You probably give little thought to your garage door from day to day as long as it continues to go up and down when you need it to, but the day will inevitably come when it stops working, and you’ll have to either repair or completely replace it. So, when might you expect that day to come, and how long can you expect your garage door to last?
Regrettably, there’s no simple answer, because how long your garage door will ultimately last depends on a few factors, among them the quality of the door itself, how many “cycles” it goes through (a “cycle” refers to each time your garage door rises and falls) and whether you or a professional perform regular maintenance on it. Generally, however, you can expect your garage door to last upwards of 30 years, while the opener will likely last somewhere between 10 and 15 years.
Garage Door Spring Life Expectancy
Odds are, you’ll have to replace your garage door spring before the door itself. Springs are meant to last a certain amount of cycles, rather than a certain length of time, with torsion springs lasting somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 cycles and tension springs lasting somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 cycles. In other words, the springs are more likely to wear out if you have a big family coming and going through the garage throughout the day than if you live alone and spend much of your time outside the home.
Extending Your Garage Door’s Life Expectancy
As is the case with your car, your garage door will likely last considerably longer if you take the time to properly maintain it. To extend its lifespan, consider taking the following steps.
• Keep it lubricated. Use WD40 to lubricate the door’s springs, rollers and hinges. For best results, apply only a light coat of lubrication, and try and do so every three months or so.
• Clean it. Cleaning your garage door isn’t hard, and performing regular washes of both sides of the door using a mild detergent mixed with water is really all it takes. Take care not to miss the garage door “eyes,” because even small specks of dirt or dust can be enough to interfere with the door’s performance.
• Check and replace failing or worn parts. At least once a year, inspect (or have a professional do so) the various components of the door for signs of wear and tear. Check for loose bolts and frayed wires or cables, and don’t ignore any strange noises that develop over time.
When it comes to your garage door, a little preventative care goes a long way. By keeping the door and its components clean and in proper working order, you can considerably expand its lifespan.
NOTE: We’ve updated a previous version of this article that was published in September 2013.