Garage doors, like any other type of machinery require a fair bit of maintenance and so over the years have their ups and downs. You may call out a repairman every few months for regular maintenance until the door up and dies on you 20 years down the road. 20 years isn't so bad for a garage door to last, many last longer and many are replaced before that, either out of necessity or at the home owner's request. However, how can you know when your garage door is on its way out? As a home owner the expense of a new garage door out of nowhere can be quite a surprise if you haven't got any money planned for a new one. There are a few ways to tell when you might need to start saving up some money for a garage door expense, but you really should have a bit of money set aside after a while in order to help maintain or fix an aging garage door. In this article I'm going to take a look at some of the ways you can make sure that the expense of a garage door doesn't catch you by surprised to make sure that you can budget for a garage door replacement that you are truly happy with.
One of the best ways to find out about the life span of your garage door is to simply ask your garage door technician the next time they are out doing some routine maintenance for you. You could also even ask them when you first are getting your garage door installed, but they won't have too good of an idea of your usage yet. Your local garage door technician will be able to use their experience replacing and maintaining garage doors to give you a more accurate estimate than most. A local garage door technician will be knowledgable of the type of wear and tear is normal for that brand or make of garage door and garage door opener and can also take into account the region's weather and the role that plays in the damage done to your garage door over time. The climate of your region plays a large part in how much normal wear and tear take their toll on a garage door and garage door opener and so being experienced in this can give your garage door technician a great deal of information on how long garage doors last in your area. Your local garage door technician will also have a great deal of experience installing and replacing garage doors similar to and exactly like your current garage door, thus giving them some hands on ideas of how long similar doors and openers have lasted in the past. They should also know the amount of time and money that you put into maintaining your garage door which can give them a better idea of when it will need replacing, barring any huge problems of course. If you are looking to budget out your next few years and what to know how a new garage door would fit into that plan then ask your local garage door technician the next chance you get and you should get a relatively accurate prediction from them.
Another way to figure out how long your garage door and garage door opener should last you is to check with the company. Generally the warranties will run out around the same time as the garage door and garage door opener companies seem to think that they deserve to be replace. Garage door openers typically have a warranty for 10 years and garage doors closer to twice that, sometimes more. This means you can expect your garage door opener to last around 15 years with generally good maintenance and upkeep. You can also expect your garage door then to last nearly 25 to 30 years. Looking at these figures it's easy to see why regular maintenance is so worth it because 25 to 30 years very well be the amount of time you spend in a given home. As for your garage door opener it is perfectly reasonable to expect to have to replace it once or twice in the time that you spend in your home if you plan to stay put for a long period of time. This all makes sense as your garage door opener has a lot more moving parts to it and barring any sort of accident occurring, like running into your garage door with a car or lawn mower, and so the garage door opener will wear down much more quickly than the garage door. These sorts of figures should be taken with a grain of salt of course because your garage door opener or garage door could very well last longer than the expected warranty for it and it could also last significantly less time. This all depends on the amount of use your garage door and garage door opener gets. While these year marks are certainly a good estimate, many people use their garage doors differently and in different amounts, which means that your exact usage may line up differently with the average usage these numbers are based upon. Many parts for garage doors and garage door openers are graded for a certain number of cycles, meaning a certain number of openings and closings which is much harder to quantify and average out over a door's lifetime. Keeping this in mind it is best to use these years marks as estimates and so to use them to plan conservatively. If you think you will have at least 5 more years with your garage door opener then save to replace it in five years and hope that it lasts another 7.
One of the easiest ways to judge when you might need to get a new garage door or garage door opener is to do a bit of an appraisal yourself. Have a listen to the sounds your door is making while it opens and closes during different times of the day and year and think about what those noises might mean. If your garage door is whisper quiet and there is no rust showing on your garage door and nothing rattling around when opening or closing then you can rest relatively easy that if you don't start throwing saw dust into your garage door opener then it should run relatively smoothly for the near future. This doesn't make you an expert on garage doors by any means, but garage doors and garage door openers do tend to let you know how they are doing by the sounds or lack thereof that they produce. If your garage door sounds and looks exactly the same as it did when it was first installed there is a good chance that it will be around for a while longer. On there other hand if you start hearing terrible noises coming from your garage and you aren't looking to get them investigated anytime soon then you can probably expect to part with some of your savings for a new garage or garage door opener in the near future. While you may be no expert it is relatively easy to figure out if something has changed in the sounds coming from your garage and so you can use this as a bit of a tool in order to give you a heads up when you might need to start putting money away for that new garage door and garage door opener system.
Obviously none of these three systems are foolproof, especially the third one, but when used together they can give you a relatively clear picture of when you might have to spend some money on your garage door or garage door opener. These three resources can give you a good handle on how to budget for a new garage door regardless of whether you just had your first one installed or if you have been living in a house with one for two years. Either way these tools will let you plan loosely your garage's future. Remember that all of these tools are obviously estimates and that you shouldn't be basing your budget upon them as if they were law. You should be able to budget responsibly on your own, but these resources will make you realize both when you need to start saving if you haven't yet and realize just how important proper maintenance of your garage door is.