It seems to be one of the given’s of homeownership that the garage door will last as long as you want it to. But is that actually true? As is the case with most things the answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. Most manufacturers claim garage doors will last 15-30 years. However, if you treat your garage door well and use it sparingly you may be able to extend its life (almost) indefinitely. On the other hand, if you treat your garage door with benign neglect it may not last 10 years. The answer to the question also depends on your definition of ‘worn out’.
Determining the Life Expectancy of Garage Doors in Broomfield
The last point made in the introductory paragraph - how you define ‘worn out’ - is an important one because some people will insist on replacing the garage door when a major mechanical part like the torsion spring breaks. Others will simply replace worn out parts and keep the door.
With that in mind you can see why it’s difficult to say a garage door will last ‘x years’. Nonetheless here are some of the factors that go into determining how long a garage door will last.
- Price - “You get what you pay for” applies to garage doors just as it does to clothes and cars. If you purchased your garage door strictly based on price chances are you’ll be facing major issues just a few years after installing it. Springs, hinges, pulleys, tracks and door sections made from inferior materials will not last as long as their high quality counterparts and a cheap motor will likely start giving you problems after just a few thousand cycles.
- Usage - Most torsion springs are rated for 15-20,000 open/close cycles. Tension springs usually about half that many. The more you use the door the faster these key components will wear out. So if you use the door 6 times a day you’ll use up those 10 or 20,000 cycles in about 5 years. Whereas if you only use it twice a day you may get 15 years out of it. Keep in mind that a broken spring doesn’t mean you have to replace the whole door.
- Care - You should call your garage door professional to schedule regular maintenance or make a point to perform it yourself. Otherwise your garage door will age prematurely, become noisy and uncooperative and begin to pose a real danger to anyone going in or out of the garage. It’s important that someone take the time to inspect the door to make sure nothing has been compromised and all the moving parts are in good working order.
The bottom line is there’s no way to say for sure “Your door will last (this) long.” There is however a way to make sure it lasts as long as possible: regular maintenance. The following suggestions can help ensure your door has a long, healthy life.
- Keep it Clean - Several times a year you should wash both sides of the door itself to remove dirt and grime. Wood panels should be repainted on a regular basis before peeling and chipping paint exposes the wood to the weather. If the panels are steel you can apply car wax to keep them looking sharp and better able to repel rain, snow and ice.
- Keep it Lubricated - All the critical moving parts - the springs, hinges and rollers - should be lubricated several times a year. The type of oil you use will be important because heavier oils tend to attract and retain more dirt and grime and don’t work as well during the extreme cold of winter. Something like WD-40 or spray graphite should work fine.
- Watch for Worn Out Parts - Parts wear out. Especially if you use your door several times a day or more. Someone should inspect the door once a month to determine if the springs, cables, rollers, track, chain, hinges or any other parts are exhibiting signs of failure. If so they should be replaced quickly so as not to undermine the overall operation of the door.
- Keep it Closed - The motor, springs, cables etc were not designed to be exposed directly to the elements for long periods of time. If you leave garage doors open all manner of dirt and debris can blow into the garage and clog the tracks, gunk up the springs and cables and compromise the motor leading to expensive repairs.
When to Replace Your Garage Door
While regular maintenance and replacing worn out parts will certainly help extend the life of your garage doors nothing lasts forever and you’ll eventually need to buy a new one. But how will you know when you’ve crossed that line? Here are a few ways.
- The Door Just Looks Bad - If multiple panels on the door are showing visible wear and tear such as warping, cracking or rusting and a new coat of paint or a good cleaning are not going to solve the problem, it’s probably time to replace the door.
- Too Many Simultaneous Failures - If the door reaches a point where it’s operating in a haphazard way and a number of elements all need to be repaired or replaced at the same time you’re probably better off, from a financial standpoint, replacing the door altogether.
- The Door has Been Damaged - If bad weather or vehicular contact has caused significant damage to the door you’re better off replacing it than trying to fix it. There could be unseen but crucial structural damage that will escape the repair process and pose a future hazard.
Call the professionals at A Better Garage Door to schedule regular maintenance on your door. This will ensure it’s at its best when you need it the most during the depths of the Denver or Brighton winter. The garage door is the largest moving part of your home and adds a major level of comfort and convenience to modern domestic life. Treat it with the respect and care it deserves.