When it comes to maintaining your garage door, don't overlook the tracks and rollers. Issues with these components can lead to a poorly functioning door. Fortunately, proper maintenance will prevent the need for major repairs.
1. Replace Damaged Rollers
Garage door rollers depend upon bearings inside the wheels to roll smoothly. If the bearings seize up, then the rollers need to be replaced. Older rubber rollers are also prone to cracking and gouging, which makes them move poorly. Consider replacing these with modern nylon rollers, which are less prone to damage from age and usage.
2. Clean Out the Tracks
Dirty tracks can make a door operate roughly, or even cause it to get stuck. Leaves, spiderwebs, and other types of debris tend to get stuck in the track over time. You can use a broom to sweep out the larger debris, then wipe the tracks clean using a damp cloth. It's also good to check the rollers to make sure no dirt and debris have become lodged in the wheels.
3. Perfect the Track Adjustment
Over time tracks can work out of adjustment, which means they no longer align up perfectly. Imperfectly aligned tracks can cause rough door movement or even lead to a stuck door. They also tend to result in a loud garage door. The tracks are equipped with adjustment screws along their length. You can twist these slightly to adjust the alignment of the track so that the door moves more smoothly.
4. Align Track Sensors
At the bottom of each track is a sensor eye. When these sensors line up across the door threshold, the door can close completely. If something breaks the connection, the door opens up without fully closing. This prevents anyone or anything underneath the door from being crushed. If a sensor isn't aligning with its opposite properly, your door won't close. Realigning the sensors is required periodic maintenance.
5. Lubricate Everything
An easily forgotten maintenance task is lubricating the tracks and rollers, but failure to do so causes the door to operate roughly or become stuck. Place a few drops of a garage door lubricant in each roller. Then, dampen a rag with the lubricant and wipe it on the inside of the tracks. The door will work much more smoothly, and the lubricant can also protect the tracks from developing rust.
Contact a garage door maintenance service if you need more assistance.