Garage Door Tune-up
Should i call someone for a garage door tune-up?
All-Pro Quality Garage Doors Inc gets alot of calls regarding a garage door tune-up and I must say that I’m not a big fan of this, first of all the word “tune-up” is a key word for those unscrupulous companies with no skills but very good at getting the opportunity to sell you a ton of stuff you don’t need while at the very least showing up with nothing more than a can of spray lube and some new rollers (with your name on it) ready and willing to sell sell sell, and get you to believe that you should have someone come out once a year to do this…nonsense! What a garage door company hears when you ask for a tune up is…. “Hey I’ve got 60-80 bucks to throw away, would you like to stop by and relieve me of my extra money?”
Do I need “yearly maintenance?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not coming out against routine or preventative maintenance, I am however suggesting you stay clear of those that advertise it as a special. When you think about having someone come out to do what I refer to as “general service” be specific on the phone as to whether or not anything on the door or opener is concerning you because we do a general service on every stop even if its initially just to screw in a new light bulb, you address that problem first and foremost because you will always get the general service anyway as part of the deal. In other words if you call me out because your wireless keypad stopped working, when I finish with that, I am automatically going to give everything the once over, its included at no extra charge to you.
Lets take a minute to analyze and determine when you actually need someone to come out. First off if you purchase a home you should start fresh and have someone come out and do a general service, that way you have a starting point. Most of the time when you buy a house, an inspector will give it the once over, but inspectors do not specialize in garage doors and openers and are not versed in the various safety reversing systems built into today’s garage door openers.
Types of garage doors
There are basically two types of garage doors out there, “one piece” and “sectional”…lets start with the one piece door, there are 5 main pivot points on the hinges of the door and if any of them are in need of lube they will generally squeak pretty bad, indicating they need maintenance or lube, if they are worn, your door will move side to side and bounce a bit more than it should and a tune up is not going to help you whatsoever, your hinges and springs should be replaced. If the door sags in the middle then the “truss rods” (going the length of the door top and bottom) should be tightened until it comes up level and trust me that will not be done by most companies doing a “tune up”. If you want to keep your “300lb gorilla” otherwise known as a one piece door working its best for years to come the single best thing to do is to paint it…inside and out, keeping it waterproof and not allowing water to soak in and rot it, then a bit of high quality spray lube on the pivot points every few years or when it squeaks is the best thing you can do.
Steel sectional doors are different in that they can be (at times) more maintenance than a one piece door, no they don’t soak up water and get heavy, no they don’t rot and warp, but they do have more moving parts which means the chances of it being installed correctly are less than on a one piece door, they are more likely to squeak and make noise simply due to all the moving parts, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are typically 12 hinges on a normal door and if they were put on crooked (which is easy to do) they will continue to grind and squeak even after lubing, they should be straightened or gapped and you wont get either from the guy doing a “tune-up special”. The other problem with sectionals is that since there are so many moving parts its very easy for the shady “garage door companies” to convince you that these parts are worn out, keep in mind that yes… there are alot of moving parts but the good thing is they don’t move very fast so the parts if installed properly rarely wear out in less than 15 to 20 years with the exception of the spring which doesn’t “wear out” it just breaks.
So keep your eyes and ears tuned to your garage door and opener for unusual sounds and movement that could be an indicator of problems to come and do not call around looking for a bargain and leave you and your families safety in the hands of a guy with a can of lube.