Bought A Foreclosed Home? Tune-Up The Garage Door

Posted on

It can take months, or even years, for a foreclosed home to sell. Unfortunately, during that time, the garage door may not have been used. This can cause the door to become rusty and dirty. Before you use the garage door, you will want to give the door a tune-up. Follow these four steps to get the garage door in proper working order.

Inspect the Garage Door

The very first thing you will want to do is to inspect the garage door and all of its parts. This includes the rollers, roller tracks and springs. As you inspect the rollers, look for signs that they are bent or corroded. If they are, they should be replaced by a professional. As you inspect the roller tracks, look for bolts and nuts that are loose. If you notice any, tighten them up. Also, look for damaged track. If any of the track is bent, it may need to be replaced. And pay close attention to the springs. The springs are located in both corners of the door. The springs should be tight and clean. If they are rusted or look stretched out, they should be replaced by a professional.

Clean the Tracks

Tracks that have been sitting may become covered in dirt and debris. In addition to the dirt and debris, you can have spider webs, which may allow items such as leaves to get caught in the tracks. When the tracks are covered in grime and debris, the wheels may not be able to pass through the debris. Or, the debris may cause the wheels to jump the track, causing the garage door to fall of the tracks and possibly collapse.

Cleaning tracks is relatively simply. Dampen the bristles of an old toothbrush or other small, soft-bristled cleaning brush. Run the brush along the tracks to remove buildup. If needed, spray the tracks with brake disc cleaner to remove caked on grime and dirt that the brush alone doesn't remove. After spraying the track, wipe away the grime and brake disc cleaner with a soft cloth.

Remove Rust

The next thing you will want to do to tune up your garage door is to remove any rust that is present from the garage door and the garage door tracks. Rust can eat away at metal, causing it to become weak, or worse, eat all the way through it. Follow these steps to remove rust from a garage door or garage door tracks:

  1. Clean the garage door or tracks. Clean the garage door by filling a bucket with warm water and a couple of drops of liquid dish soap. Scrub the door with the mixture and rinse the door with a hose to remove the residue.
  2. Soak a soft cloth in white vinegar and rub it on the rusted areas. Allow it to sit for a minute or two to work into the rust.
  3. Use a steel wool pad to wipe the vinegar and rust away. Repeat this process until the rust is completely removed.
  4. Wipe the area clean with a cool water-dampened cloth to remove vinegar residue.

Oil the Springs

The last step to getting your garage door ready for regular use once again is to oil the springs. The springs help support the weight of the garage door. They expand and contract as the door moves, so oiling them helps to prevent them from snapping. Simply spray the springs with a garage door lubricant spray. Spray enough so that the spring is completely coated, yet not so much so that excess lubricant is dripping from the spring. After spraying the lubricant on, open and shut your garage door a couple of times so that the lubricant works its way into the spring.

A garage door that hasn't been used may need to be cleaned and tuned-up prior to use. This helps ensure everything is in working order and ready for regular use. Fortunately, as long as everything appears to be in working order, this is something you can do on your own. However, if you notice that you have bent springs, damaged tracks or the garage door won't open or shut after the tune-up, you will need to call a professional in to make garage door repairs. Check out a site like to find a garage door professional who can help you.