10 Tips for Seasonal Garage Door Maintenance

Your garage door is one of the most frequently used entrances to your home. With regular opening and closing, it endures a lot of wear and tear. Proper seasonal maintenance is crucial for keeping your garage door functioning smoothly and securely all year long. Here are 10 tips to help you maintain your garage door through changing seasons:

Inspect and Tighten All Hardware

Over time, vibrations from opening and closing can cause garage door hardware to loosen. Check all mounting brackets, hinges, rollers, and fasteners. Tighten any loose screws, bolts, and nuts with a wrench or screwdriver. This helps prevent parts from shifting out of alignment and causing binding or damage.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Apply lubricant to all moving components, including rollers, hinges, pulleys, and springs. This minimizes friction and wear, while also reducing operating noise. Use a specially formulated garage door lubricant, or a lightweight machine oil if needed. Avoid grease, which can collect dirt and impede movement.

Test the Garage Door Balance

An improperly balanced door makes the garage door opener work harder and can lead to problems. Close the door and disconnect the opener if you have one. Lift the door manually – a balanced door should hold position about three or four feet off the ground. If it doesn’t, the counterbalance system likely needs adjustment.

Inspect Cables, Springs, and Pulleys

Cables, extension springs, and torsion springs are under extreme pressure and tension. Check for any frayed cables and replace them immediately. Examine springs closely for signs of rust, cracks, or damage. If corroded or worn parts are found, have them replaced by a trained professional. Make sure pulleys are turning freely and not binding.

Check the Weather Stripping

Weather stripping creates a seal around your garage door to block out the elements. Check for areas where the stripping is cracked, damaged, or missing. Replace any deteriorated sealing with new weather stripping to keep out drafts and moisture.

Test the Auto-Reverse Function

Automatic reversal is a required garage door opener safety feature that causes the door to stop and reverse direction if an obstruction is detected. Test it by placing an object on the ground where the door will close. The door should stop and return to the open position upon contact. If it doesn’t, have the opener adjusted or repaired.

Clean the Tracks and Rollers

Build-up of dirt and debris on garage door tracks can impede smooth operation. Use a stiff nylon brush to clear tracks of accumulated grit and grime. Wipe down rollers with a clean rag. If tracks are heavily soiled, use a mild solvent for better cleaning. Avoid lubricants which can cause a dirty buildup over time.

Touch Up Paint and Rust Spots

Inspect the garage door, springs, tracks, hinges and hardware for any rust. Sand and paint over spots to avoid further corrosion. Use a rust-inhibiting primer before applying garage door paint for maximum protection. Touch up paint scrapes and scratches to keep your door looking its best.

Inspect the Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers have numerous moving components that wear over time. Test that the auto-reverse mechanism is working properly, and make sure the door opens and closes smoothly without binding or odd sounds. Inspect the chain drive or belt for signs of excessive wear and replace if needed.

Check Windows, Panels, and Locks

Garage door windows can become dirty and scratched with regular use. Clean window surfaces and check for any cracks or damage. Inspect door panels and look for dents, buckling or holes. Fix any minor damage to keep your door in top shape. Lubricate and test all locking mechanisms to ensure they engage securely.

Following these garage door maintenance tips each season will add years of smooth, trouble-free operation. Be sure to only attempt adjustments and repairs that you are fully qualified for. Have an experienced garage door pro perform any hazardous tasks, like adjusting torsion springs or cables. With proper care and maintenance, your garage door will function reliably for many seasons to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Seasonal Garage Door Maintenance

Garage door maintenance often leads to many questions for homeowners. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about keeping garage doors in top shape through the changing seasons:

How often should I lubricate the moving parts on my garage door?

It’s recommended to lubricate garage door parts about twice per year – once in the fall and again in the spring. This provides protection from elements through summer and winter seasons. Apply lubricant to rollers, hinges, pulleys and springs.

Can I use WD-40 to lubricate my garage door?

WD-40 is not an ideal lubricant for garage doors. It has solvent properties that can break down grease over time. Stick with specially made garage door lubricants or lightweight machine oil for best results.

What are signs a garage door is out of balance?

An out of balance door makes the opener work extra hard and can cause problems. If the door drifts up or down when stopping partway, bind or sticks through its travel, or you need to pull the emergency release frequently – it likely needs rebalancing.

How do I know if garage door cables need replacement?

Check cables closely for fraying, kinks, or unraveling ends. Any broken strands or visible wear means the cable should be replaced. Annual inspection helps spot worn cables before they fail completely.

Should I paint the exterior side of my garage door?

Yes, keeping paint refreshed on the outside helps protect the door from sun, rain, snow and temperature changes. Use exterior latex primer and paint designed for garage doors. Avoid painting over rust – sand first.

What are signs my opener needs adjustment?

If the auto-reverse function isn’t working, the door binds or moves unevenly, unusual noises arise, or the motor strains to open the door – the opener likely needs service. Have it inspected by a trained professional.

Can I replace weather stripping on my garage door myself?

With some handy skills, you can replace worn weather stripping around the door perimeter. Carefully pry off the old, damaged stripping and use a putty knife to scrape away any residual adhesive or foam. Install the new stripping with adhesive and cut to fit.

How do I clean grit and debris out of garage door tracks?

Use a stiff nylon brush to scrub the tracks inside and out to remove built-up dirt and grime. Another option is to vacuum out tracks using a hose attachment. Just be careful not to scratch fragile track surfaces. Avoid using harsh chemicals.

How can I test if my garage door locks are working properly?

Manually activate the lock mechanisms to ensure bolts and latches extend fully and securely into slots on door jambs. For key locks, lubricate the cylinders and test operation. Repair or replace any locks that are sticking or failing to engage.

Is it okay to detach the opener to manually test door balance?

Yes, disconnect your automatic opener first before testing balance. Raise and lower the door manually to check operation. Reconnect the opener prior to regular use when testing is completed. Don’t operate an unbalanced door with the opener attached.

Seasonally maintaining all components of your garage door system helps keep it operating safely and effectively. Following good maintenance practices will save money on repairs over the long run. Contact a professional garage door technician for any issues beyond your skill level. With regular care, your garage door will deliver years of smooth, trouble-free performance.


Proper seasonal maintenance is crucial for any garage door to operate safely and efficiently over years of use. Following these handy maintenance tips at least twice per year will help keep your door working like new. Don’t ignore minor issues that can turn into major repairs down the road. Take time to thoroughly inspect components, tighten hardware, lubricate parts and test balance. Keeping up with garage door maintenance ensures your family’s safety, provides protection from the elements, and may even extend the life of your system. With the right DIY care, your garage door will function reliably for many trouble-free years to come. Consider having a trained garage door technician handle any tasks that seem beyond your skill level, such as adjusting springs or cables. Investing a little time in preventative maintenance will keep your garage door operating at its best in any season.