Known as the Door Operator Guru, Roy Bardowell is one of the most respected and knowledgeable men in the garage door and operator industry. His special passion for residential garage door, commercial door and gate operators leaves an impression on everyone he meets. Roy's training sessions at IDA Expos are always the one of the most widely attended sessions. He has been recognized by IDEA with the "Commitment to Excellence Award" and is an IDEA Certified Door Dealer Consultant. Roy is a member of the tech service team at Micanan Systems. He was Operations Manager at Guardian until 2012. We hope that you find Roy's articles informative and entertaining. Feel free to leave your comments for Roy.
by Roy Bardowell, CDDC
Even though the garage door is the biggest and heaviest moving item in the household it is often ignored and typically poorly maintained. As long as the door is going up and down, homeowners tend to be content.
A poorly maintained garage door can be quite dangerous. When there is a major breakdown in the garage door or motor operator it can be a very expensive repair. However, homeowners can do a few simple things to help keep their door and operator in safe working order.
MAINTAINING THE GARAGE DOOR
Before working on your garage door, you should do a short visual inspection. Look of the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other door hardware for signs of wear. If you if you find noisy component, you can try lubricating the noisy component. If you suspect a more serious problem, have a qualified garage door repairman make repairs.
Under no circumstances should you try and do your own repairs to the counterbalancing springs. These springs are under extreme tension and if you’re not familiar with the danger points you could severely injure yourself!WARNING — Springs are under high tension. Only qualified persons will have the proper tools and only these persons should adjust the counterbalancing springs.
Identify all the moving parts and periodically lubricate them using a lithium-based spray on grease. First, test the balance of the door. You should be able to lift the door using one arm. Place the door at the midway position and let go. Be sure your feet are not under the door. The door should remain in that position without falling downward or drifting upward. If the door is properly balanced, then proceed.
For sure, you can quiet down a door by spraying lubricant on any noisy component. Sometimes this is all a garage door service man may do and there is no reason preventing you from doing that yourself. Most of the time any grunting, grinding or squeaking noise can be reduced by spraying the component with the lubricant. I highly recommend you do this once a year to prevent the components from wearing out.
Under no circumstances should you ever lubricate the tracks. The tracks really never wear out, and any grease tends to attract dirt and dust which can find its way into the roller ball bearings. If a roller seizes it will only skid in the track and may wear down. If you suspect the rollers are worn down and just skidding and not rolling in the tracks, then you might want to replace the rollers for the newer, quieter, nylon rollers. Nylon rollers are better than steel and will outlast the steel rollers.
The garage door operator rarely requires the lubrication, except if you have a screw type rail. Do not try to use random lubricants, because some lubricants can actually cause a bigger problem. Screw type rails require a special lubrication and only the manufacturer can advise you on the proper lubrication.
Consult the owner’s manual for additional recommended maintenance for your model of door opener. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, look for the opener model number on the back of the power unit and search for the owner’s manual online or you may request a manual from the manufacturer.
All in all, if you follow these simple steps you can extend the life of your garage door and garage door opener.
Roy Bardowell, CDDC, is a member of the tech support team at Micanan Systems. He served as Operations Manager at Guardian Access & Door Hardware until 2012. He has been in the door and operator industry since 1973 and is known as one of the industry’s most experienced operator technicians and trainers. Roy received the IDEA Commitment to Excellence award in 2008 and IDA’s Jerry R. Reynolds Volunteer Service Award in 2017. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org