Assuming that your door & motor were correctly installed, Maintenance consists primarily
of routine component inspection, cleaning, lubrication, re balancing & realignment.
A Tip-up garage door requires maintenance of the pivot points on the doors hinges.
Also the Kicker plates require inspection & lubrication. Kicker plates only have
metal bushings which need to be lubricated regularly. If not, the resulting metal
on metal contact causes severe wear to a point where the door could collapse.
Sectional garage doors require annual lubrication of the hinges and the torsion tube
bushings . Cables are inspected for rust & fraying. Hinge fasteners checked, and
Cables checked for corrosion.
Do not smear everything in grease! It helps nothing, and actually causes more damage
than it first appears. Grease needs to become warm to be viscous (Flow). This does
not happen in a garage door environment. All grease does is accumulate grit and dirt,
and eventually goes tacky causing a lot of drag.
With automatic garage door openers, correct lubrication of the shaft or screw, is
important. Perform monthly tests that the safety features are functioning properly.
Any external wiring i.e. limit switches, should have the connections tightened. Does
the wall switch still function correctly?
Basic lubrication can be done by the home owner such as the hinge pivots, kicker
plate pivots etc, but it still does not replace the need for a professional to do
the important bits. All components in a door are under tremendous loads, and injury
to the uninformed is almost certain. We have often had "Emergency" call-outs for
people who have undone the wrong bolt and had the door collapse. Or who have been
diligent in oiling, or greasing, but have had the door collapse because they have
overlooked the realignment, re balancing & safety inspection that all doors require
annually. Also, using the wrong grease can cause even more problems, often voiding
the manufacturers warranty. LEAVE IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS.
A message to all Wives. Hide your husbands tool box if he says he will fix it himself.
You might well save him from doing some real damage to himself.
Is my door properly balanced?
Manually raise and then lower your garage door. Does it move in a smooth and controlled
manner without slamming? If the door feels heavy or too light (The door flies open
on its own) it needs attention.
The majority of problems from garage doors result from lack of servicing and incorrect
Some Facts to scare you.
The average life expectancy of Hinges & Springs is 10,000 cycles. This is 3-5 years
if the door is being used 4-8 times a day. This means that your 160 Kg double wooden
garage door that hangs over your head every day, could well be waiting to fall on
you. Once collapsed, you won't be able to lift it off the car because it will be
jammed solid and the springs will still be under load. (Unless they flew off and
embedded themselves in your car door, or worse.) You won't be able to secure your
house, the kids bicycles are in full view, and your deep freeze packed with R1000's
of meat will be fair game to anyone walking past. All because you missed the annual
service on your garage door where the professional would have been able to give you
fair warning about the state of your hardware.
If the installer who installed your door &/or motor didn't do his job properly, you
may well have a time bomb on your hands. Incorrectly balanced doors that have only
worked to now because the installer bypasses the safeties to get the motor to work.
Over sprung doors that fly up and hit you in the face if you open them manually.
Motors that pull out of the wall due to excess positive load etc. All these things
are caught in the servicing process hopefully before something has gone wrong.
Your springs are the key to the correct operation of your garage door & motor. With
age, they reduce in efficiency putting more & more strain on the motor. You don't
notice for as long as the motor carries on doing its job. One day, it may well fail,
and the door will be at the mercy of gravity. Also, old springs tend to delaminate.
When the door is closed, these springs are loaded. If the spring should snap in this
position, untold damage could result. A part of the service process is to inspect
the springs and make the appropriate adjustments.
The axle grease that you carefully smeared all over your door and motor is causing
more damage than you can imagine. Grease needs to get to temperature to lubricate
properly. On a garage door this is not going to happen. On the shaft of your chain
drive motor, it is just acting as more drag, more glue for the motor to power through.
It has held onto every bit of dust and sand that's blown onto it and is now acting
like a very effective piece of sandpaper, eroding away the plastic components that
slide up and down on it. The same goes for the door channels, and anywhere else you've
decided to smear it.
The grease you smeared into your screw drive motor, has probably just caused a hydroscopic
action and stretched the aluminium extrusion making the motor noisier than it was
once the initial blob of grease has squeezed out. Sorry can't be undone without replacing
the extrusion. Also you have just voided your warranty.
These sorts of accidents could have been prevented with regular servicing.