Building Guides Outdoor

Maintaining a Garage Door

Despite the fact that a garage door is extremely heavy and dangerous, it is amazing how many households pay little attention to this fact by letting it fall into a terrible state of disrepair. In fact when you consider that with the door is in the open position there is around 75-200kg of weight dangling above your head it simply does not make any sense as the consequences of it dropping on someone does not bear thinking about.

For this reason, it is strongly advisable to employ the services of a door engineer who will be able to properly ascertain its condition and carry out repairs where required.

Alternatively, if you are looking to save some money or are confident enough to tackle the job on a DIY basis we have highlighted below some of the most problematic areas that you need to look out for.


Up & Over Doors

This type of door features several problem areas that you will need to pay special attention to however by working through the below checklist these should be easily visible.

  1. To start with open and close the door to see how smooth the operation is. Any major problems should be obvious as the door will be difficult to operate, may not stay open or opens up lob sided.
  2. Once this initial inspection has been completed it will give a good indication of the general overall condition. If the door runs smoothly then there probably is no real cause for concern. However if any of the above mentioned problems are apparent please refer to the steps outlined below.
  3. Put the door in the closed position and work your way around all the components to check all the fixings are well secured making sure any loose nuts and bolts are tightened as you go.
  4. The next step is to look at the condition of the cables that help lift the door panel. Over time these are prone to fraying and rusting. Should any issues be found you should replace the items with a like for like cable (these are easily purchased online for very little expense).
  5. Once this has been resolved you can take a look at the rollers that guide the door up and down. Over time these can become worn down by friction leading to improper operation. As with the cables, should the parts look worn then replacements should be fitted.
  6. Where retractable lifting gear is present now is the time to ensure the horizontal tracking is securely fastened to the ceiling as this supports the majority of the weight of the door when it is open.
  7. On completion of the above steps, the spring that is fitted to the back of the door should be lubricated with some grease to make it run smoother and the guides should be cleaned out to ensure the newly fitted rollers do not get clogged up with dirt and debris that may have built up over time.

Roller Shutter Garage Doors

Unlike an up and over door that lifts above your head, the design of a roller door consists of the curtain wrapping around a drum wheel as it opens. Whilst this simple design requires less maintenance the dangers of neglecting to carry out the prescribed measures can lead to premature failure of components, excessive wear placed on the motor and in some cases can even lead to the door falling down.

As such please read, understand and carry out the following checklist to ensure the door remains in a safe working condition.

Manual Doors

  1. Go inside the garage and start off by checking all the fixing points to make sure they are well secured as they can work loose over time due to vibration.
  2. Go outside and lift the door up and down to see how smooth it operates. If the door is heavy to lift, creates excessive noise or bangs a lot then further investigation will be required.
  3. Working from the side the roller mechanism is fitted repeat the process looking for a likely cause such as an obstruction of loose fixing. If nothing is apparent then it would suggest that spring tension has been lost.
  4. To test for this lift the door about half way up the opening and let go of it. If the door drops to the ground then the spring tension will need increasing. This is a simple procedure however the process can vary depending on the design therefore always refer to manufacturers fitting instructions when doing this.
  5. Once you are happy the tension has been set correctly you can retest the door making small adjustments until you get to a point where the curtain neither rises or falls of its own accord (when half way open).
  6. The final step is to clean the inside of the guides to remove the build up of debris. When doing this it is advisable to use a non silicon based spray and a clean cloth.

Electric Doors

The service schedule for an electric roller shutter garage door is the same as the manual variant with a few extra steps. Once the above check list has been completed the biggest area for concern is making sure the safety sensors are working correctly.

This can be established by completing the following test.

  1. Run the door to the full open position
  2. Place an obstruction such as a piece of wood on the floor in a position that the leading edge of the door comes into contact with it as it comes down.
  3. Press the remote control unit to run the door down.
  4. As soon contact is made with the wood the curtain should stop immediately and re open.
  5. If this does not happen the sensitivity will need adjusting on the unit until a satisfactory result is achievable.

To conclude, by completing the above checklists and repairs for both up and over or roller designs you can be safe in the knowledge that the door has been returned to a safe working condition.

These useful guidelines have been provided by a company specialising in a wide range of garage doors and roller shutters. To find out more information of their range of products visit the Roller Shutter Doors Online website.