Regardless of what a groundhog in western Pennsylvania might think, the calendar shows that winter will be with us until late March. It's really not that long until spring - so it's not too soon to think about what kinds of garage-door maintenance are appropriate with warmer weather on the way. Here are some tips.
1. Inspect. It's surprising how many garage-door problems are obvious at a glance. Just give the door (inside and out) and the operating mechanism a careful once-over. If something appears to be loose, broken or somehow just not right, have it taken care of right away.
2. Lubricate. A good lube spray should be applied periodically to the moving parts of the garage door. Make this part of your spring maintenance routine. Remember, though - don't spray it on plastic parts of the door. It's a good idea to check your owner's manual first.
3. Balance. Making sure the door's properly balanced can avoid serious mechanical problems later on. Start with the door closed. If it has an automatic opener, use the release mechanism so you can move it by hand for this test. You should be able to lift it smoothly, with little resistance, and it should stay open by itself three or four feet above the floor. If not, it's improperly adjusted - something ABE Doors & Windows can fix for you.
4. Check force setting. To make sure the operating force of your door is properly set, hold on to the bottom of the door while it's closing. It should reverse direction easily. If not, see the owner's manual for how to change the setting. You can usually take care of this one yourself.
5. Reversal. This test should really be done monthly, but you can start now if you haven't been doing it. (Be sure that you've taken care of step 4 above before you do this. Trying this test if the force setting is wrong could damage the door.) Open the door all the way, put a length of 2X4 on the floor below it, and lower the door onto the wood. If it's working properly, the door will change directions when it makes contact. If not, you'll want to have a qualified technician service it immediately.
6. Check additional safety devices. Take just a minute more to examine safety devices such as photo eyes or edge sensors. If they're not working, it should be clear after even a quick check.
If your maintenance checkup reveals anything that needs attention, the first call to make is to ABE Doors & Windows: (610) 398-2430. Our expert techs will put things right for you in short order.