DIY Garage Door Maintenance

Your garage door gets a lot of use, so it’s important to keep it in good working order. An article on diynetwork.com provided some basic tips for maintaining a garage door properly.

  • As part of a regular maintenance program, test all moving parts of the door to ensure none are broken or bent.
  • Regularly lubricate springs, hinges, rollers, rails and axles with a light household oil and check axles for tightness.
  • Every now and then, wash the inside and outside of the door with a soft cloth and diluted household detergent to protect the finish. Just like a car, you can also apply a layer of wax to protect against dirt and moisture.
  • Check the sensitivity of the garage door opener and if necessary, adjust it, using your owner’s manual as a guide.
  • If your garage door is made of wood, it will require more maintenance, with an occasional coat of paint inside and out and caulking applied to cracks or gaps.
  • Regularly check the weather seal strip along the bottom of the door and replace if it appears cracked or broken.
  • Check for rust on all metal parts and apply a suitable preparation to any spots you find.

How to Clean a Colorbond Garage Door

Your Colorbond steel garage door has been pre-painted with a special formulation, providing a long lasting and durable coloured finish. However good a product may be, all exposed surfaces require some attention to guard against corrosion and any other harmful atmospheric effects. Washing the garage door with clean water and a cloth at least every six months is recommended. More frequent washing is advised in salty or industrialised areas. For other custom and wooden garage doors consult the manufacturer’s instructions.

REMEMBER, WHEN YOU THINK OF CLEANING YOUR CAR, THINK OF YOUR GARAGE DOOR.

NOTE: THE OPENER IS AN ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE AND IT COULD BE EASILY DAMAGED IF IT GETS WET.

DO NOT WASH THE OPENER, AS IT WILL VOID THE WARRANTY AND COULD CAUSE ELECTROCUTION.

Garage Door Safety Tips

Garage doors can pose a risk to the if they are not properly maintained. DIY Network provided some useful tips to keep you and your family safe.

  • Regularly test the reverse mechanism and electric eye on your garage door by placing a roll of paper towels under the door and then lowering it. If the door fails to stop and reverse when it encounters the towels, have the door inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
  • Never adjust the torsion springs on manual garage doors without using the right tools, the owner’s manual guide and taking appropriate care. These springs are under extreme pressure and can be very dangerous if mishandled.
  • If you have small children, place the control switch for the garage door opener at least five feet above the ground to prevent them from reaching it.
  • When buying a new garage door, look for one that has a pinch-proof design, which prevents fingers from being caught between panels as the door opens or closes.

Garage Door Troubleshooting Guide

If your garage door is starting to malfunction, this troubleshooting guide on redbeacon.com may help to pin down the cause.

  • Door won’t open or won’t close – this could be caused by several things. Check the track for obstructions. Check that moveable parts are well lubricated and have a professional check the springs for tautness.
  • Door opens, then closes again – this may be a problem with the sensor. Check that it is clean and that there is nothing in its path that might be triggering it.
  • Door will not completely close – this could be one of several things. First make sure there is nothing physical obstructing the door. Then check the height sensors to ensure they are working correctly. If all seems normal, have a professional check the springs, as this may be the problem.
  • Remote doesn’t work – first check the batteries to make sure they’re not flat. Then check the power source to make sure it’s on. If it is neither of these things, have the motor and springs checked by a professional.
  • Loud noise when operating – this may be a sign that a part is broken in the door mechanism or that something is in dire need of lubrication.

How to Adjust a Garage Door

DIY garage door openerOver time, your garage door may become somewhat off balance. It might open or close too quickly, be extremely difficult to open or simply become less smooth in its movement. These are not usually signs that the door needs to be replaced though. Often it just requires a small adjustment to get the mechanisms working properly. While it is possible to do this upkeep on your own, if there is any uncertainty, you should always contact a professional for help.

Here are the two most common adjustments that will help you maintain your garage door:

Adjusting the spring

The mechanism that opens and closes a garage door includes what is called a torsion spring. Usually these will be mounted in the centre of the door, on the shaft that the door rides along as it opens and closes. These springs will generally maintain a high level of tension. Here are the steps to adjust common torsion spring mechanisms:

  • Close the garage door and disconnect your garage door opener.
  • Clamp the garage door in place with a C-clamp above the bottom roller.
  • Find the two springs and corresponding adjustment screws/collars – these should be along the shaft.
  • Hold the collar of the first screw in place with a metal rod through one of the holes in the side.
  • Loosen the screw that holds the collar of the spring in place.
  • Use the metal rod to adjust the collar either to the left to loosen, or to the right to tighten the spring.
  • Tighten the screw back in place.
  • Follow the same procedure with the second spring on the other side of the shaft – this spring often has two screws to loosen.
  • Always make sure to tighten or loosen both of the springs equally.
  • Secure the screws back in place and release the C-clamp holding the door.
  • Lubricate the springs, if necessary.

Adjusting the track

The garage door track attaches to the frame of your garage door and guides the rollers that open and close the mechanism. Sometimes this may come out of alignment and require adjusting. Here are the steps to adjust your garage door track:

  • Close the garage door.
  • Make sure to loosen only a single track with each adjustment and never completely remove the lag bolts.
  • Unscrew the lag bolts partially and adjust the bracket until it is aligned correctly.
  • Completely re-tighten the lag bolts.
  • Sometimes you will need to tighten bolts to adjust the garage door track to fit snugly against any weatherstripping. This should be a simple process of tightening the bolts until the door is completely touching the weatherstripping when closed.

Other issues

If you have other problems that require adjusting, you should first refer to the instruction manual that came with your garage door. If the opener requires fixing, it should have its own manual that includes common issues and instructions for making adjustments. Otherwise, always contact a professional for help.

How to Convert Your Carport Into a Garage

Converting a carport into a garage is a doable DIY project, according to a recent article on hipages.com.au.

You already have the roof and cement slab, so half the expense and half the work is already done. All you need to do is:

  • Fill in the spaces between the posts with studs for the cladding
  • Build a frame for the garage door
  • Install the cladding
  • Install the garage door
  • Have an electrician wire the garage.


There are plenty of options for your new garage, including:

  • Insulation – roof and wall insulation will keep it cooler in summer and warmer in winter, but you will need to install a ceiling and interior cladding first.
  • Window – consider at least one window to provide natural light and ventilation.
  • Paint – you can paint the exterior to match your home, or you can choose Colorbond or Zincalume cladding in a complementary colour.
  • Electric door opener – you can choose from several styles of automatic garage doors, but whatever you choose will need to be properly mounted. If you are at all unsure about this, it would be wise to have your supplier install it for you.