Garage Door Maintenance and Weatherstripping

This story shows how to maintain and weatherstrip a garage door.


A garage door is a large, heavy moving part that endures repeated use and exposure to the weather. Over time this stress causes fasteners to loosen and fall out of alignment, with the result that the garage door becomes difficult to open. Regular maintenance is the best way to keep a garage door in smooth working order. A few times a year, check for loose parts and oil the moving parts. A little oil keeps moving parts from rusting and ensures they will do their job quietly and smoothly.

Garage door tune-up: Step 1

Close the door and disconnect the garage door opener, if you have one. Or slide the locking bar into the track to keep the door from opening while you work. Look for loose or missing nuts or bolts. Steel doors usually have lag screws holding hinges in place, while wood doors have bolts that go all the way through the door, with nuts on the hinge side. Replace and tighten as needed.

Garage door tune-up: Step 2

Wipe along the inside of the track using a cloth dampened with a solution of dish soap and water to remove any oil or accumulated dirt. Avoid lubricating the track; the oil can attract debris. Spray lubricant onto the garage door's hinges. Also squirt a few drops of oil on the roller bearings of each wheel so they will spin quietly and easily in the tracks. Wipe off any excess.

Garage door tune-up: Step 3

Coat the springs with a generous spray of lubricant to promote smooth operation and rust resistance. Don't wipe off any excess. Lubricate the garage door opener chain or screw drive by spraying on white lithium grease, available at hardware or auto stores or at home centers. This will help minimize stress on the opener's motor.

Replacing garage door weatherstripping

Remove any old weatherstripping, sand the edge surface, and apply a clear wood preservative. In most cases the weatherstrip should be attached with the overhang facing toward the inside. If it faces outside it may hit the garage door frame when the door opens and you may need to trim it. If the area just outside the door is significantly lower than the bottom edge of the door, you can install the weatherstripping with the overhang to face outside.

Put the door at a comfortable working height. Tack the weatherstrip in place with staples first, stapling every 3 inches or so. You'll attach the weatherstripping at the ends last. Then nail it on between the staples. If the nails that come with the weatherstripping are 1/2 inch in length, discard them and use 1-inch-long galvanized roofing nails instead for better gripping power. Occasionally lubricate the weatherstripping to keep it supple.

Comments (1)
ellrita123 wrote:

Help my garage door keeps opening and closing on its own

1/8/2010 03:29:15 AM Report Abuse
Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In
One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!