For a lot of business owners, garage door maintenance only happens when something goes wrong. The door won’t open, it makes strange sounds or the panels become worn or dented. What’s worse, unmaintained commercial garage doors can be unsafe for employees and customers.
Making inspection and regular maintenance part of your routine will not only help eliminate unwelcome surprises and downtime, but will also boost your door’s lifespan, save money on emergency technician visits, and keep your business rolling.
While some overhead door maintenance can be DIY, you’ll still need to have it checked and serviced regularly by a professional technician.
Follow our commercial garage door maintenance list to keep your door working for you
DIY Commercial Garage Door Maintenance Checklist
1. Clean the Door
Winter weather can leave a buildup of dirt and grime, causing damage to tracks and rollers. This can make your door screech or grind when in operation. To clean your door, start by removing loose debris using a broom, a small brush, or a cloth. Then, clean it with a mild detergent and a scrub brush. Rinse off the soap with a hose and dry the door with a soft cloth, paying special attention to corners and edges where water collects. If you have glass, clean the aluminum frame with warm soapy water. Glass garage doors should be cleaned with glass cleaner.
Warning: Don’t pressure wash your door. Doing this can cause electrical damage to motor operators, safety features like photo eyes, light curtains, and safety edges, door control stations, and other mechanical parts that make your door work.
2. Lubricate Moving Parts
Make sure to lubricate the moving parts of your door quarterly, or every 5,000 cycles. Keeping rollers, hinges, and tension springs well lubricated takes stress off of the parts, prolonging the life of your door. Apply a small amount of high-quality lubricant. Be careful not to over-use, since this can cause dripping or seepage onto other surfaces. For high-cycle applications, you can grease the end-bearing plates.
3. Test Door Balance
An unbalanced door can cause serious stress on your door’s motor, meaning you’ll have to replace it sooner than you think. You can test the balance by disengaging the opener arm or emergency release. Make sure that your lock is disengaged, then open the door. It should stay open three to four feet above the floor. If it doesn’t, then the door isn’t properly balanced or you might need new springs. Call a certified commercial door technician to make repairs.
4. Check Safety Features
Commercial garage doors are built with features like safety edges, photo eyes, and light curtains. These high-tech sensors are designed to stop and reverse doors if an object is detected, or if the door hits something when it closes. Safety edges can be tested by placing a board on the floor in the path of the door, then putting it in the closing cycle. The door should hit the board and open again. To test photo eyes or light curtains, block the beam of a photo eye with a trash can or board. The door should stop and reverse to an open position. If any of these tests fail, schedule a service call with a technician before operating your door again.
5. Inspect Parts and Hardware
Check door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other hardware for signs of wear. These parts need to be in good shape so your door continues to open and close safely. Look closely for frayed cables, tearing or bent hinges, loose bolts or screws, or rusty or broken springs. These parts can be dangerous to attempt to replace on your own. Call in a commercial door technician to help.
Warning: Do not remove or adjust door springs, torsion springs, cables, brackets, or hardware attached to the springs. These parts are under extreme tension and can cause serious injury or death. Only a qualified professional following the manufacturer's instructions should make adjustments.
Take care of your garage door and it will take care of you! When properly maintained, commercial doors can last 15-30 years. Setting up a garage door maintenance plan with certified technicians extends the lifespan of your door, alleviates costly repairs, and gives you much-needed peace of mind.