Garage Door Maintenance Mistakes To Avoid

30 November 2015
 Categories: , Articles

You may already know that garage door maintenance is important. Regular maintenance helps to keep all moving parts functioning properly and smoothly. However, if you make mistakes during the maintenance process, then you may inadvertently damage part of your garage door or leave it exposed to damage. If you want to keep this from happening, then read through some of the common garage maintenance mistakes in this article and find out how to avoid them.

Using Sprays For Squeaky Door Tracks

The tracks that allow your garage door to move up and down may start to squeak or stop running as smoothly as they should. When this happens, you may be tempted to use a penetrating oil or a water-displacing spray like WD 40. This is a mistake. The tracks of your garage door are aluminum channels that often fill with dirt and debris. This debris will stop the track wheels from rolling smoothly along the track and this is likely to cause the squeaking noises. However, if a penetrating spray is used to stop the sounds, this material will mix with the dirt and debris and cause a mud to form. The dirt is much more likely to stay in place and cause more problems. Also, the oil is a low viscosity material that can easily wear away as the rollers move along the track. This means it will not do a good job of lubricating like a much thicker material like motor oil can.

Instead of using a penetrating spray, it is wise to clean the garage door tracks if they make sounds. Consider purchasing a brake cleaning spray for this purpose. This spray is made with solvents, cleaners, and other chemicals like acetone and heptane to dissolve oils and debris that sit along the track. Spray a small amount of the spray along the track and use a clean cloth to wipe away debris. This same cleaner can be used on the rollers of the garage door. However, you should think about buying a non-chlorinated version of the cleaner. Chlorine can weaken both metal and plastic materials over time.

Once you have cleaned the garage door tracks properly, spread a small amount of motor oil along the tracks to keep them lubricated. 

Carelessly Cleaning Photo Eyes

The photo eyes that are attached to the bottom area of your garage door are a safety feature that prevents the door from closing on a person or an object. The eyes sit on either side of the garage door. One eye emits an infrared beam and the other eye will receive the beam. If the beam is interrupted in any way, the garage door will not close. The photo safety eyes generally work well as long as they are aligned properly. However, the infrared beam may become interrupted if dirt and debris cover either the right or left photo eye. This is why it is wise to clean the eyes every few weeks to make sure this does not happen. Unfortunately, you can damage the photo eyes if you clean them improperly. This may lead to scratches and scrapes that cause the eyes to malfunction. Replacement will then be needed.

Consider the fact that the safety photo eye lenses are much like camera lenses, and they should be cleaned in the same way. This means staying away from abrasive cleaners and opting for gentle alcohol-based products. You can also use rubbing alcohol alone to do the cleaning. A soft microfiber cloth should also be used. Place your rubbing alcohol or your alcohol based cleaner in a small spray bottle and spritz each photo eye lightly. Use the cloth to gently wipe each eye free of dirt.

Garage door maintenance is a necessity if you want the door to work well for many years. However, you need to make sure that your maintenance tasks are completed properly to avoid damage issues. If you are unsure of how to complete some maintenance tasks, then consider contacting your garage door repair professional for advice.