Your guide to garage door maintenance
Keep your garage door in tip-top shape with a little TLC! Regular maintenance can help you avoid costly damage caused by wear and tear.
AAMI Building or AAMI Home and Contents Insurance covers loss or damage to your garage door caused by an insured event. But, like other fixed parts of your home, you are responsible for keeping your garage door in good condition and ensuring it’s well-maintained.
If damage occurs due to wear and tear, AAMI won’t cover it. It’s best to be proactive and reduce the damage from occurring in the first place with some maintenance!
Maintenance tips to keep your garage door functioning
Regular cleaning and lubrication
Get rid of dust and debris from your garage door tracks by first vacuuming and then wiping it down with a damp cloth. If you come across any tough clumps of dirt, a stronger cleaning solution can do the trick.
For lubrication, choose a silicone-based lubricant – ideally, with a straw spray nozzle for easy application. Carefully lift your garage door yourself or with a helping hand, and spray the tracks and hinges as you go. Be sure to spray the garage’s rollers and springs too. Don’t forget the ball bearings in the rollers – they may need some care, too!
Finally, there’s the top rail and arm bar. This is the part that does the actual lifting and usually contains the chain, so lubricate these to make sure they operate smoothly.
Updating or repairing garage door openers
Ideally, a garage door should be serviced every one to two years. However, some doors may need servicing earlier, so keep an eye out for the following red flags:
- Loud squeaking and squealing sounds.
- Jolty movements.
- A noticeable speed difference; that is, fast closing and slow opening.
Regular inspections will help you spot any damage or misalignment which, if left unchecked, can escalate into more serious problems down the line. These could include reduced functionality or even complete failure.
Installing weather stripping
It may seem minor, but by installing and replacing old weather stripping you may be able to stop preventable wear and tear from things like rain. It may also protect against the outside elements including wind-borne debris, and may keep pests and bugs at bay.
Securing the garage door with a strong lock
You wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, so don’t take chances with your garage. It’s a main entry point too - not to mention the fact that garages tend to store some high-value items! Secure it with a strong lock or security system to scare off any would-be burglar. This can include:
- an alarm system
- motion-activated lights, or
- security cameras.
These are just a few suggestions. Do your own research to find what best suits your needs.
Garage door safety and security considerations
Be aware that your garage door is most likely the largest moving object in your home, and its weight can make it dangerous if it falls. To keep yourself and others safe, keep the following tips in mind:
- Avoid standing under a moving door.
- Always wait for a door to come to a complete stop before going under it.
- Avoid parking directly under the garage opening.
- Keep remotes out of reach of children, and keep them from playing in or around the open doorway.
Legal and safety considerations
If the unthinkable happens and the garage door falls on someone or their property, AAMI Home & Contents Insurance can help take some stress off your shoulders. We may cover your legal liability to pay for compensation for death or injury to other people, or damage to their property, if it occurs at the insured address. Conditions and exclusions apply to the cover under your policy.
For more info on inclusions, conditions and exclusions, read the Product Disclosure Statement.
Durability and wear & tear considerations
For garage doors, durability is key. AAMI Building or Home and Contents Insurance can help after an insured event, but having to make a claim at all could be avoided by planning ahead.
Materials and labour costs
The materials used in your garage door will play a big role in its lifespan. High-quality materials like steel, aluminium, and some woods can last longer than lower-quality materials and are more resistant to wear and tear. For example, uPVC may initially be cheaper, but it can be more prone to damage from weather elements like hail or wind-born debris.
Labour costs will vary depending on complexity - fixing small issues such as a dent may only require minor work. More serious issues such as structural damage could potentially involve replacing entire sections, panels, or even the whole thing – which is a more expensive job. And remember, poor workmanship or improper installation can lead to problems down the track, so choose a qualified professional.
Warranty and maintenance requirements
Most garage door manufacturers offer warranties that are valid for several years which can provide adjacent protection to insurance for that specific item. Some companies may also require additional maintenance services every few years in order for the warranty to remain valid – make sure you follow these requirements, alongside the regular maintenance that’ll keep your door functioning smoothly!
What is considered wear & tear for garage doors?
Wear and tear is natural and is to be expected over time, especially with a moving object like a garage door. Some wear and tear examples include:
- scratches from daily use
- weathering from exposure to the elements
- rust from moisture exposure (where the weather stripping helps!), and
- wear on the springs from constant use.
It’s good practice to limit this sort of damage, because insurers generally won’t cover wear and tear1.
What is not considered wear & tear for garage doors
Since garage doors are considered a part of your house, they’re covered for loss or damage caused by the same insured events with AAMI Building or Home and Contents Insurance. This includes, but isn’t limited to:
- storms, floods2, and fire, including bushfire3 damage from theft or attempted theft
- damage from a collision or impact, and
- accidental damage at home, if you added this as an optional cover on your policy. This can cover a range of accidental damage, so be sure to check the PDS for specifics.
For a full rundown of what’s covered and what’s not, read the PDS.
If something has gone awry with your garage door and the insured event which has caused this is covered against by your AAMI Home building or AAMI Home and Contents policy, making a claim online is easy. Just follow the link below!
- Your guide to autumn home maintenance with AAMI
- Setting up home security cameras
- What can be included in Home and Contents Insurance?
1 AAMI Home building and AAMI Home and Contents insurance does not cover any loss or damage or liability caused by, arising from or connected with wear and tear.
2 If you have not removed flood cover under insured event ‘”Flood” from your policy.
3 We don't insure you for bushfire, storm, storm surge, flood or tsunami for the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. Actions or movements of the sea and storm surge are not covered (unless the storm surge damage occurs at the same time as damage caused by storm). Other exclusions apply. Read the Product Disclosure Statement for full details.
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available.
This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.