We all know to call a garage door specialist when, say, the garage door sensors don’t seem to be working, or when a steel door has a large dent in its front, but what about those everyday items of maintenance that can help keep your garage door working properly all the time? The garage door is one part of the home that tends to go unmaintained for long periods, making it susceptible to needing surprise emergency repairs. The good news is that garage door maintenance is simpler than you think when you practice small bits of maintenance on your garage doors frequently. Here is what you need to know about caring for your garage door on a day-to-day basis.

Keep it clean

Your garage door will continue to look great for years to come if you make a regular effort to keep it clean and aesthetically pleasing. Wooden and steel garage doors can both be cleaned in the same way—rinsed with a garden hose and scrubbed with a soft brush dipped in a mild detergent. Power washing can be too harsh on your garage door, especially on softer woods in the case of wooden doors, and some chemical cleaners are too harsh and abrasive for your garage door’s finish.

Revive its finish

Wooden and steel garage doors also have unique needs when it comes to keeping them looking great. Wooden doors, for example, should be refinished on both the interior and exterior with a penetrating oil or stain every 2 to 3 years to keep the wood from drying out. You can revive a steel garage door, on the other hand, by applying a car wax to the exterior, which will help protect it against dust and acid rain.

Inspect it regularly

A simple, yet thorough inspection of your garage door on a monthly basis can help ensure that your garage door isn’t on its way to needing a serious repair. To inspect your garage door, start by opening it while standing underneath it, listening for any unusual sounds. Also be sure to check your roller hinges for any loose bolts; verify that your manual lock works properly; check that your track is secure; and make sure that your sensors are clear and functional. It’s also a good idea to check that the weatherstripping lining the bottom of your garage door is intact.

Keep it well-oiled

Did you hear any squeaking coming from the rollers, roller hinges, and chain when you inspected your garage door? This means that your rollers need to be cleaned with a rag and then sprayed with a lubricant to keep your garage door running smoothly. Special garage door spray lubricants are available that will both keep your track and chains well-lubricated and prevent build-up of grime and dirt.