Garage Door Maintenance Guide

Garage Door Maintenance Guide

As a prominent feature of your home's façade, the condition of your garage door can have a big impact on your home's appearance and value. Regular maintenance can help keep your door looking great and operating smoothly for years to come. Occasionally checking on your garage door can also prevent it from needing expensive repairs down the road.

Where to Find Clopay Door Replacement Parts

If you find parts that need replacing during your garage door maintenance, swap them out if possible. You can purchase parts through most garage door dealers or at The Home Depot. Avoid replacing some of the more complicated hardware, as you could injure yourself or the door without proper training. 

FIND CLOPAY GARAGE DOOR PARTS NEAR YOU

Clopay® garage doors are built to last, but some parts do occasionally wear out or become damaged. Virtually any component of the door can be replaced. If you are reasonably handy and follow the instructions in your installation manual you can do some repairs yourself. Our DIY replacement parts include:


Rollers & Bottom Seal

Roller

Lift Handles

Lift Handle
 

Hinges

Hinge Attachment

Windows & Inserts

Snap-in Windows

We recommend the following repairs be handled by a garage door repair professional:

Springs

Install Springs with Professional
 

Track

Install Track with Professional
 

Door Sections

Garage Door Panels
 

Operators

Garage Door Operator

Peeling or Cracked Paint on Wood Doors

Wood garage doors will need to be refinished periodically in order to protect them from the elements. The painted or stained finish can break down over time, which causes the wood to rot. The finish can also discolor or fade due to UV exposure from the sun. If you find the wood has cracked, there are holes in your door or moisture has wicked up from the bottom, it is time to replace it.

Sagging or bent garage door sections.

Wood garage doors have a tendency to sag over time if they are not properly maintained. When the door is closed, you'll see large gaps under the ends of the door. If your wood garage door is sagging, we recommend replacing it. Door sections can also be damaged by an automatic opener if they are not adequately reinforced.

Garage Door is Not Energy Efficient

Older garage doors or doors installed on new homes may not be well insulated or may not have full perimeter weatherstripping to seal out the elements. An insulated, well sealed door is especially important if you have living space above or adjacent to the garage. The insulated garage door will help keep those rooms warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, and can also help reduce energy bills. Clopay® offers insulated garage doors with R-values up to 20.4 (R-value is a measurement of thermal efficiency of a door, or how well it insulates) Click here for an overview of our products.

VIEW GARAGE DOOR STYLES

Garage Door Maintenance Checklist

A quick review of your garage door's components can be a great way to ensure your door continues to operate consistently. Review these areas at least annually and as often as every three months:

Springs

  • Are your springs broken?
  • Are the springs properly tensioned? If you have an automatic opener, test your spring tension by closing your door and pulling the string on your opener to disconnect it. Then open the door halfway. If it does not remain still, your springs are broken or need adjustment.
  • If your springs are broken or improperly tensioned, do not adjust or remove them yourself. Contact a qualified garage door repair professional.

Cables

  • Are there any worn strips hanging loose on the sides of your garage door?
  • Are the cables frayed?
  • If the cables are frayed, they are in danger of breaking and could cause serious injury or property damage. Worn strips could also get caught and cause issues. Contact a professional to replace the cables.

Rollers

  • Do the rollers on the ends of your door move smoothly and quietly? If not, they may require lubrication or replacement.
  • Clopay® recommends a high-quality nylon roller for the smoothest and quietest operation.

Panel Sections

  • Is the paint peeling or fading?
  • If the door uses metal in its construction, is it rusted or heavily dented?
  • If dents are minor and your door is uninsulated, you may be able to push out the dings from the inside of the door. Have heavily dented doors inspected by a Clopay® Dealer.

Windows

  • Are the windows broken or cracked?
  • If your windows are cracked or broken, contact your Clopay® Dealer, as they can provide replacement windows or sections as needed.

Bottom Weather Seal

  • Your garage door's bottom weather seal is a flexible strip that helps prevent heat loss at the bottom of the door. It also helps to keep out water, dirt, and pests.
  • Does the weatherstripping show cracks, or signs of visible wear?
  • Place your hand along the bottom of your garage door. Do you feel a draft of cold air coming into your garage?
  • If you feel a draft or your weather seal is cracked, it is time for replacement. Contact your Clopay® Dealer or The Home Depot to purchase a replacement.

Track

  • Are the tracks on either side of your garage door bent or twisted?
  • Are they securely attached to the door jambs and the ceiling via the rear track hangers?
  • If you have issues with your track, contact a professional for repair. Track issues can contribute to added stress on your opener.

Hinges

  • Are the hinges that join the door sections bent or broken? If so, they should be replaced.
  • Caution: The bottom brackets on all garage doors must not be removed while the door is under tension. Clopay recommends contacting a garage door maintenance professional to replace your hinges.

Steps for Maintaining Your Garage Door

Steps for Maintaining Your Garage Door

Here are six steps you can take to maintain your garage door.

Clean the Tracks

Over time, dirt, debris and rust can build up in your garage door's tracks. This build-up can prevent your garage door from working correctly and cause problems. Use a small brush to clean the tracks and parts carefully, then gently wipe them down with a damp cloth.

Tighten Hardware

As you use your garage door over and over, the vibration of the door can loosen the components. Use a wrench, socket or screwdriver to tighten loose brackets, bolts and screws. Be careful not to overtighten the hardware — overtightening can cause stripping or damage to the door parts. If you come across any smaller rusted or damaged parts, you can replace them.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Lubricate door hinges, rollers (except nylon rollers), sheave bearings, torsion springs and the lift cables at the bottom corners of the door annually with Clopay Pro-Lube. Lubricant allows door hardware to work smoothly and correctly. Improperly lubricated components can stick and prevent the door from working. Garage door lubrication is essential to avoiding damage, wear and loud noises. You can purchase Clopay Pro-Lube from your Clopay® Dealer or at The Home Depot.

Test Safety Features

While performing your garage door maintenance, always test the safety features. Checking these features keeps you and your family safe from accidents and injury when using the garage door. Automatic doors typically come with pressure sensors and auto-reverse, which prevent the door from closing on an object in the garage door's path.

To test the pressure sensor and auto-reverse, have the garage door close on a small plank of wood or solid object. When the door touches the object, it should reverse and open. If it fails to reverse after touching the object, have a professional inspect and repair or replace your pressure sensor to prevent accidents.

You'll need a long object like a broom to test the photoelectric sensor. Begin automatically closing the garage door, then wave the broom underneath the closing door. If the sensor is working correctly, the door should reverse. If it doesn't, the sensor isn't responding correctly and will need a professional inspection.

Check the Balance

The spring tension affects the door balance. Tension that is too low or too high makes your opener work harder, straining the system and leading to unnecessary wear and tear. To test the balance, pull the opener's automatic release handle and lift the door until it's halfway open. Balanced doors will stay open halfway, but unbalanced doors will close or open themselves. Don't attempt to fix the balance yourself — call a professional to get your balance corrected.

Repaint or Stain Doors

Wood garage doors will need to be checked yearly for cracking, peeling paint or fading. Wood garage doors must be painted or stained on all sides before installation and refinished every few years, depending on your area's exposure and weather conditions. Unless you want to change the color, steel, composite or aluminum garage doors do not need to be repainted. Painting instructions specific to your door model can be found in your owner's manual.

VIEW CLOPAY OWNER'S MANUALS

Find a Clopay® Dealer Near You for Garage Door Maintenance Services

Find a Clopay® Dealer Near You for Garage Door Maintenance Services
 

If you find your garage door needs repair or replacement during your inspection, contact a Clopay® Dealer in your area for assistance. Garage doors contain several dangerous parts, so always call a professional to service your garage. Clopay® Dealers provide high-quality, expert garage door installation, maintenance, repair and replacement so you can quickly restore your convenience and safety. Explore Clopay® Dealers near you for garage door assistance today.

View our frequently asked questions for more garage door maintenance advice!