Keeping your garage door in good repair ensures that it is in full working order at all times. It can save you money, since you will be able to avoid unnecessary repairs and replacements. The following preventative maintenance tips are key to keeping your door in peak condition.

Tip #1: Stop, Look and Listen

Each time you operate the door should include a basic inspection. You want to stop and look at the door as it opens or closes. Is it moving smoothly, with no jerkiness or hitching? Also stop and listen. Is the door squealing, grinding, or otherwise sounding as though it is struggling? If you notice an issue or anything that is out of the ordinary, it is time to call for a professional inspection and garage door repair before the problem gets worse. For example, hitching and grinding could indicate poor balancing, which can be quickly rectified. If you ignore it, it can lead to a more expensive broken spring or hinge.

Tip #2: Keep It Clean

The tracks tend to collect cobwebs, dead leaves, and dirt. Take a broom to the tracks once a month and knock out any debris. Make sure nothing has become caught in the roller wheels, too, since this can make it more difficult for the door to open. This will then lead to stress on your automatic opener and door components. You should also add a small amount of garage door lubricant to the roller wheels and door hinges after you sweep to further make sure everything is moving smoothly.

Tip #3: Watch the Weather

Weathering can cause major damage to a door. Check the weatherstripping along the bottom of the door monthly, and replace it if it becomes damaged or torn. Not only does this stripping keep moisture out of your garage, it protects wooden doors from moisture rot and metal doors from rust. You should also inspect the exterior door for any kind of weather or sun damage. Wood doors need repainted and sealed when the old seal begins to break down and water no longer beads on the surface. Metal and fiberglass doors rarely need maintenance, although metal may require new paint if the old paint oxidizes or wears off.

Tip #4: Check for Safety

Your door has a couple of safety features you need to make sure are in working order. A good time to check these is when you are doing your monthly track cleaning. First, make sure the reverse sensors are working properly. Close the door and then wave a broom handle in the door's path before it closes completely. The door should reverse and reopen. If it doesn't, the sensors will need to be repositioned or repaired. Next, pull the manual control handle and verify that it disconnects the automatic opener so you can operate the door manually in the event of a power outage. You can reconnect it once you verify that it is working correctly.