Garage doors are vital for keeping your vehicle safe and sheltered from the elements—not to mention all the other things your garage might be storing! But protecting your garage door itself can be just as important as protecting the property behind it. The question is: how long can you expect your garage door to last—and is there anything you can do to help it last longer?
We know all about garage doors, because we’ve installed over 90 of them in the Calgary area this year alone (not to mention the 2200 or so that we’ve serviced, including 125 after hours repairs). Trust our experience and expertise to show you how long you can expect a high-quality garage door to last, and how you can get the most out of your door with a well-timed tune-up or two.
How Long Do Most Garage Doors Last?
Most manufacturers claim their garage doors can last 15 to 30 years with proper care and maintenance. However, there are a few other factors you might want to consider to get a more exact estimate.
What Factors Influence the Lifespan of a Garage Door?
- The climate: the same garage door might not last as long in Alberta as it would in a place where the climate is more balanced. After all, not every province has hail the size of tennis balls hurtling down from the sky in the middle of June. An extreme weather event can cut the life of even a high-quality garage door short in moments.
You can’t control the weather, but you can take steps to protect your garage door from many environmental hazards. For example, having reinforcement struts added to your door can make the panels less vulnerable to hail damage and help your door weather storms for years to come.
- The materials: just because a garage door can last for 30 years doesn’t necessarily mean it will be pretty to look at throughout its entire lifespan. Aluminum, steel, and wood doors will all undergo different kinds of wear and tear over the years (and they won’t all stand up to Alberta’s harsh climate equally, either).
We’ll talk more about this later, but steel and aluminium doors are usually more resilient and easier to maintain than wooden ones. A wooden door will require extra care and service if you want to keep it looking nice for decades.
- The maintenance: simply spending the money on a high-quality garage door isn’t enough to guarantee that it will enjoy a long life. You’ll need to have work done on your door at regular intervals, to keep it functional as well as beautiful.
Proper garage door maintenance helps prevent your door from succumbing to preventable damage before its expected lifespan is over. Next, we’ll talk about what kind of maintenance your door needs.
How Servicing Your Door Can Extend Its Lifespan
- Replace the springs: the lifespan of the springs in your door won’t be as long as that of the door itself, so you’ll have to remember to replace them periodically. Most garage door springs last for about 10,000 cycles—which should last approximately 14 years if you go into and out of your garage once every day. But most people use their garage more often than that, so you should probably plan to replace the springs in your door at least once every 5 to 7 years.
If you don’t replace your springs regularly, you risk doing damage to your door and shortening its lifespan. Opening a door with broken springs can break the chain or belt that opens the door, bend the opener rail out of shape, or even cause the panels on the door itself to cave in.
- Keep it lubricated: just 10 minutes every year could significantly extend the lifespan of your garage door by keeping the moving parts oiled. You can use white lithium grease to lubricate the chain or screw in the garage door opener, and a spray lubricant for the overhead springs.
If you’re not sure exactly what products to use, ask your garage door specialist! We can provide recommendations, and might even be able to sell you an appropriate product.
- Groom your door: of course, maintenance should also involve keeping up the appearance of your garage door. As we mentioned earlier, wooden garage doors typically need the most maintenance to prevent warping or cracking—especially in Alberta, where they can be vulnerable to frequent temperature changes.
Painting, sealing, and weatherstripping your door will all help prevent warping—but if it’s already occurred, you might want to call a professional. Getting help sooner can prevent the damage from becoming more extensive (and expensive) as time goes on. As we’ve already said, steel and aluminum garage doors need less maintenance, but you should still wash them regularly to prevent rusting.
Signs Your Door Needs Maintenance
- The door shows visible wear and tear, like cracked or warped panels (especially on wooden doors).
- The door is rusting (on steel and aluminum doors).
- The door no longer opens easily or consistently.
- The door has been damaged (including damage from inclement weather).
Regular Garage Door Maintenance Saves Money Down the Road
No matter what your garage door is made of, scheduling regular professional maintenance is the best way to protect your investment and get the most out of it. If you have questions about how your garage door specialist can help prolong the life of your door, explore our other posts or contact us and speak with someone on our team who can tell you more.