Garage Openers: 3 Easy Projects And How-To Guides

All garage openings have both electrical and mechanical parts that will benefit from things like maintenance, DIY repairs, and weatherproofing. Use this easy guide to get started.


Maintaining the moving parts in the opener can increase the lifespan of the system. Common maintenance projects in this area include dealing with noise, confirming the safety features are working, and taking care of the drive chain.

Dealing with noise: Your first step should be to lubricate both the chain and the center rail with light penetrating oil. Lubricate the rollers if they're made of steel, but do not lubricate if they are made of nylon.

Confirming the safety features are working: Start by checking to see if the safety reversing sensors are facing each other for the door to function properly. These beams are normally located close to the bottom of the door. Incase the beam is broken while closing the door; the sensor reverses the door. You should regularly make sure the beams do not get out of alignment.

Taking care of the drive chain: The final step is how to maintain the drive chain. You'll need to clean and lubricate both the chain and the track once or twice a year. Do not use grease as it collects grit and dirt but light penetrating oil will be perfect.

DIY Repairs

Some of the most common DIY repairs include fixing doors that do not open fully, replacing damaged rollers, and fixing sagging chains. For each project, you will need some tools. Here's a list that should help you get started:

  • Locking pliers
  • Wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • A ladder
  • Lubricant

The door that will not open: To tackle this project, you may need to check the power source and / or adjust the limit screws. Once you've confirmed you have power, go to the power unit and find the up-limit adjustment screw. To do this, unplug the opener, turn the screw clockwise, plug in the opener and adjust it by running it through a cycle.

Replacing damaged rollers: When nylon rollers start binding on their own shaft, the result is normally an annoying squeak. Unfortunately, lubrication will not get rid of this and you'll have to replace the damaged roller. Installing replacement rollers can be broadly different from one brand to the next. However, most come with easy to follow instructions and / or a number to call for help with assembly.

Straightening a sagging chain: If the chain sags further than 1/2 inch below the rail, it bangs the rail causing the drive sprocket to wear faster than normal. All you need to do is to tighten it to half an inch over the rail's base. But you should not over tighten it.


Let's look at the final project, which is about weatherproofing a garage door. To start with, you need to use a PVC-style pipe section and nail it on the exterior jamb making sure the flexible seal is towards the door. You'll use a standard garage door seal for the bottom.

Contrary to what people think, if the door is sweating, you do not need to paint it. This will not stop the problem from occurring. This sweating is basically condensation and is caused because the door is cold and the garage has high humidity (or vice versa). You may buy an insulated garage door or you can insulate the door with the typical sheet-foam insulation. This will keep the door warm and so preventing or minimizing the condensation. Whatever the case, it's a good idea to find the source of the humidity and fix it because the extra moisture will cause the parts to wear faster.

As you can see, these easy projects can all help extend the life of your opener. Fortunately, they're all simple enough to complete with little effort.