Garage door maintenance tips from an Indianapolis expert
Jeff Mowery, owner
With more than 25 years of experience in the business, Jeff Mowery started Overhead Orthopedics four years ago.
As the company’s only employee, he says he’s able to raise customer’s expectations by keeping a sharp eye on quality control.
So far, his customers haven’t been disappointed: Mowery’s work has earned his company the Super Service Award every year since 2007.
What can I do to prolong the life of my garage door and opener?
The most common garage door repairs are broken springs or cables. The cables lift the door, and the spring functions as a counterbalance to the door's weight.
Lubricating the spring once a year right before winter with a product like Liquid Wrench will help keep it functioning longer. I don't recommend using WD-40 because it dries out too quickly.
If you don't lubricate it, the spring can start rusting and its coils will bind against each other. Most springs have about a 10-year life span.
Most garage door openers have a solid 20-year life span, but the opener's main gear can go bad after about 10 years. Opening the case and lubricating the main gear with white lithium grease can help save it.
You can prolong a steel garage door's life by washing it with a sponge and some dish soap every other year. On wooden doors, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders.
Another thing homeowners can do to help prolong their door's life is to check its balance twice a year by disconnecting it from the opener and operating the door manually. Pulling down on the red rope that hangs from the opener should disconnect the door, and then you can just lift it up.
If there's a lot of resistance, if the door is too heavy, or if the door doesn't stay all the way up, the spring probably needs to be adjusted. Take a look at your owner's manual to see how to reattach the door to the opener.
What about garage door safety features?
Homeowners should check their door's safety features on a regular basis, too. To check the door's safety sensors, just wave your hand in front of the electronic eyes. The door should go back up if that beam is broken.
Another feature every door should have is automatically reversing openers. To test this, when the door is going down, grab it and give it a little bit of resistance and see if it reverses. If it doesn't, the opener's sensitivity should be adjusted.
What's the average cost to repair a garage door?
The average repair costs around $100, and that includes fixing the problem, checking everything, including the other doors, and lubricating the gear. For smaller things like balancing and adjusting a door, or tuning a remote, I charge a $49 trip fee.
What types of garage doors are out there and how much do they cost?
For new doors, most people go with uninsulated steel doors in detached garages, and insulated steel doors in attached garages.
Depending on what options or features you want, a single-car garage door's average price is $400 to $500 for an uninsulated steel and about $600 for insulated steel. For a two-car garage door, it's about $550 to $625 for uninsulated steel and $800 to $950 for insulated.
The price includes the labor and all the new track, hardware, springs cables and weather seal.