Having a garage with a self-opening garage door opener is a huge luxury that we may take for granted once we get used to it. I don’t know about you, but I can remember the days where I had to park on the street in front of my metropolitan apartment. Especially during the freezing cold winter days, this was such a burden. If it snowed, I’d spend hours digging myself out and I’d be lucky if someone else hadn’t taken my hard-earned spot by the time I got home for the day.

I’ve since evolved, and I’m forever grateful for it. I love the fact that I can just walk out to my car from my house without ever having to go outside. What if all of a sudden that was taken away from me? I’d certainly be disappointed and taken aback. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of some minor maintenance tasks to make sure your garage door is always working at peak performance. This way, you’ll never be left parking out in the elements. Here are some routine garage door opener maintenance precautions I take in my home.

Inspect, Clean, and Lubricate the Chain

At least once a year (usually in the spring) I’ll take it upon myself to inspect the chain that the garage door opener uses to lift the door. If I see any debris caught up in the chain, such as pine needles, balls of hair (gross), or similar, I’ll disconnect the power and make sure to remove them. I wouldn’t want them getting into the gears and causing further issues. Most of the time I can get the chain plenty clean with a vacuum cleaner, but sometimes it will need to be removed more directly with my hands. I’ll put on gloves for this because it’s a bit messy. When that’s all said and done I’ll lubricate the chain to make sure it stays in good working order for the upcoming year. I personally have a LiftMaster opener, and I simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Fine Tune The Opener Travel

This one I started paying attention to when I came home for the day and my wife’s side of the garage door was wide open. I thought she must have just forgotten, but when we spoke about it later that night she was certain she had closed the garage door as she always had. Sure enough, as a few days passed the garage door simply wasn’t closing properly. It would get all the way down to the closed position, then turn around and go right back up. It turns out there is a travel setting on garage door openers. If you have the machine set too far, then the garage door will drive into the ground, think it’s hitting a foreign object, and turn around as to prevent hurting the object. This was a simple fix – backing off on the adjustment screw a full turn was sufficient. It made me realize though that the travel should be optimized from time to time. Not closing properly is one problem, but what about not closing completely? If the problem were in the opposite direction there would be a small gap at the bottom of the garage door where rodents can get in. This would be undesirable to say the least!

So, these are two quick and easy ways that I stay on top of my garage door opener’s performance. Am I missing anything? I’d love to hear about your experiences too, if you are interested in sharing please do!