks to keep your overhead door operating smoothly. Homeowners can perform lubrication on their own in between professional service visits. Use a spray lubricant, addressing moving parts like the hinges and bearings. Avoid lubricating the roller track as lubricant here can lead to the door slipping.

Roller Track

Debris can accumulate over time in the tracks. In addition to cleaning the tracks, your technician should also check their alignment as well as the condition of the rollers. Most rollers will last an average of seven years.

Lift Cable

Check the high-tension lift cables for signs of wear or other damage. This task is a high-priority safety feature as faulty cables can result in serious injury or death.

Weather Seal

While this component doesn’t necessarily affect the operation of your garage door, the weatherstripping seal can crack over time, allowing cold air into your garage. Older weather seals need replacing. Trim your new weather stip to extend about four inches beyond the door’s edges.

Sides of the Door

Don’t neglect the side of the door when you inspect the front. Check wooden doors for damage, warping, or chipped and peeling paint. Metal doors should be free of rust spots that should be smoothed and repainted. Wash the exterior with a mild all-purpose cleaner. Patch any small holes and then sand or paint over the area.

Bottom Roller

The life of this roller is shorter than other rollers in your garage door. Bottom rollers bear more weight, plus the bottom of door cables also secure to this roller. This roller is also the most dangerous one to replace as tension from spring pulls on the cable, so you should have a professional perform the job.

Good Working Order

Generally, this task is what the technician should do after inspecting, lubricating, and tightening your overhead door. Opening and closing will determine if the door is in good working order.

Some Tips from Lowe’s on Garage Door Maintenance and Care

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