If you are lucky, you will have the same door on your garage for years and it will give you little to no problems whatsoever, and there are active measures you can take in order to improve your chances of this happening. Keeping the structure in excellent working condition means paying attention to the shape it is in and taking care not to be too rough with it. Make sure you communicate this to every member of the family. Preventing problems from the start is a whole lot easier than doing major garage door repair later on.
The best place to start for preventative garage door repair is to do a yearly inspection to keep problems from having the opportunity to arise in the first place. If you know enough about how the mechanism works, you can do the inspection yourself. However, to ensure that nothing is missed, you may wish to hire a professional to come to your place and inspect the opener, the door itself, and other peripheral equipment.
You may be able to do basic maintenance yourself, but beyond that, for more serious garage door repair, call in a specialist. The average person will not be able to perform complicated repairs themselves. You are probably better off not tackling these if you do not feel confident that you can. For peace of mind, it is better to spend the money to hire a person you can trust so you know that the job will be done correctly.
When it comes to basic maintenance, there are certain tasks that should be performed on a yearly basis. Doing these simple checks will help to prevent future problems.
Take a look at the tracks to see if there are any dents or any other forms of damage. If you find any tiny blemishes in the tracks, pound them out with the use of a rubber hammer. If the damage is major, the tracks may have to be replaced completely.
The tracks should be level and correctly aligned. If you look at them and they are not this way, carefully loosen the mounting brackets and tap the tracks out until they are level again and slant ever so slightly towards the back of the garage.
Another repair that a homeowner can easily do is to wipe the tracks. You want to clean them and get rid of all of the debris and dirt that builds up over time. A large paintbrush can be used to do a simple cleaning to get rid of any dirt and dust. To do a more thorough cleaning, use a household cleaner.
Another form of maintenance that you should perform annually is to lubricate the pulleys, rollers, and tracks. You can purchase a special lubricant spray or powdered graphite to lubricate the pulleys and tracks. For the rollers, use a household lubricating oil.
Look over all of the bolts, fasteners, and nuts on the door. If you find any element that is loose, tighten it up. This is a garage door repair that anyone can do.