Top 10 Preventive Maintenance Tips for Garage Door Owners

Your garage door is the largest moving part in your entire home, and is used multiple times per day at any hour and in all seasons. To keep your garage door operating smoothly for decades to come, it’s very important that you take the time to perform regular preventive care and maintenance. Here are 10 things that all homeowners can do:

  1. Look and Listen

The most important preventive step you can take is to observe your garage door in action every time you use it. Is it moving smoothly or is it jerky in places? Does it operate silently or does it make grinding or scraping noises? Do both sides of the system (springs, pulleys and cables) look symmetrical?

  1. Tighten up the Hardware

The average garage door moves up and down more than a thousand times a year. That’s a lot of movement and vibration, which can loosen the hardware. Examine and tighten all roller brackets and bolts with a socket wrench.

  1. Test the Garage Door Balance

If your garage door is not properly balanced, the garage door opener will have to work harder, and it won’t last as long.

After you disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord), manually move the door about halfway up. If it doesn’t stay put, the counterweight system (springs) are improperly balanced. Garage door spring adjustment is best left to the professionals.

  1. Inspect and Replace the Rollers

The rollers, whether steel or nylon, need to be inspected twice a year and replaced every seven years or so, and even more if you use your garage door many times a day.

Worn, chipped or cracked rollers should be replaced as soon as possible. You do this by removing and reinstalling any roller brackets that are not directly attached to the cable system.

  1. Replace the Weatherstripping

If the rubber weather seal strip on the bottom of your door is brittle or cracked, replace it right away to keep the elements out of your house. Weatherstripping is sold by the foot at hardware and home improvement stores. Just cut to size and insert into the grooves with the wide angle of the flange inside the door.

  1. Lubricate the Moving Parts

Keeping your garage door parts greased up will add years of seamless operation to your system – and it takes just 10 minutes a year! Use white lithium grease on the opener’s chain or screw, and a spray lubricant, available from your garage door specialist, to coat the overhead springs.

  1. Check the Cables

You should never tinker with the high-tension cables that lift your door because they have enough force to maim and kill. But you can check their condition so you know when to hire a pro. Check for broken strands and damage near the bottom roller bracket.

  1. Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Features

There are two mechanisms: mechanical and photocell. In order to test the mechanical feature, place a piece of wood or a brick on the ground in the path of the door. When the door coming down touches that object, it should reverse direction and go back up again. To test the second, the photoelectric system with beams at each side, close your door and just pass your leg in the door’s path. Your door should reverse.

If your opener is more than 20 years old, it may lack this basic safety features – and so it’s time to buy a new garage door opener.

  1. Clear the Tracks

Make sure the tracks on either side of the door are free from debris and, if you are so inclined, you can use a level to check the plumb. Any major adjustments to tracks must be done by a professional garage door technician.

  1. Groom Your Garage Door

Don’t forget to examine the door itself. Wood doors will need to be checked for water damage and warp, as well as chipped and peeling paint. Steel doors may have rust spots that need to be sanded, primed and painted. Wash your garage door regularly with a mild all-purpose cleaner at the same time you do your car.

Remember, your garage door makes up about one-third of the exterior of your house, so keep it fresh and clean. If you don’t have time to do this kind of check-up, call a garage door professional to schedule a tune-up service call. He is going to fix all… perfectly!


What is the one home fix-up project that takes only a couple of hours and yields the biggest bang for the buck of any exterior home renovation?

Here’s a clue: This project adds style, energy efficiency and security to your home, and the preparation is easy and mess free – all you need is an Internet connection and a telephone. For most people, the answer does not immediately come to mind: it’s a stylish new garage door.

Think about it. If your house has an attached garage, the garage door may comprise more than one-third of your home’s front facade. If that home is more than five years old, your garage door probably is a solidcolored, raised-panel door that looks like every other garage door in the neighborhood.

A new door, quickly and correctly installed by a local professional, will differentiate your home and add style, value and curb appeal. The hottest new style in garage doors is the carriage house design. It’s available in steel, wood or composite materials and in many
price ranges.

Tom Wadsworth, long-time editor of a garage door industry trade magazine, says the carriage house garage door is “the first major new design in garage doors in more than 25 years.” He says that all major manufacturers have joined “the carriage house craze” and offer thousands of unique variations of the doors.

A garage door is an important home improvement project. It is typically the first thing people notice when they pull into your driveway or pass your house. Doors also offer protection against severe weather and theft, help you save money on heating bills and substantially increase the appearance and value of your home.

A nationwide poll of realtors revealed more than 71 percent felt a new garage door added to the value of a home, even adding as much as four percent of the selling price. That means $10,000 on a $250,000 home, which is a huge deal for people wanting to sell now during a difficult real estate market.

If you think installing a new garage door project is “easier said than done,” think again.


What is the most dramatic, eye-catching home improvement project you can launch into this year? It’s an exterior upgrade that adds style and curb appeal to one-third or more of the front of homes: the garage door.

Chances are, if your home is 10 years old or older, you’ve been living with a good old-fashioned raised-panel steel door – just like every other home on your street. And they probably all look pretty much the same.

A Stylish Statement
You’re probably thinking, “How much difference can a garage door really make? It goes up, it goes down; what does style have to do with it?”

All the major garage door manufacturers are producing dramatic new styles and you can review them and decide what’s best for your home.


Hot Trend: Carriage Doors
The industry’s hottest trend is the carriage house door. The look that was popular on carriage houses and stables a century ago is today’s new chic in garage doors. The styles, windows, accessories and colors vary so widely, there’s little chance the garage door on your home will look like another one down the block.

For homes with more modern or southwestern looks, there are sleek, contemporary styles in a variety of materials. opaque panels and copper cladding provide a modern look that will update the entire appearance of your home.

The Latest Features
What else is new in garage doors? How about energy savings? Many of today’s garage doors feature insulation that helps reduce heat loss in winter and helps your home stay cooler in the summer. and as energy bills continue to rise, a new door begins to pay for itself soon after installation.

If you’re thinking about a new garage door, think about a new opener, too. today’s garage door openers are quieter and provide more convenience and safety features than ever before. Yes, garage door openers have gone high tech.

Keypad Kids
Homeowners with keypad entry consider it a necessity, not an option. Yesterday’s “latchkey kids” have become today’s “keypad kids.”

But even the keypad has taken a step up the technology ladder. How about fingerprint-activated entry? it is here and available today. Only those who have scanned their fingerprint into the system can open the door with the pad.

Another modern tech update is laser-aided parking accessories that tell you exactly when to stop in the garage. Battery back-up systems mean that your door will open every time, even when the power goes out. There’s even an in-house monitor
that tells you when your garage door is open, a handy tool for those of us who forget to close the garage door at night.

Not a DIY Job
Garage door installation is something best left to the pros. a garage door is the largest and heaviest moving piece of equipment on your home. Garage door springs are under a remarkable amount of tension, and these can cause serious injury to even the handiest weekend warriors.


Garage door as a hot new fashion statement? Absolutely! Because so many homes are now built with the garage door as the most prominent feature, style-conscious Americans are replacing old, drab doors with fashionable new garage doors to increase their home’s curb appeal.

Let’s face it – You don’t get a distinct personality when you buy into a development. Your garage door looks pretty much like every other garage door on your street.

A trendy new garage door is not only a fashion statement, it says something about your personality. You’re unique. You’ve got style and flair. Unless you’re selling your house, you’ve got to look at that huge garage door day in and day out as you come and go. Why not liven it up with a stylish new look?

Hot New Garage Doors Add Dollars to Home Value

Garage door makers heard the demand for more decorative doors, and boy, have they answered! You can now choose from more than a thousand different looks in elegant and stylish carriage-house doors.

“People are definitely becoming more style-conscious when replacing their garage door,” said Chris Long, editor Ofinternational Door & Operator Industry, a garage door industry magazine.

And replacing your garage door with a new upscale model just may boost the resale value of your home. a recent online survey revealed that a whopping 71% of homeowners who recently replaced their garage door believe it definitely increased the value of their home.

It makes sense. for most homes, garage doors take up 30 percent of the front view of the home. With one easy purchase, you can add dazzle to a major portion of the curb appeal of your home.

And with professional installation, the job can be done in a few hours. But don’t try to install the door yourself. it’s a complex and dangerous task. a professional door dealer can help you find the right look for your home and install the door correctly, quickly and safely.

More Than Just a Pretty Face

There’s more to new garage doors than just beauty. We use the garage door as the main way to get in and out of our homes more than ever. another survey said that 71 percent of homeowners use their garage door openers to get in their homes every day. the key to the front door is now the garage door’s remote control.

It’s just more convenient. getting in through the garage makes it easy for us to get groceries into the kitchen. You can leave muddy shoes or boots and drenched coats in the garage and keep your house cleaner. and with a keyless entry pad, you don’t have to fiddle with a key, and neither do your kids.

“Once you have a keypad, you’ll never go back. it’s a small luxury that quickly becomes a necessity,” said Tom Wadsworth, editor of Door & Access Systems, another industry magazine.

And you can kick-up your garage door opener as well with a battery back-up system so that even in a power outage, you’re good to go – in or out of your home, that is. Your kids will never be locked out of your home in a storm again, even in an extended outage.

Accessorizing Access

Would you like your garage door opener to switch on lights in your home as you’re pulling up the driveway? or alert you if you left the garage door open? It’s all now possible with new garage door accessories. You can even make a fashion statement with your garage door remote by customizing it to match your car’s interior.

And once you’re inside your garage, there are attractive new organizers and storage units, rubberized flooring for a smooth entry, and appliances designed just for the garage. “The garage has become the new focus of home makeovers,” added Wadsworth. “The garage is no longer the junkpile of the home. today’s homeowners want an organized, clean garage that looks great, inside and out.”


It goes up, it goes down. But a new garage door can do a lot more than that. Here are a dozen reasons why you need a new garage door and garage door opener.

1. New garage doors can increase the value of your home.
An online survey says that 71% of homeowners who recently replaced their garage door believe it increased the value of their home. When nationwide real estate agents were shown “before” and “after” photos of houses upgraded with new, stylish garage doors, they increased the list price of the home anywhere from 1 to 4 percent. That means a $2,000+ investment in a garage door could increase the sale value of your home by as much as $7,000 if you’re selling a $175,000 home. Look at some dramatic “before and after” photos at, and you’ll see the difference a new garage door can make.

2. New garage doors can put money back in your pocket.

The Federal Government’s Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 extends tax credits for energy efficient home improvements. This includes qualifying insulated garage doors. That means that adding a new garage door in 2009 can save you money by helping to lower home energy consumption and costs AN D it will help pay for itself this year through the tax credit incentive, worth up to $500.

3. New garage doors help you Lower The Door On Crime.  

According to statistics compiled by metropolitan police departments, approximately 50 percent of all residential burglaries can be traced to an open or an unsecured garage door. How many times have you gone in your house after working in your yard or carrying groceries out of your car and left the garage door open? The garage door industry suggests that you Lower the Door on Crime in 2009 by making it a practice to always close and secure your garage door to protect the valuables in both your home and your garage.

If you’re looking for helpful security devices to remind you to close your door, you can purchase an open garage door indicator that can be affixed to your door. When a garage door is left open, a warning light will indicate “open door.”  Homeowners can sleep easy, knowing their garage doors are closed and their families are safe.

4. New garage door openers have built-in safety features.

Photoelectric eyes – mounted about six inches above the floor – cast an invisible beam across the door opening and provide extra protection against entrapment. If a door is closing and a child or pet runs underneath the door, the beam breaks, causing the door to automatically reverse.

5. New garage doors can work even during power outages.  

A popular accessory sold with new garage door openers is a battery back-up system that allows you to use your opener several times, even after the loss of power to your home. It’s a wonderful feature that prevents you from being trapped outside in a storm.

6. New garage doors are today’s front door.  

A nationwide survey of consumers said that 71 percent of homeowners use their garage door openers to get into their homes every day, even more often than the front entry door. The key to the front door is now the garage door’s remote control and keypad. Yesterday’s latchkey kids are today’s keypad kids.

7. New garage doors can help you keep your house clean.  

With a keyless entry pad mounted outside your garage door, why traipse dirt in through the front door when you can enter through the garage? You can leave muddy shoes or boots and drenched coats in the garage and keep your house cleaner.

8. New garage doors can be a fashion statement.  

People are becoming more style conscious when replacing their garage door. On many American homes, the garage door claims a third of the façade, so it’s a snap to quickly makeover the look of your whole house. You can easily increase curb appeal when you choose from hundreds of different looks in elegant and stylish carriage house, contemporary or raised panel doors.

9. New garage doors can express your individuality.  

Housing developments have their advantages, but individuality usually isn’t one of them. In homes that are more than five years old, chances are your door is a solid-colored, raised-panel door that looks like every other garage door. Choose a fashionable contemporary or carriage house garage door, and your house instantly stands out from the crowd.

10. New garage doors can protect your family from powerful winds.

Reinforced garage doors are now available to help your home stand up to brutal winds. Researchers studying the wind effects of devastating storms know that garage doors are often the entry point for severe damage. A new strong garage door is an integral part of maintaining the structural integrity of your home.

11. New garage doors can help accessorize your life.  

Garage door opener accessories abound. Many new garage door openers switch on lights in your home as you’re pulling up the driveway. Some alert you if you left the garage door open. Some door openers are activated only by your fingerprint. You can even make a fashion statement with your garage door remote by customizing it to match your car’s interior.

12. New garage doors should be installed by a professional.  

Don’t try to install the door yourself. It’s a complex and dangerous task. Garage door springs are under extreme pressure and, if not handled properly, can release with enough power to seriously harm or kill someone. Specific tools and training are needed; therefore, it’s highly recommended that you have a professional who can do the job in just a few hours and haul the old door away. The cost of installation is well worth it.


For most people who remodel their home, return on investment is important. The reality is that you usually won’t recover the cost of your investment right away; however, there are projects that recoup faster than others and play a strong role in a home’s resale value.

For most people who remodel their home, return on investment is important. The reality is that you usually won’t recover the cost of your investment right away; however, there are projects that recoup faster than others and play a strong role in a home’s resale value.

Projects that impact curb appeal tend to impact resale value. When a buyer approaches a house, the curb appeal can affect a potential buyer’s first impression and, consequently, a home’s resale value.

Every year Remodeling Magazine releases a Cost vs. Value Report going through the current costs of projects, how projects impact resale, and what percentage of the cost is recouped in the first year.

For 2010-2011, the editors at Remodeling Magazine added a Garage Door Replacement project to both the mid-range and the upscale project lists. In the report, the garage door replacement projects ranked high, recouping from 69 percent of the cost on the upscale garage door to 83 percent on the mid-range garage door. The editors attribute this high rate of return to the facts that garage door replacements are among the least expensive projects in the survey, and that they improve curb appeal instantly.

Look at the overall design of your home when considering a garage-door upgrade. Having the garage on the front of the house is not ideal, architecturally speaking, so the object is usually to make the door look as nice as possible without making it the star of the show.

An updated garage door that not only looks good but functions well and saves energy will leave a great first impression for guests or prospective buyers.

Children and Garage Door Safety


It’s important that parents teach their children that the garage door and garage door opener are not toys. That applies to both their home as well as those of playmates and relatives.

At Garage Door Care, we’ve developed a simple learning tool we call D O O R  SAFE that will help you to teach children about garage door safety – four brief messages that you can review with children that will help keep them safe.

D OORS are heavy – never stand, run or play under or near any garage door, especially when the door is open or moving.
O PENERS are for adults – never play with the button on the wall that opens and closes the garage door.
O UCH! – never touch any part of a moving garage door. Your fingers and hands can get hurt!
R EMOTES are for adults – never play with the remote control in the car or on Mom & Dad’s keychain.

Please help us to keep your children safe. Review the D O O R SAFE information with your children from time to time.

And, please remember to keep garage door opener transmitters and remotes out of the reach of children. The garage door opener button installed in the garage should be installed at least five feet from the floor, out of the reach of the little ones’ hands and fingers.

Thank you for taking these important steps regarding children and garage door safety.

Closed Confirm Remote

Have you ever driven away from your garage and wondered if the door stayed closed?  Well, worry no more.  The Genie Company’s next generation garage door opener remote tells homeowners whether their garage door is closed or not.

Here’s how it works:  Once the garage door closes, the Closed Confirm remote will beep and flash a green light if the garage door closes properly.  If the door instead reverses open, a warning tone will sound and a red light will flash, giving you the opportunity to investigate the reversal.

It’s simple and convenient, but provides peace of mind knowing that in every case your garage door is closed.  If your garage door is really the “front door” to your home, you might want to consider investing in Genie’s newest generation garage door openers just for the added safety and security it offers.  Call us at 801-717-2015 for more information.


Latchkey Kids or Keypad Kids?
Survey Says: Kids Choose Codes Over Keys

The term “latchkey kids” may soon be replaced by “keypad kids.”

Today, many of the millions of children who come home to an empty house are now using an exterior garage door keypad to get in the house. The good old-fashioned key is now running a distant second to the keypad.

According to the Chamberlain GarageTrends Survey, 33 percent of parents whose homes have external keypads report that the keypad is the number one way their kids enter the home. Just 22 percent of these children still use a traditional key to get into the house. Other entry methods include having the kids carry a remote control that opens the garage door (8 percent) and leaving a door unlocked (14 percent).

The New Front Door

The survey revealed that the garage door has replaced the front, side, or back door as the most frequently used entry. Of those surveyed, 58 percent enter their home through the garage using either a remote control or external keypad. As technology improves and the wireless revolution gains steam, Leonard says that number is expected to grow.

The majority of people (54 percent) who have purchased an automatic garage door opener or specified one for a new home within the past 10 years have opted for an external keypad as their entry method of choice. In contrast, just 22 percent of homeowners whose garage doors are more than 10 years old have keypads.

WADE SAYS:  Although it is very convenient to allow your children to use the garage door as their main entry into the home, just remember that every time the door opens and closes it is reducing the life of the torsion springs lifting the door.  The result is you will need to change your springs more often than normal.