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How to maintain automated garage doors

04 Sep 2012

An automated garage door is a luxury and an expensive investment that requires annual maintenance in order to keep it running in top condition.

Automated garage doors are an expensive investment to your home and require annual maintanence.

Here are a few basic tricks that will ensure your garage door continues to look new and run smoothly:

Timber door

Sectional timber doors are by far the most popular types of doors installed for use on garages. These are normally manufactured in Meranti and require annual maintenance to keep them looking good.

Sealer or varnish applied to the finish will only protect it for a certain amount of time before it needs to be refinished. In the case of varnish, restoration becomes a more time consuming task, as the existing varnish needs to be sanded down before any repairs can take place.

Timber doors that have been sealed are far easier to maintain on a regular basis.  In most cases, the timber surface will only need to be wiped down with steel wool and mineral turpentine to prepare for a new application of sealer.

To allow for easy annual maintenance, we recommend using a product such as Woodoc 30 or Woodoc 50 to nourish and protect your timber garage door.

Steel door

The door springs are tightly compressed and any repairs required are best undertaken by a professional.

Sectional steel doors can be just as attractive as timber doors, with the added benefit of requiring less annual maintenance than a timber door.

A regular cleaning with warm, soapy water will ensure that the coated finish remains stain-free and looks good for longer.

In the event of scratches or stains, a light sanding with 180-grit sandpaper before applying a coat of spray paint will restore the finish to almost new condition.

Now that we have tackled the exterior of a garage door, let’s look behind the door. This is the area that homeowners tend to pay the least attention to, yet it is where the most problems occur.

Most sectional garage doors consist of hinged sections mounted on roller bearings that run along a steel track. The door itself is too heavy for easy lifting, so the main bulk of the weight is support on torsion springs mounted over or at the side of the door.

Regular maintenance of these parts allows smooth and easy opening and closing. Any worn or damaged parts should be replaced.

Door tracks and runners

Putting off these annual maintenance tasks could mean that you will have to replace the motor, torsion springs, or even the entire system.

An automated garage door runs on tracks that allow for easy opening and closing.

Over time, these tracks and the door runners can become clogged with dirt and debris, causing the door to stutter or stick.

A high-pressure hose will clean out any build up and then it’s time to dry and lightly lubricate it with a product such as WD-40 or Q-20.

A soft scrubbing brush can be used to remove any build up of dust. If there are layers of dust it might take a bit longer.

Tighten any loose nuts and bolts and replace any missing fasteners as required.

Your local Builders Warehousestore will be able to assist with suitable replacements if you take along a sample as a reference.

Good to know

Your local Builders Warehouse should stock any replacement bolts you may need.

 Do not use grease on the runners or tracks, as this will attract dirt and debris and increase the likelihood of future problems.

Door chain

If your automated garage door runs on a chain, this is where you will apply a grease lubricant.

Use a lint-free cloth and spray on some Q-20 or WD-40 lubricant to wipe over the track and chain. This is where a build-up of dust can cause wear on the motor. Dust sticks to the old grease, causing the motor to work harder to open the door.

Run a small scrubbing brush along the length of the chain to clean out the links.

A thin layer of bicycle grease rubbed along the chain will not only ensure smooth running, it will also make the door quieter when moving up and down.

Torsion springs

The door springs allow a garage door to operate effectively.

However, due to the tightly compressed nature of these springs, any repairs required are best undertaken by a professional. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot ensure that the springs stay rust-free and lubricated.

Apply a light spray with WD-40 or Q-20, from side to side along the length of the spring, ensuring that you spray inside the spring as well.

Also spray along the length of the steel rod that supports the torsion spring.

Good to know

Do not perform any repairs to the springs and take care when applying lubricant.

Door motor

Annual maintenance on the door motor should include using a blower to clean out any build up of dust and replacing the light bulb.

Faults or repairs on the motor should be carried out by a professional, unless you have experience in this field.

Lock mechanism

An annual application of WD-40 or Q-20 will prevent the lock from rusting or freezing up. Also make sure that you clean and lubricate the lock spring mechanisms on either side of the door.

Putting off these annual maintenance tasks could mean that you will have to replace the motor, torsion springs, or even the entire system.

Article courtesy of

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