We don’t often think of garages in as entrances to our homes the way we do with front doors or fence gates, but we probably should. They’re the biggest entry-way we have.

Which is why it’s always good to keep up with how it’s functioning. It is easy to ignore that groaning sound the garage door makes every time it opens, right up until you’re getting in your car to go to work in the morning and it won’t open.

Don’t let this happen to you. Here are five tips for garage door maintenance.

1. Listen

Don’t let that groaning sound go unchecked. It can be difficult sometimes to differentiate what might be a normal sound for a garage door to make and something that might be abnormal.

One thing to listen for is a loud snapping sound. This might be an indication that the spring system is broken.

2. Tighten

A garage door opener contains a lot of moving parts that all have to work together to lift a very heavy door.

Over time it’s only natural for these parts to loosen over time. Make sure to examine the machinery every so often and tighten bolts that feel like they’re beginning to loosen.

Good garage door maintenance is all about vigilance.

3. Examine

A lot of times the problem will not occur in the machinery itself but the track that the garage door moves on. If they look like they are being warped or out of alignment you may have identified a potential problem.

If your garage door is opening but laboring to do so, check your torsion springs. They are usually located right above the garage door when it’s closed. If they look broken, don’t fret it isn’t too difficult a job to do by yourself if you’re handy.

Be careful though, you’re working with heavy machinery. If you don’t know what you’re doing you could seriously injure yourself. You can always make an appointment to get it serviced.

Sometimes the springs don’t need to be replaced entirely, just realigned. To test this, pull the release handle attached to the opener until the garage door moves around half way up.

If the door immediately begins to move down, you’ll know that the springs will need to be realigned.

4. Replace

If your main garage door opener attached to the wall works but your car remote doesn’t, the first thing you should do is try and replace the battery.

If problems still persist, look into replacing it. There are universal remotes out there that would be a much cheaper option than replacing the entire garage door opener.

5. Pay Attention

As you can see, garage door maintenance is not too difficult as long as you know what to look for. You don’t want to be alerted to the problem the moment it becomes an issue that can’t wait. Many times there is an easy solution to your issue.

When in doubt, however, call a professional!