A Guide to Regular Maintenance & Troubleshooting

Over time, garage doors can start to make a bit of noise when opening or closing. This is due to components rubbing either against each other or the door track. However, a small amount of maintenance can help you add years to the life of your garage door and save you from having to make costly repairs. 

In this article, we look at what steps you should take to keep your garage door working optimally. 

Why do I need to maintain my garage door? 

Many homeowners say they don’t even use their front doors to get into their houses anymore — they enter and exit via the garage door. This makes it a convenience you don’t want to do without. Therefore, keeping your garage door in good working order should be a priority.

A garage door that’s not functioning properly can also be a major safety hazard. A little bit of maintenance every few months can also save you lots of money in the long run, because heavy garage doors are made up of lots of expensive parts.


      • Safety: A malfunctioning door can cause serious injury to your family or pets.
      • Noise reduction: Regular maintenance will help your door continue to run quietly.
      • Weather resistance: Keeping your garage door in good working order will prevent you from having to replace it sooner.
      • Kerb appeal: A great-looking garage will boost your home’s value.
      • Functionality: Maintenance can extend the lifespan of your door and save you from having to make costly repairs.

What types of garage doors are there? 

The three most common types of garage doors are sectional, tilt and roller doors. The type of garage door you have in your home depends on the style you are looking for and the space you have available. For more information about the differences between these three designs, check out our blog ‘Sectional, roller door or tilt door?’

Garage doors are also available in different types of materials. The two most common are aluminium and wood.

      • Aluminium: Aluminium doors are growing in popularity because they are easily customised to suit the style of a home. They are easy to install and quiet to operate. They are also long-lasting because they are weather and corrosion-resistant.
      • Wood: Stylish timber garage doors are strong and safe and give a home a sleek and modern look. Steel-Line’s range of Western Red Cedar garage doors is a popular choice with homeowners.
Custom tilt garage door

Garage door maintenance to extend the life of your door

We recommend you run through a few checks on your garage door about every three to six months. This will help keep your door working properly and help extend its life.

  • Inspect the door in motion

    Your garage door should quietly glide along the track. If it is jerking or making scraping or grinding sounds, it’s a sure sign that there are problems. If you have an automatic garage door make sure you turn on manual mode, so you don’t break the electronics.

  • Clean the guide tracks

    Use a soft-bristled brush to sweep out the internal guide tracks. Then, use a cloth and methylated spirits or turps to polish and clean them. This will help prevent dirt and dust from interfering with the door’s operation. The more you polish, the easier and less resistant the tracks are for the Nylofelt (the material that helps your door open and close smoothly) to run through.

  • Lubricate steel hinges and clean plastic hinges

    Use an all-purpose machine oil to lubricate moving parts. Give each hinge a spray and then move on to the wheel axle bearings so they run without kinks and bumps. You can use a silicon-based spray to help loosen plastic hinges and keep them in top condition.

  • Wipe the springs

    Keeping the springs well lubricated will help them from seizing up. There’s no need to spray them directly; you can just wipe them over with an oily rag which will also help keep them free of dust.

  • Check the locks

    Locks don’t need special maintenance, but if they become stiff or you’re struggling to get a key into them, give them a spray with RP7 or WD40.

  • Lubricate the opener chain or belt

    You can use any chain lube to lubricate the chain opener or belt to keep it from rusting. Don’t forget to open and close the door after applying to make sure it’s evenly distributed.

  • Check the lifting cables

    Lifting cables are prone to fraying from the friction caused by opening and closing your door. However, if you notice wear and tear on a cable, it’s important you don’t try to adjust the tension yourself. They should be looked at by a professional, so contact a garage door technician as soon as possible.

  • Ensure springs are tensioned

    Springs will naturally stretch, loosen and wear over time. However, if it gets to the point where your garage door is seizing up or becoming totally inoperative, contact a garage door technician as soon as possible. You should never attempt to tension springs yourself.

  • Check fasteners, weather stripping, etc.

    Make sure that all components are locked tightly and in place. Check each screw, keep an eye out for missing nuts or bolts, and replace them as soon as possible. The weather seal should be free of gaps and tears.


    Don’t forget the garage door opener

    Use a soft cloth to wipe the outside of your remote, replace the batteries, and check if each button on the keypad is working correctly. If any are stuck or not working, the remote may need to be replaced or you may have a faulty sensor.

    5 reminders for garage door maintenance

    1) Under no circumstances should you ever adjust or configure your own maintenance on the spring unit. Always seek assistance from a professional.

    2) Take care not to stand underneath or near a moving garage door, whether during its upward or downward travel.

    3) Use the door handle when opening and closing the door manually.

    4) The pull rope must be removed if the door becomes automatically operated.

    5) Do not place your fingers between sectional doors, shutters or moving parts of the garage door at any time while it is in operation. This can cause serious injury.

    Where to go for garage door servicing or repair

    Just like you regularly service your car, you should also have your garage door serviced to keep it working at its best.

    If it’s time you had your garage door serviced, give the experts at Steel-Line a call! From fixing broken roller doors to replacing a worn-out motor and emergency repairs, Steel-Line offers a full range of garage door services. We even offer garage door service plans to save you money and a garage door service reminder for your convenience. Simply visit our website or contact us on 1300 767 900 for more information.


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