DIY Guide To Properly Maintain Your Garage Door

While creating my homeowner guide, Your Home Playbook, I spent months researching all of the tasks that go into maintaining the average home. I was happy to see that I was already tackling many of the items on the list in my own home and I even had tutorials for some of those important tasks here on the blog.

How to properly maintain your garage door

However, there were a few tasks that I had never done before. Today’s task is one of them!

Tips to properly maintain your garage door

Over and over, I saw experts recommending regular maintenance on your garage door. I wondered, “What exactly does this even mean?” Was it bad that I had never done anything to my garage door and we’ve lived here for five years? I was determined to find out what the heck to do and take a proactive approach to this homeowner task.

My goal is to help all homeowners out there stay on top of these tasks, so I did the research for you and put these maintenance steps to the test with my garage. Now, I have a complete step-by-step guide, showing you how to maintain your garage door by yourself. And the best part? It will take you less than 10 minutes!

Let’s Maintain Your Garage Door!

Garage Door Lube to maintain your garage door

Regular garage door maintenance is pretty simple and you’ll only need a few supplies to get started.

Inspect The Door’s Operation

Inspect the coils on your garage door to make sure they're lubricated

The first step is to look at how your garage door is opening and closing and inspect for signs of wear and tear. You want to spot potential issues now before they turn into major problems down the line. You want your garage door to run smoothly with minimal noise. If there are unusual loud noises, something might be off and you may need to call a service technician.

Preventative maintenance (as outlined below) is something that any homeowner can tackle. But I would leave extensive repairs to a garage door professional.

Clear The Garage Door Tracks

A garage door up in a garage and the metal tracks

Next, let’s clear the tracks to make sure there isn’t anything on them messing up the opening and closing of the door. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate, especially if your garage is dirty, and these can prevent the door from functioning properly. Brush debris from the tracks, remove anything from the door’s path, and use a rag to wipe things down.

Clear Both Sensors

The photo eye sensor is located at the bottom of the garage door

The photo eye sensors are the two sensors near the bottom of the door that tell the garage door to stop if something is in the path of the door. This is one of the safety features on most newer electric garage doors and it’s essential!

Using a rag to clean the photo sensors on the bottom of a garage door

Over time, these can get really dirty (Mine were!) and you want to keep these clear. I used a soft cloth and wiped the lenses really well and also cleared away any items nearby.

Lubricate All Of The Metal Parts

Lubricate all of the parts of the garage door

If you use your garage door multiple times a day, it’s going up and down a heck of a lot of times. This creates a lot of friction and over time parts can wear down. If you want your garage door to last for years, (The average lifetime is 20-25 years.) then lubricating the hardware is the number one thing you should do. Noisy garage doors often mean you’re long overdue for this step!

Be sure to lubricate the coils on your garage door

If your garage door has steel parts (as mine does), spray lubricant is a must and it’s very easy to apply. I ended up buying this garage door lubricant. Some people just use WD-40, but I found that white lithium grease is the best option. A can of this should last a while!

Lubricating the steel parts of a garage door

Make sure you lubricate the hinges, garage door rollers, ball bearings, end bearing plates, torsion springs in the center of the garage, and the bottom of the rails where the trolly moves. Pretty much, give any metal you see a spray of the good stuff! I kept a rag underneath as I sprayed the garage door parts so I didn’t make a huge mess in the garage.

My lubricant also came with this spray that can be used on rust spots. If you have any rust on your door, it’s a good idea to spray that too.

Replace Weatherstripping (If Needed)

Be sure to check the weatherstripping on the bottom of your garage door

Weatherstripping is the rubber seal placed on the bottom of your garage door to keep bugs, critters, water, and cold air out of your garage. I suggest putting your garage door halfway up so you can inspect the weatherstripping. You want to make sure that there aren’t any tears or loose areas along the weatherstripping. Then, close the garage door and check for gaps.

It’s easy to replace the weatherstripping on the bottom of your garage door. Here’s a link to buy a brand new piece of weather seal. It’s very affordable and all you have to do is slide the old one off the tracks and slide the new one in. We replaced ours five years ago when we bought our house and it’s still holding strong!

Replace Batteries & Lightbulbs (If Needed)

A liftmaster smart view garage door opener

Now is a good time to replace any burned-out lightbulbs in your garage and replace the batteries in your garage door opener. Staying on top of these things is always a good feeling!

Clean Your Garage Door

Our garage door before was very dirty

Finally, clean the garage door itself. We have a detached garage, so it faces the alley. Therefore, I rarely give it any TLC because it doesn’t affect my home’s curb appeal.

Using a power washer to clean our garage door

However, it was long overdue for a good clean. I first cleared lots of leaves and weeds in the back alley and then got out my power washer, which is one of my favorite homeowner gadgets! This thing works so well to clean garage doors and I was done with the door in a matter of minutes. I can’t believe how dirty it was!

Garage door after a good clean

If you don’t have a power washer, you can use a bucket of mild detergent and clean water to scrub it down.

How Often Do You Need To Maintain Your Garage Door?

A woman using a rag and lubricant to maintain the steel parts on her garage door

Those steps are the best way to keep your major garage door problems at bay. I had a squeaky noise coming from my garage door and now it’s a smooth operation after all of that grease I sprayed in there!

how to maintain your garage door

I recommend handling these tasks about twice a year, especially the lubrication. If you purchased Your Home Playbook, you’ll get reminders when it’s time to handle this task. If you still haven’t gotten yours, now is the time! You can find it here. It’s a helpful tool to avoid costly repairs down the line.

As for any larger garage door adjustments or necessary repairs, I would leave that to the pros. Hopefully, with some attention and regular lubrication, you won’t have to call the pros very often!

More Garage Door Posts

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Our new garage floor
My best tips for garage organization
Getting our garage organized

Knowing the basics of garage door maintenance should be helpful for all of you homeowners out there! I think it feels empowering to tackle these home maintenance tasks to keep our homes running smoothly.

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