Tune-Ups Aren't Just For Cars: What You Can Expect From A Garage Door Check-Up

Posted on: 6 July 2015

Just like your car needs the occasional tune-up to keep running safely, your garage door also needs regular inspections and minor repairs to prevent it from breaking down. If you've never had a door tune-up before, you might be wondering what one entails. Here are a few areas your door technician will cover during a quality tune-up service.

Checking For Torsion Spring Integrity

Spring breakage is the most common problem with garage doors as they age, followed closely by issues with the rest of the torsion system. Most springs are rated for around 10,000 cycles of opening or closing, which means they'll last about 13 years if you only open the door twice a day. If you do it more often than that, they can wear out faster, though. Improperly calibrated springs can cause premature breakage due to one spring having to bear more weight, too.

When a spring or torsion cable breaks, it can be dangerous for anyone or anything in the garage. Doors can weigh hundreds of pounds, and these high-tension parts have to exert enough force to lift them completely. If a cable or spring snaps, the ends can bounce out and hit you or your property with enormous force. To prevent injury and property damage, it's best to have worn torsion parts replaced before they break. You should also never attempt to fix or replace a broken garage door spring or other part of the torsion system on your own, as the risk of injury is high.

During a tune-up, your serviceman will inspect the springs, cables, and pulleys for signs of wear. Springs and cables with serious rust or thin spots should be replaced, as should springs older than ten years. Worn pulleys can cause cable damage, so consider replacing them if your serviceman brings them to your attention. If everything is in working order, the springs will be balanced for you so that they each are responsible for an equal amount of the door's weight.

Lubricating All The Moving Parts

Just like your car's engine and transmission, a garage door's motor and torsion system need regular lubrication to keep running smoothly. If your system's grease hasn't been checked or replaced in years, it could be getting dry or clogged up with dirt. This can reduce the motor's efficiency, causing it to run hot and wear out much more quickly.

During a tune up, your garage door serviceman will clean off the old grease and impurities from your motor and put a fresh coat on. During this process, the gears and other elements of the motor will be inspected for any signs of damage. Replacing a single faulty gear before it causes the motor to fail will save you both time and money.

Repairing Any Minor Problems

Aside from the motor and the torsion system, garage doors have many, less significant parts that can break or wear down over time. A good tune-up will include a close inspection of the whole door to check for small problems that might grow if not fixed. 

For example, mountings can sometimes come out of the wall or fail to secure the door in place. This happens when a screw breaks or when the fastener was attached to drywall during installation. The fix for this issue is quick and the parts usually cost a few bucks. If not addressed, a missing mounting can cause uneven wear on the door and prevent it from closing properly.

The door technician should also check the door's rubber receiving seal, which ensures that your garage stays insulated when the door is closed. If it's worn out and not correctly sealing up the gap, you could be losing money in energy bills each month. Seals can be replaced whole when they have major damage or spot-patched to close minor holes.

Overall, these check-up services prolong the life of your door and help you catch small problems before they can grow into big ones. If you want to save money on major repairs and keep your door in good shape, it's helpful to have yearly tune-ups performed.