Your garage door may be one of the easiest pieces of home equipment to take for granted. But when it won’t open – or worse yet, comes crashing down unexpectedly – you’re sure to take notice.

Keep in mind these garage door maintenance tips and make it part of your routine to ensure that your garage door is always safe and functional.

  • With the garage door closed, examine it closely from the inside. Check every cable, spring, roller and pulley for signs of damage or excessive wear-and-tear. If you find faulty parts, you can replace them yourself if you feel capable. Otherwise, call in a professional to make the fix without delay. Worn components may cause a serious garage door safety issue.
  • Listen carefully when opening and closing your garage door. Some problems are hard to see but easy to hear. If you hear new sounds like groaning or scraping, it’s time for a thorough and professional inspection.
  • Check for loose hardware. Garage doors have moving parts, and that movement causes vibrations that can rattle screws and bolts loose over time. This is a garage door repair most homeowners can do themselves with common tools.
  • Lubricate your garage door’s chain, springs, rollers and other moving parts at least once a year as part of routine garage door maintenance. Refer to your manufacturer’s documentation for specifications about what types of lubricant are best for your equipment.
  • Don’t leave your garage door halfway open. This creates strain on the cables, pulleys and springs, accelerating wear and leading to early replacement.
  • Periodically ensure that your garage door is properly balanced. To do this, disengage your automatic garage door opener by pulling the release handle, then manually open the door. After opening it halfway, pause to see if the door stays put on its own. If it moves, your counterweights may be out of balance, which can prematurely wear out the motor of your automatic opener.
  • Consider garage door replacement if the door itself is in disrepair. A well cared-for garage door can last decades, but a neglected door will only cause you trouble. Sometimes, replacing it altogether and taking great care of the new one is the best way to enjoy your overall garage system.

Learn more about home maintenance with Home Warranty of America.