“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”

Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote was probably said more in reference to time management and general preparedness than it was about garage door maintenance. Probably, but we can’t be sure.

Even still, it’s got really good crossover here as well.

Car maintenance, finance, relationship issues. In just about every area of life, having a good plan in place BEFORE there’s a problem will save you hours of headache and potentially thousands of dollars.

Today we’re going to look at the 5 P’s from the old military adage: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. I’ll show you six easy ways to plan for, prepare for, and prevent garage door issues.

1) Yearly maintenance 

Just like a yearly check-up from the doctor, (yes, even–or especially–as adults, you should be getting those) your garage door needs the same thing. Getting a maintenance appointment on your calendar once a year, every year keeps things running smoothly. Having it set up in advance keeps it off the “when I get around to it” list.

2) Keep garage items clear from door movement and tracks

This one seems pretty simple, but I can’t tell you the dollars that would’ve been saved over the years if bikes, tools, or boxes would’ve just been put where they belong. Most people think to check and make sure things aren’t in the way of the door when it closes, but be sure that there’s nothing in the tracks as well. Yard tools handles from rakes and shovels tip into those grooves pretty easily and wreak havoc on the whole system.

3) Good record keeping

Keep a file folder of repairs and receipts for equipment as well as researching and notating manufacturer dates for your equipment. If something ever happens to your garage door, having all of this handy will save you immensely! Often companies might not honor warranties if you don’t have the proper documentation, so even just having a catch-all “garage door” file in your cabinet is a pretty great idea.

4) Slow your roll

Even when you’re in a hurry, take your time with pulling your car in and out of your garage. A seemingly “insignificant” dent in the door or tracks can affect the performance, which over time, can lead to serious damage.

5) Do your research.

This might cause you to roll your eyes, but you’ve got to read your owner’s manuals and safety warning stickers. It might seem like it’s all standard, but it’s worth the 5 minutes to make sure you completely understand how everything works and what the best practices are.

And if something is difficult to understand or seems off, call the manufacturer or us so we can explain what it all means!

6) Get ready

There will come a day when a repair technician has to come out to your house (especially if you’re doing that yearly maintenance) and there’s one BIG thing you can do to see that it goes as smoothly as possible: make sure they have adequate working space and access to the equipment. 

If you’ve got boxes stacked to the ceiling in the middle of your garage, your tech will have a pretty hard time working on your opener. Same goes with your cars. Be sure and have all of the vehicles out of the garage and driveway if possible.

Regular maintenance and preparation like this will save you time, money, and a whole lotta stress headaches.