The typical garage door opener should last approximately ten years. This may not seem like a long lifespan, but because it is frequently used, after time it simply starts to fail. Regular maintenance can help extend the life of your opener, as well as increase security. If you ever hear noises from your garage door, call someone to repair it right away. This is the first sign that something is wrong, and the longer you wait between hearing the noises and making the repairs, the worse the damage could be.
If you’re familiar with the mechanics behind a garage door, you can do the maintenance yourself. However, be sure to be very careful as something could easily go wrong and you could be injured or cause damage to the door. If you don’t know what you’re doing or don’t feel comfortable doing it, be sure to call a professional. It is better to spend money on a professional than to risk personal injury and a larger repair bill.
Springs and Balance
The springs on the door are designed to do most of the work, rather than the machine itself. The opener is only geared to put things into motion. If the springs aren’t working properly, the garage door opener will face much more wear and tear than it is designed to withstand, and it will give out much more quickly.
A door that is poorly balanced will reduce the effectiveness of the springs and cause more strain on the opening mechanism. In order to keep the door properly balanced, you willl first need to disconnect the red cord on the trolley while the door is down. This allows the door to be opened and closed without using the machine. Very carefully, lift the door about halfway. If it is properly balanced, it should stay where it is. If it falls back to the ground, the tension in the springs need to be increased. If the door opens to the top, the tension needs to be decreased.
Be sure to keep all of the moving parts of the door properly lubricated. This helps the whole system work more efficiently, thereby reducing the stress, and expanding the life of the machine. The moving parts include the springs, hinges, rollers, and sometimes pulleys, though not all doors have these.
When lubricating these parts, make sure that you use a silicone based lubricant, or a chain and cable fluid. Other lubricants, like WD40 can attract dirt and clog up the parts, which can cause problems for the opener. If your door has a chain, lubricate this as well. If it uses a belt, there is no need to spray it.
Eventually, the garage door opener will need to be replaced. When it is time for this, you can rest assured that newer models have added security features and are more convenient. One new security feature is a rolling code on the remote that allows the door to open and close. Older openers used a fixed code, and thieves could break in by using a special device to detect this code. The added security of the rolling code makes it impossible for thieves to get in, since the code changes with each use.
When it comes time to replace your garage door opener, continue to practice these simple maintenance tips once a year. If there is any need of repairs, be sure to get it done quickly. By taking proper care of your garage door opener, whether its brand new or several years old, you can help extend its lifespan.