Homeowners should take preventative maintenance steps to keep their garage doors in good working order. Lubricate the door hinges and rollers at least once a year with a silicon-based spray. This will keep the door operating smoothly. Inspect the hardware annually for any signs of damage or wear, and tighten any loose screws. Check that the tracks are aligned and clear of debris. You should also check the springs and cables to make sure they’re in good shape. If any of the hardware is damaged, it’s best to replace it rather than try to repair it. With proper care, your garage door will last for many years.

Garage Door Preventative Maintenance Advice

Metro Garage Door offers garage door preventative maintenance

Garage door preventative maintenance is not something that you think of every day.  However, it can keep your family safe and your garage door working properly.  Safety is everyone’s business. 90% of Americans use their garage door more than their front door.  A few simple precautions can protect your family and friends from potential harm. Please take a few minutes to read the following safety and maintenance information. Refer to your garage door and opener’s manual for details specific to the model you own. Then check the operation of your garage door and automatic opener.

Garage Door Openers are not Toys

  • Do not stand or walk under a moving door! Do not let children or adults play “beat the door”. It is dangerous and can result in serious injury or death. Adults should set a good example. Know how to use the emergency release, in case someone is pinned by the door.
  • Do not let children play with or use the transmitters or remote controls. Always place and store them out of the reach of children.
  • The push-button wall control should be out of the reach of children (at least 5 feet from the floor) and away from all moving parts. Mount and use the button where you can clearly see the moving garage door.
  • Teach your children about garage door and opener safety.
  • When using the pushbutton or transmitter, keep the door in sight until it completely stops moving. Teach children never to play under or near an open garage door.
  • Teach children to keep their hands and fingers clear of section joints, hinges, tracks, springs, and other door parts. Contact with a moving door or its hardware could cause serious injury. These injuries can also happen with garage doors that don’t have automatic openers.

Routine Maintenance Can Prevent Tragedies

Take a few minutes to inspect and test your complete garage door system.  In fact, make monthly inspection and testing a part of your regular routine.  Always, make garage door and garage door opener safety automatic in your home.

Monthly Maintenance Checklist

  • Garage Door Opener
  • Reversal Test
  • Force Setting Test
  • Additional Safety Devices
  • Garage Door
  • Visual Inspection – Springs, Rollers, Pulleys, Cables, and Track
  • Lubrication
  • Door Balance
  • Consult the owner’s manual for additional recommended maintenance for your models of door and opener.

Testing and Maintaining the Garage Door Opener

There are routine safety and maintenance steps that you should follow once a month. Review your owner’s manual for the door opener. If you do not have an owner’s manual, look for the opener model number on the back of the power unit and request a manual from the manufacturer.

Reversal Test

  • Make sure your opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is not present, it should be replaced. Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to have advanced safety features which comply with the latest U.L. 325 standards: Contact your manufacturer or installer for additional information.
  • Always test the reversing feature each month.
  • First, test the balance of the door (see “Testing and Maintaining the garage door.”). If the door is properly balanced, then proceed.
  • Second, with the door fully open, place a 1-1/2″ thick piece of wood (a 2″x4″ laid flat) on the floor in the center of the door.
  • Lastly, push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must reverse when it strikes the wood. (Note that the bottom part of “one-piece doors” must be rigid so that the door will not close without reversing.)
  • If the door does not reverse, have it repaired or replaced. Have a qualified individual adjust, repair, or replace the opener or door.

Force Setting Test

Test the force setting of your garage door opener by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. However, if the door does not reverse readily, the force may be excessive and need adjusting. See your owner’s manual for details on how to make the adjustment. Repeat the reversing feature test after any adjustment.

Additional Safety Devices

  • Many garage door openers can be equipped with additional safety devices. Consider adding a photo eye or edge sensor as an extra measure of safety to prevent entrapment. However, keep in mind that adding more safety devices will not make an old opener meet current U.L. standards.
  • Make sure the additional safety devices, such as photo eyes or edge sensors, are properly installed and adjusted (see owner’s manual).
 Testing and Maintaining the Garage Door

You should perform routine maintenance steps once a month. Review your owner’s manual for the garage door.  If you do not have an owner’s manual, look for the opener model number on the back of the power unit and request a manual from the manufacturer.

    • Visual Inspection
  • Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other door hardware for signs of wear. If you suspect problems, have a qualified technician make repairs.
  • Warning – Springs are under high tension. Only qualified technicians should adjust them.
  • Garage door springs, cables, brackets, and other hardware attached to the springs, are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause serious injury. Only a qualified professional or a mechanically experienced technician carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions should adjust them. The torsion springs (the springs above the door) should only be adjusted by a professional. Do not attempt to repair or adjust the torsion springs yourself.
  • A restraining cable or other devices should be installed on the extension spring (the spring along the side of the door) to help contain the spring if it breaks.
  • Never remove, adjust or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are connected to the spring by the lift cable and are under extreme tension.
    • Lubrication
  • Regularly lubricate the moving parts of the door. However, do not lubricate plastic parts such as plastic rollers and plastic idler bearings. Consult the door owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.
    • Door Balance
  • Periodically test the balance of your door.
  • First, start with the door closed.  If you have a garage door opener, use the release mechanism so you can operate the door by hand when doing this test.  You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance. It should stay open around three or four feet above the floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment.  You should have it adjusted by a qualified service technician.


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