There are few keys to keeping your garage door in good working order. The first is to perform an annual inspection to head off problems before they start. These general maintenance steps can be done by most do-it-yourselfers, though by hiring an expert in garage door repair you’ll rest easier knowing that nothing is missed. Beyond the basic maintenance, however, you probably want to bring in a professional to perform more complicated repairs. It’s generally worth the money to hire someone you trust so you can be sure there’s nothing to worry about when your garage door repair is said and done.
Basic Garage Door Maintenance
There are a few basic maintenance tasks that you should hire out or do yourself on an annual basis. Performing these simple checks will go a long way in preventing the need for future garage door repair.
- Check the tracks for dents or other damage. You should be able to pound out minor blemishes with a rubber hammer. If there is major damage, you’ll need to have the tracks replaced altogether.
- Make sure the tracks are level and properly aligned. If they are not, loosen the mounting brackets and tap the tracks until they are plumb with each other and slanting slightly towards the back of the garage.
- Wipe out the tracks. Clean and clear all debris from the tracks. Use a large paintbrush initially to remove dust and dirt, then use a household cleaner for a deeper clean.
- Lubricate the rollers, tracks and pulleys. This can be done with special garage door lubricant sprays or powdered graphite for the tracks and pulleys, and household lubricating oil for the rollers.
- Check all nuts, bolts and fasteners. Tighten anything loose that you come across in the process.
Professional Garage Door Repair
While these garage door maintenance steps are within the reach of most homeowners, there are several tasks that should always be done by a garage door repair service. If you have an automatic garage door opener and are experiencing any problems with the built in safety reversal features, call a repairman right away. Not addressing this problem can result in damage to your car, and even worse, personal injury. The other project that you should never attempt yourself is repairing or replacing the large central spring, if your garage door has one. These are high tension springs, and attempting to remove them yourself can cause serious injury to your person. On a similar note, simply returning your garage door to its original condition and operation may not be the best decision for your home. Why fix the tracks for your garage door, if for a little bit more money, you can install an automatic garage door opener? Even older automatic openers may be hopelessly outdated and create vulnerability in your home’s security. Would-be burglars have little trouble cracking older automatic systems that use common and fixed transmission signals.
In terms of planning financially for garage door maintenance, repair, or replacement, it’s all-too-often a crapshoot, but we can provide some guidelines. According to data collected from homeowners across the country, the average cost to repair a garage door is about $250, although we’ve seen projects as low as $50 and as high as $1,000. To replace a garage door opener, the average cost is $350, but obviously this figure depends on the model and complexity of your chosen opening system. You can also repair the garage door opener, which costs about $220. Finally, the average cost to replace a garage door altogether is $1,100, again with a wide range from low-end and high-end projects. Performing regular garage door maintenance is a must and will minimize the number of larger repairs you’ll face over the life of the door. If you do run into a major problem, however, talk to a qualified garage door repair specialist to get your job done right.