Garage door maintenance is an important consideration for homeowners, for many reasons. A garage door is typically the largest moving object in a house. Like all moving parts, things wear out; garage door repair will be needed eventually. Maintenance helps spot any problems quickly, while a tuneup can provide adjustments, lubrication and tightening, not to mention avoid expensive repairs later.
In 2017, the average cost of a garage door replacement was $1,749; with a resale value of $1,345, you could, conceivably, recoup nearly 77% of the cost of the new product (for upscale projects, it can be as much as 85%).1
On the high end, a one-car door can cost as much as $4,500.2
The door will likely last longer if you maintain it. Over the long-term, the need for replacement can be reduced. That is unless you have an old, beaten unit that is unsightly and has no benefit in terms of sustaining your home’s resale value. Your best bet is to keep up with maintenance, whether on a schedule or by recognizing when you need it.
Signs You Need Garage Door Maintenance
You may be on your way to work, taking the kids to school, or going out to run errands. The door to your garage is probably the last thing on your mind. A sudden failure would cause you to be late to that meeting or appointment. Garage doors may be used several times a day; in fact, the average garage door is opened and closed 1,000 times per year. The door itself can weigh anywhere from 150 to 250 pounds.3
Safety is, therefore, an important concern, which will be explained later, but there are many opportunities to check for issues such as:
- Noise: Scraping or grinding can mean a piece of hardware has come loose or debris is caught in the door tracks. Some creaking can be expected if the door is old, but worn openers, springs, and other parts can be the source of troublesome noise. Worn parts also reduce the stability and safety of the door.
- Jerkiness/shuddering: An indication the tracks, hinges, and bolts need to be repaired or replaced. The door should move along its tracks smoothly; any shaking during opening or closing is a concern. Excess movement can put a strain on various parts, reducing their operating life and adding more costs to repairs.
- Off tracks: Garage doors move along tracks on either side. Damage or excessive wear can cause it to come off the tracks, which can prevent movement or, sometimes, the unit can break free. That could cause property damage, injury, or worse.
- Difficulty opening or closing: When in need of maintenance or garage door repair, Virginia residents may notice the door hesitates when opening or closing. It may take a couple of seconds from when you activate the opener for the door to respond. It may not open/close at all. Due to the potential for damage, contact a repair professional to inspect, diagnose, and fix the problem.
- Worn parts: Inspect the system if there are any signs of trouble. Worn rollers may be cracked or chipped, but should be replaced promptly. Also address worn weather stripping, which could leave your door vulnerable to bad weather from below. A bent track warrants a tune-up, as do any broken parts, including door sections, cords, or wires. Springs undergo much strain every time the door opens/closes, so garage door spring replacement is something you will eventually need to consider.
- The door has visible damage: Any damage should be repaired right away, but wood doors are especially vulnerable to cracks, holes, and rot. Peeling paint can accelerate wear. If not refinished and maintained, the door will continue to deteriorate, as UV rays penetrate the surface and moisture enters holes or cracks. Dents and dings should be fixed too, even to maintain your home’s curb appeal.
- Sagging: A sagging wooden door is a sign of rot and deterioration. Even if the material is something other than wood, it should be professionally inspected. Sag is often evidence that the door hasn’t been properly maintained and should be replaced.
- Higher energy bills: Older, less-efficient systems contribute to increased energy bills every month. If the utility company is charging you more, check how the door is working or have it inspected. Upgrading to a newer model can contribute to long-term savings.
If your garage door is old, consider inspecting it more often. The demand for maintenance on aging systems is typically higher. Also, periodically check for spring tension, worn/frayed cables, broken/dented hinges, or rollers that are noisy or not moving properly. Sometimes it just needs some lubrication, but always remember to check the system periodically in case more serious problems exist.
Importance of Garage Door Maintenance
Looking around and listening for unusual sounds have a purpose. Simple tasks such as tightening up hardware that can loosen due to movement and vibration do as well. From time to time, you may want to use a socket wrench to tighten up bolts and roller brackets or assess the balance of the door.
Lubricating parts takes only a few minutes. Also, inspect the high-tension cables for damage; just one broken strand can snap unexpectedly, possibly causing severe injury or worse. Check for debris on the tracks and test auto-reverse features by ensuring the door reverses direction if it contacts an object on the ground, demonstrating the most important aspect of garage door maintenance, which is safety.
In 1992, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission final rule established a requirement for the testing of automatic reversal systems, which went into effect on January 1, 1993. Between 1982 and that time, 54 children between 2 and 14 years old had been killed due to entrapment under doors, according to reports received by the Commission.4 The rule requires compliant products be certified and labeled.
Other important maintenance considerations include:
Function: Garage door replacement parts will ensure the system works as expected. One bad roller can slow down the door. Lubricant, powdered graphite or silicone spray can keep things moving smoothly and reduce wear. For the chain or screw, use a white lithium grease and, for overhead springs, a spray lubricant.
Also, check with the manufacturer or product manual for recommendations on maintenance and parts replacement. A garage door spring may last anywhere from five to 10 years, while rollers may not last more than four years.5 Actual times depend on the level of wear and frequency of use.
Cost: It can cost thousands of dollars to replace the entire system; an opener can cost several hundred. You could spend much less on annual inspections/tune-ups from a professional. On the other hand, neglecting maintenance may cost you not only for garage door repair in Fairfax, VA but for additional damage to your property, including the garage itself and your car. Fortunately, keeping up on maintenance can reduce your expenses in the long run and may also reduce heating and cooling costs for both the garage and the living space above it.
Safety: There’s more to the safety aspect than broken parts flying loose into cars or injuring people. A collapsed door can cause substantial property damage, but this is a possibility if you neglect maintenance for too long. Your garage door’s integrity also contributes to making your home burglar-proof. About 9% of burglars enter homes through the garage. That’s more than through basements, unlocked entrances, storage areas, or the second floor.6
Aesthetics: The garage door is a prominent feature on the front exterior of a home. If it is bent, chipped, or cracked, anyone passing by will see it. The fashion aspect of today’s doors is undeniable, whether you install a wood, vinyl, or aluminum one. It’s not only about energy efficiency, noise reduction, or weather-resistance.
Maintenance such as refinishing and painting can increase the curb appeal of your home. Another consideration is the type of home you have. If considering a new garage door, custom wood carriage house doors, or even steel types, will suit a Victorian or Colonial home. Details, right down to the decorative elements such as handles and hinges, add curb appeal. Other structures, like Craftsman or contemporary/modern homes, may incorporate glass into the doors, along with alternate materials and colors to stand out.
Garage Doors and Home Value
Garage door repair and installation can have a significant impact on home value. The door is one of the most noticeable aspects of the structure’s design and can take up to about a one-third of the front-facing exterior.7 Aside from recouping replacement costs, you can boost your home value by updating or completely replacing garage doors Gainesville homeowners depend on for reliability and safety. You could simply change the color or material, or add windows or decorative elements to boost curb appeal.
Proper maintenance contributes to a more secure home, where your property and belongings remain protected. However, curb appeal is most improved when the color scheme, panels, and windows complement one another and other design elements. The first step to attracting prospective buyers is to beautify the exterior since it’s what they see first and draws their interest.
Insulated garage doors also increase home value, as insulation saves on energy costs. This is especially so if the garage is heated and/or attached to the main structure. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is. Insulation can also protect cars, particularly in sub-zero temperature conditions that can make them hard to start. If your garage is not heated, insulate the floors above them to seal any potential air leakage sources and prevent car exhaust, solvents, and other contaminants from reaching the living space.
Updating your garage isn’t just about looks. Home value is also improved if you can maximize and better utilize storage/workspace, the garage is organized and is insulated, and the door is properly maintained and in good condition.
Seek Garage Door Repair and Replacement from a Pro
Aero Garage Doors has been serving homeowners for over 25 years. Numerous models of doors and garage door openers are available, and a team of experienced service technicians evaluates garage openings, parts, and function to recommend the best solutions and most modernized replacements.
From electric openers to remote control options, we support the most up-to-date improvements with leading-brand products. To maximize the convenience, function, and safety of your garage door and the value of your home, contact us online or email email@example.com.