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Overhead door maintenance and safety tips

Consider your garage door as an important part of your house. As such, handle it with care and perform the suggested maintenance on it to ensure it will work smoothly for many years to come. Talk to a B&H-certified installer about a maintenance contract based on the frequency of use of your garage door. Get in touch with our technical staff for further details about this program.

Exterior finish

Wash your garage door with a mild detergent, such as a dish detergent, and a car brush. To remove tough stains, use an all-purpose cleaner for the home. Thoroughly rinse the surface with a garden hose. Waxing your garage door once a year with liquid car wax will protect its lustre. For best results, never apply wax in direct sunlight.

Door hardware

Lubricate all galvanized parts, such as rollers, hinges, and tracks with motor oil (e.g.: 10W30). A light oil coating on these parts will prevent surface rust from forming. Keep in mind that the rollers are meant to "roll" in the garage door tracks, not to slide in them. This is why the use of grease in the tracks is not recommended. However, if you choose to use grease to lubricate the tracks, apply it sparingly and make sure you remove the old grease before applying the new.

As for the torsion springs, spread motor oil over their surface and wipe away any excess with a cloth. The damper the area, the more often this procedure has to be done. This simple trick will help to prolong the life of your garage door's torsion springs and ensure they work properly. Carefully inspect the cables to detect any signs of fraying.

The "cable-spring-wall anchorage" assembly is under high tension. For your own safety, never attempt to adjust it yourself. Check the counterbalancing of the door every three months to make sure the springs are working properly. Open and close the door manually. If the garage door is equipped with a motor, deactivate the mechanism to operate the door manually. A well-balanced door weighs only 4 to 7 kilograms. If the door seems heavier than that to you, it could be due to a decompressed spring, a loose cable, a broken roller, or a warped track. Call on the services of a SOS-certified installer for any required adjustment.

Manual operation of garage doors

A- With a chain hoist

Make sure that you always open your garage door smoothly and that you are especially careful about the way you close it. For doors measuring 12 ft. (3660 mm ) X 12 ft. (3660 mm) and more, it is absolutely normal that the door seems heavy, especially once it is fully open in a horizontal position. Do not activate the chain hoist too roughly since this will probably make the lifting cables dislodge from the drums. Make sure the chain is securely fastened to its hook when the garage door is open.

B- With a rope or a chain

Refer to the procedure found in item "A". Above all, when closing your garage door, be especially careful not to release it too quickly so it does not hit the floor too hard. Always control the closing of the door until it reaches the floor.

Electric operation of garage doors

Refer to your owner's manual. A garage door operator requires very little maintenance. On the other hand, its motor's safety system, whether pneumatic, mechanical, or photoelectric, requires a monthly inspection to make sure it is working properly. Ask your B&H-certified garage door installer to explain to you how this is done.

Always make sure the door's path is free from impediments, such as a ladder, pieces of wood, or anything else. Otherwise, you risk having the door hit the obstacle and dislodge the lifting cables from their drums.

Never let the garage door open and close in rapid succession. Make sure you allow a 2- to 3-second delay between each operation to give a chance to the balancing assembly of cables-drums-springs to come to a full stop. Otherwise, cables may dislodge from their drums. In the event this situation arises, do not attempt to correct the problem yourself.Get in touch with a B&H door installer and he will advise you on what to do. In addition, never adjust the garage door motor's limit switch. Let a B&H installer do it for you. He has the expertise to set it correctly.

The weather stripping found around the frame and bottom edge

If you wish to clean your garage door's weather stripping that is made of PVC, use an all-purpose cleaner for the home. Thoroughly rinse with a garden hose. Generously lubricate weather stripping with a silicone-based product. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant, such as WD-40 TM, since petroleum is known to adversely affect the elastic properties of rubber. Weather stripping rubber must remain flexible to be an efficient barrier. Repeat the same procedure for weather stripping found at panel intersections and at the bottom edge of the door. If you choose to adjust frame weather stripping yourself, avoid squeezing it against the door. Allow about 0.5 in. (12 mm) between weather stripping base and door. Excessive rubbing of the door will prevent weather stripping from working properly and wear it out prematurely.

Preventive maintenance : it pays !

The maintenance of your building's garage doors must be taken seriously. Your employees' safety and the smooth running of your operations (receiving/shipping) depend on it.
We recommend that you call an expert installer to look after the maintenance of your garage doors.

Why do they break all the time?

A garage door system is an important component of a building. It is important to understand what might be happening if the system is not performing according to the user's expectations.

  • The accessories that have been installed are not appropriate for the usage of the door system (actual number of operation cycles has been underestimated).
  • The number of cycles of the torsion springs is not appropriate for the frequency of use(springs break more often).
  • Inappropriate operation by users.

How to reduce maintenance costs?

If you select the components best suited to the conditions of operation of your doors and do regular maintenance before they break, you will significantly reduce your annual maintenance costs. In the SOS Sturdiness Section, we show that the incremental cost of your initial investment would be about 10% to insure that you have the components best suited to your operating conditions. Will you have a quick “payback” on your additional investment? Look at the annual maintenance costs of your doors plus the indirect costs related to a malfunction (ex.: inoperative door at certain times) and you will come to the conclusion that the additional initial investment is well worth it.

To help you determine how ofter you should perform preventive maintenance on your doors, we have divided the sectional doors in 3 categories:

  • Type A buildings which require maintenance every 3 months (more than 7,500 cycles per year).
    Examples: apartment building or condominiums, transit companies.
  • Type B buildings which require maintenance every 6 months (between 3,000 and 7,500 cycles per year).
    Examples: auto repair shops, car dealerships, distribution centres.
  • Type C buildings which require maintenance every 12 months (less than 3,000 cycles per year).
    Examples: municipal garages, fire stations, warehouses

What are the maintenance costs?

  • You can enter into an annual maintenance contract with your B&H distributor.
  • You can also pay for the work done on an hourly basis.

In all cases, it is preferable to set up a technical file for each of your garage doors. By having all the technical data available on file, your B&H INDUSTRIAL distributor will be able to respond promptly in case of unforeseen incidents.

B&H garage doors maintenance tips

Wash your door regularly

Wash the door with a mild detergent, such as dish detergent, and a car brush. Thoroughly rinse the surface with a garden hose. Avoid abrasive cleaners and strong detergents. Never use an electric pressure washer. Waxing your garage door once a year with car wax will protect its luster and revive the shine it may have lost due to acid rain and UV rays. For best results, never apply wax in direct sunlight. If the door is facing south or southwest, avoid dark colors since they absorb more heat. Whether the garage door is made of steel, aluminum, or wood, southern exposure to the sun tends to damage the paint much faster. This is especially true for applied paint.

The weather-stripping found around frame and bottom edge

If it is made of rubber (quality PVC), use a multi-purpose cleaner for vinyl, such as the one used on outdoor furniture. Rinse well with a garden hose. Lubricate weather-stripping every other month, or more, according to how often the garage door is used. For this purpose, use a silicone-based product.

Never use a petroleum-based lubricant since petroleum is known to adversely affect the elastic properties of rubber. Weather-stripping rubber must remain flexible to be an efficient barrier.

Tracks, hinges, rollers, and springs

Lubricate rollers and hinges with some motor oil (e.g.: 10W30). Do not use any petrol based lubricant because, aside from lubricating, it has the property of degreasing. Use motor oil for the tracks, especially in their curved section. Springs require basically the same treatment. Apply motor oil on them and wipe off excess oil with a cloth. This simple trick will help prolong their useful life.

The electric garage door opener

  • Once every month, do maintenance on your electric operator. Work the door manually. It must be well balanced. If the door is not balanced, contact a qualified garage door installer.
  • Check if your garage door opens and closes completely. If necessary, adjust limits and/or force. Most garage doors openers come with two knobs for these adjustments. Consult your owner's manual.
  • Check the safety reversing sensor. The door must reverse on contact if an object or a person is under it. Also, check if your photo sensors are correctly plugged in and aligned. The door should reverse if any object passes through the beam.
  • Garage door openers do not require additional lubrication.
  • Do not permit children to play with the opener. Keep the remote control out of children's reach.

Some friendly advice from B&H

Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. Perform the suggested maintenance on it and it will provide you with carefree convenience for many years to come. We recommend that you have the garage door inspected by a qualified installer at least once a year. For your own safety, never attempt to adjust the springs, the lower hinges, or the hoisting cables yourself because of the inherent risk associated with the great deal of tension in the springs. Call a B&H-certified installer to handle the work for you.

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