Garage Door Lubrication

Every garage door, whether operated electrically or manually, contains metal parts that require lubrication occasionally. Lubricating the moving parts, such as door’s rail, springs, hinges, and rollers, prevents them from rusting or becoming squeaky, as well as keeps them in functioning order for years to come.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake homeowners do is using a standard lubricating oil such as WD-40, which is actually a degreaser that takes away the grease, rather than serve the right purpose. Rather, you should use a lithium-based lubricant, which you can find at the local hardware store. If you cannot find any, aim for a silicon-based lubricant. It isn’t as good, but it’s better than oil.
Another mistake homeowners do is lubricating the garage door opener’s chain. Garage door openers come out of the factory with a protective coat that should last for as long as the opener is running. The most you should do to aid the chain is use a rug with a tiny bit of WD-40 to help smooth it out.
The third mistake is lubricating the tracks. Tracks don’t need to be greased, but rather need to be cleaned.

The process:

1. Start by standing inside the garage and close the garage door shut. Pay attention to all the moving parts (springs, rollers, drums, and hinges).

2. Make sure you blow all the dust, dirt, and cobwebs that may have accumulated on the door’s moving hardware. If necessary, climb a step stool to help cleaning the upper rollers, as well as the garage door overhead tracks.

3. Spray small amounts of lithium/silicone spray into the moving parts on the garage door. If your bearings are sealed (e.g. on rollers and drums) you don’t have to do so, they don’t require maintenance. Open and close the door a few times to make sure all parts are lubricated evenly. Spray additional lubricant if needed. Wipe away lubricant leftovers that drip.

sealed_Garage_door_roller

4. If you have an electric opener, climb a step stool and spray the lithium/silicon spray on the top of the rail, which is where the trolley goes back and forth and creates friction.

garage door trolley

Making sure your garage door is well groomed and maintained can add many years of functionality to it. If you have an owner’s manual for the electric garage door opener and/or door itself, read it thoroughly, since the manufacturer may provide specific maintenance recommendations. Garage door openers operate in various ways depending on manufacturer and style.
During lubrication check all hardware for looseness and tighten necessary bolts. Also, make sure you use spray cans with a straw nozzle to be more accurate and reach tight spots.
Remember to use a lithium or silicone based lubricants rather than degreaser; degreasers may dry out rather than lubricate surfaces.

garage door roller

Garage Door 101

Your garage door is the largest moving part in your entire home and is used multiple times per day at any hour and in all seasons. To keep your garage door operating smoothly for decades to come, it’s important that you take the time to perform regular preventive care and garage door maintenance. Here are 10 things that all homeowners can do:

Listen & Keep an Eye

The most important preventive step you can take is to observe your garage door in action every time you use it. Is it moving smoothly or is it jerky in places? Does it operate silently or does it make grinding or scraping noises? Do both sides of the system (springs, pulleys, and cables) look symmetrical?

Tighten up the Hardware

The average garage door moves up and down more than a thousand times a year. That’s a lot of movement and vibration, which can loosen the hardware. Examine and tighten all roller brackets and bolts with a socket wrench.

Test the Garage Door Balance

If your garage door is not properly balanced, the garage door opener will have to work harder, and it won’t last as long. After you disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord), manually move the door about halfway up. If it doesn’t stay put, the counterweight system (springs) are improperly balanced. Garage door spring adjustment is best left to the professionals.

Inspect and Replace the Rollers

Make sure to inspect the rollers, whether steel or nylon. You need to inspect them twice a year and replace every seven years or so, and even more often if you use your garage door many times a day. You should replace worn, chipped or cracked rollers as soon as possible. You do this by removing and reinstalling any roller brackets that are not directly attached to the cable system.

Replace the Weather stripping

If the rubber weather seal strip on the bottom of your door is brittle or cracked, you’ll need to replace it right away to keep the elements out of your house. Weather stripping is sold by the foot at hardware and home improvement stores. Just cut to size and insert into the grooves with the wide angle of the flange inside the door.

Lubricate the Moving Parts

Keeping your garage door parts greased up will add years of seamless operation to your system – and it takes just 10 minutes a year! Use white lithium grease on the opener’s chain or screw, and a spray lubricant, available from your garage door specialist, to coat the overhead springs.

Check the Cables

You should never tinker with the high-tension cables that lift your door because they have enough force to maim and kill. But you can check their condition so you know when to hire a pro. Check for broken strands and damage near the bottom roller bracket.

Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Features

There are two mechanisms: mechanical and photocell. In order to test the mechanical feature, place a piece of wood or a brick on the ground in the path of the door. When the door touches that object while coming down, it should reverse direction and go back up again. To test the second, the photoelectric system with beams at each side, close your door and just pass your leg in the door’s path. Your door should reverse. If your opener is more than 20 years old, it may lack this basic safety features –so it’s time to buy a new garage door opener.

Clear the Tracks

Make sure the tracks on either side of the door are free from debris. You can use a level to check the plumb. Any major adjustments to tracks must be done by a professional garage door technician.

Groom Your Garage Door

Don’t forget to examine the door itself. You will need to check wooden doors for water damage and warp, as well as chipped and peeling paint. Steel doors may have rust spots that you will need to sand, prime, and paint. Wash your garage door regularly with a mild all-purpose cleaner at the same time you do your car. Remember, your garage door makes up about one-third of the exterior of your house, so keep it fresh and clean. If you don’t have time to do a check-up, call our garage door professional to schedule a tune-up service. He will fix it all… perfectly!

Garage door maintenance is extremely important. Make sure you follow the above garage door maintenance tips to ensure your garage door will last to its maximum!

For more information about garage door repair and maintenance, check out DDM Garage Doors website.

Grage door repair madison wi

How to Replace a Broken Cable

Before you begin replacing a garage door cable on your garage door, make sure you have the necessary tools. It is not possible to predict all repair circumstances.

The following steps must be followed in order to prevent any damage to a door and a person. We highly recommend hiring a professional technician to do this job and do not take any responsibility for any outcome of someone implementing the following steps.

Take it Apart

The garage door size determines the cable size. For the most common residential 7 feet tall door, you will need an 8’6” cable. Sizes of tools used for cable replacement may vary in size, too, so have a combination of sizes available.

You will need locking pliers or a vice grip, a set of cables, wrenches, winding bars, sockets, stepping ladder, ratchet, safety glasses, and gloves. A proper outfit (e.g. gloves, work boots, and safety glasses) is needed, too.

Be cautious of pointed edges on cables to avoid injury.

To begin with, unplug and disengage the garage door opener by pulling on the emergency release cord. There should be a red rope with a handle that is positioned on the top rail (depending on your opener). Doing so will allow you to manually open and close the garage door.

Close the door and make sure it touches the ground evenly. Walk toward the center of the garage door and slacken the set screws on the springs with 1/4 turns. Don’t forget to fully insert the winding bars as well as use both bars at the same time to prevent injury. Do not get in the bars way!

Unwind the spring until all of the tension has been removed. If the door has two springs, do the same with the second spring.

After springs’ tension is removed, take a wrench and slacken the set screws on the cable’s drum at the top left corner of the garage door. Then, remove the cable from its drum. By the bottom of the door, release the cable where it connects to the bottom bracket.

Installing the Cable

Install the new cable onto the bottom bracket. Then, thread the cable up toward the cable’s drum. Make sure the cable is running behind the rollers (between the tracks and rollers). Do this for each side of the door.

Insert the cable into the slots of the drum. Validate that the cable is set properly and is not overlapping. Wind the cable onto the drum, and then slide the drum over toward the bearing plate. Then, turn the drum counterclockwise (right drum-clockwise) until the cable sits tight. Now, tighten the set screws, but do not overdo so.

While holding the cable, use your vice grip pliers on the metal shaft that goes across the entire door (along the wall) to hold it tightly in place. Then, go to the other side of the door and follow the same instructions. After completion, increase the springs’ tension using your winding bars. Remember to only increase the tension at a ¼ turn at a time.

Remove the locking pliers from the metal shaft and check that the garage door is balanced (i.e. stays at the same place where you leave it). Before plugging the opener back in, make sure to manually lift the door all the way up, while checking that there is an even tension between the drums and cables. In case there is no tension on one side, repeat the process again, until you get an equal tension. Engage the door by pulling the emergency release, and then plug the opener back in. Again, make sure there is tension between the drums and cables while the door is fully open.