The garage door is often the part of the house that most people forget to maintain. It is easy enough to remember to cut the grass when it tickles your knees as you walk into your house, but you may have trouble remembering to take care of your garage door until you are trying to park your car and it just will not open. Worse yet, you may not know there is a problem until there are holes in some of the panels. But with a few simple practices you can keep your garage door in great shape to protect your car and tools.
To prevent any long term damage to moving parts on your door it may be a good idea to lubricate the moving parts from time to time. Spray all the hinges, rollers, and tracks with a little WD-40 to keep things moving freely. It may even be a good idea to spray the moving pieces of the lock to make sure it is not rusting up. If you are the type of person that normally does not park their car in the garage then you may be in more danger of this than someone who opens and closes the door repeatedly.
For wooden garage doors you need to make sure that both sides of the panels are painted. This helps to shield the door from humidity and frequently changing temperatures that can lead to rotting. If your door is rotting through then you are not shielding your possessions from the elements. You may also want to make sure that you are not keeping any caustic liquids or paint thinners near the door, as the slow leaks that often happen in these containers may lead to damage to the paint.
If you have a medal door you still need to make sure that the paint job on your garage door is intact. The paint helps protect the door from rust, which can cause holes or the moving parts to lock up. But if you have a medal or wooden door it is important to make sure that you keep the door clean. Excessive dirt may actually wear away at the paint job, or get into the moving pieces and cause damage over time. You should use a mild cleaner to wash the door, as something caustic may damage the paint job faster than the dirt. Dish soap or any kind of soap you would use to wash your car will do well to protect the paint job.
Also important to check from time to time is the spring tension. The springs that help lift your door up and down can wear out from the weight of the door it is constantly lifting up and setting down. If the door feet too heavy when you open it, or if it sounds like your motor is struggling with the weight of the door than it may be time to change the springs. Use caution because these springs are kept under constant tension and can be dangerous if not removed properly. If you are not sure how to do this then you may want to call a professional.
Just remember to protect your garage door so it can continue to protect your things in return. With a little attention your door can last for years to come.