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Maintenance | Safety

Top 12 Garage Door Tips

1. Replace Both Garage Door Springs When One Spring Breaks

Broken left spring on garage door, right spring is not broken

If you have one spring that breaks on your garage door and your door is equipped with two springs, it’s best to have both springs replaced. The reason for this is both springs have the same number of cycles on them. Opening and closing the garage door is counted as one cycle. Standard garage door springs are engineered for 10,000 cycles.

By replacing both springs simultaneously, you will save time and money. If you only replace one spring, the second spring could break in one week, one month, or one year. No one can tell you when a garage door spring will break. By having both replaced at the same time, you save the labor costs of having the garage door company come back out and tear down your garage door spring system to be able to remove the second spring. Also, you won’t have to take off work again to meet the garage door repair man. Click here to read our article that goes into more detail about having both garage door springs replaced.

2. Have Your Rollers Replaced While Your Springs Are Being Repaired

Leaning garage door roller that needs to be replaced
Leaning garage door roller that needs to be replaced

Garage door rollers are designed to last 10,000 cycles similar to your garage door springs. Having your rollers replaced at the same time is good maintenance and could possibly prevent your garage door from coming off track if one were to ever break. Since the garage door company is already there replacing your springs, many companies will replace your rollers at a reduced rate. This is good preventative maintenance that will help keep the largest moving object on your home on track.

3. Install the Genie Led Garage Door Light Bulb to Reduce Interference and Never Have to Change a Light Bulb Again

One of the most recent issues we have seen in recent years is LED light bulbs causing garage door remotes to not work properly. Many times what happens is the homeowner will install an energy-efficient LED light bulb only to find out they now have to be standing right in front of their garage door for the remote to work. Most of the time this happens with LED bulbs rated at 75watts output or more.

Genie Company has release their Garage Door Light Bulb that is specially designed for garage door openers to help reduce interference with remotes. The bulb is rated for 25,000 hours and is universally compatible with most garage door openers. It is also vibration and shatter resistant and has been tested to endure harsh conditions including damp and cold environments.

4. If Your Opener Beeps Every 30 Seconds, the Backup Battery Needs to Be Replaced

Replacement LiftMaster backup battery
Replacement LiftMaster backup battery

If you hear a beeping sound that is coming from your garage door opener, then you most likely have a battery backup equipped opener. This means the opener is designed to run up and down so many cycles while the power is out to the home. You can easily replace most batteries yourself using a step stool and a screw drive. A replacement battery can be purchased online.

5. Lubricate Your Garage Door Twice a Year

Lubricating your garage door is an easy process that any homeowner can do. We recommend doing this at least twice a year to keep all moving parts loose and it also helps keep the door quiet. Make sure to choose the correct garage door lubricant. We have another article on this site that goes into greater detail on which lubricant to use and how to lubricate your garage door. You can find that article by clicking here.

6. Lubricate Your Screw Drive Opener

Screw drive rail on Genie garage door opener
Screw drive rail on Genie garage door opener

A screw drive garage door opener features a long screw drive assembly that moves a carriage down the rail to open and close your garage door. This assembly is all metal and will start to get very loud due to lack of lubrication. The increased noise will be subtle because it happens so slowly over time. You can use a good white lithium grease to fill in the grooves of the screw assembly and this will quiet down the opener and prolong the life.

7. Disable the Manual Lock on Your Garage Door

Garage door slide lock disabled with zip tie
Garage door slide lock disabled with zip tie

When first moving into a home, you want to make sure the garage door lock is disabled. The image we have above shows a simple way to disable a garage door slide lock by attaching a small zip tie. This will prevent someone in the home from locking the door and another family member comes home to open the door and it comes off track or causes damage. This basic fix that will save you lots of money and frustration. If your garage door does not have a lock, you can purchase one online.

8. Make Sure You Have an Emergency Release Rope Attached to Your Garage Door Opener

Red emergency release rope on Chamberlain garage door opener
Red emergency release rope on Chamberlain garage door opener

The emergency release rope on an automatic garage door opener is often overlooked and this can be very dangerous. This rope is normally red and hanging down from the opener rail. It is to be used to release the garage door from the automatic opener in case of emergencies or fire. It is also used to release the door when you need to open it by hand when there is a power outage. You will want to familiarize yourself with how the carriage engages and disengages on your brand of opener.

9. Replace Your Weather Seal to Keep Out Rodents and Pests

Missing bottom weather seal on a garage door
Missing bottom weather seal on a garage door

Missing, cracked, or short weather seal on the bottom of a garage door is very common. Bottom weather seal on a garage door needs to be replaced frequently… especially in hot climates where the sun shrinks the rubber seal on both sides causing it to be short. Replacing your weather seal will help keep out pesky rodents and help keep your garage floor clean from all the leaves and dirt blowing in from the outside.

10. If Your Remotes Suddenly Stopped Working, Make Sure the Vacation Lock Is Not Engaged on the Wall Button

The button on the lower left is the lock button. If you hold this down for two seconds, the green light behind the large white button will flash meaning the lock is activated.

Most new garage door openers installed today feature a “lock” on the inside wall button. This lock or as some call it “vacation lock”, is designed to prevent the remotes from working when activated. The first place you always check when all your remotes stop working is the lock on the wall button. The light behind the button will either be flashing or completely off. This lets you know the vacation lock is activated. One some brands of garage door openers it even prevents the outside keypad from working.

11. Do Not Put Stuff in the Corner of Your Garage

Stuff in the corner of a garage can cause the door to come off track if it comes down on something when closing
Stuff in the corner of a garage can cause the door to come off track if it comes down on something when closing

We highly recommend not storing anything up in the corners of your garage where the vertical tracks are. We know it’s tempting to lay shovels, brooms, pipe, and boards but please refrain. This is probably the number one reason garage doors come off track. What usually happens is one of the handles lays over toward the garage door tracks and sticks inside the vertical track… just enough for the bottom corner of the garage door to catch on it causing the cable to come off the drum. What a mess that can be.

12. Do Not Build Overhead Shelves to Close to the Garage Door

Garage shelving mounted very close to garage door opener and around spring assembly
Garage shelving mounted very close to garage door opener and around spring assembly

If you plan on installing shelving above your garage door, try to stay at least six inches away from anything related to your garage door or automatic opener. The reason for this is a garage door repair technician will need access to your spring to unwind and remove when replacement is needed. Some companies may charge more for a repair that takes longer due to shelving that is in the way.

The second reason to stay at least six inches away is in case you ever upgrade your garage door to a carriage house style that uses different tracks and requires more headroom. Keeping some distance in between will future proof your garage and possibly save you money down the road.

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