Steel casters mounted on the bottom of a heavy object in your home, whether it's a workbench in your garage or a storage island in your kitchen, give you the ability to freely move the piece of furniture to suit your needs. While it might be easy to forget about your steel casters and just accept the convenience they provide, doing so can lead to issues down the road. Although these items don't require an extensive amount of upkeep, some regular inspections and preventative maintenance can ensure that they last you for years to come. Not sure where to begin? Here are three areas to address.
Even if you heeded the weight requirement information when you installed the casters -- that is, respected the weight that they can support -- it can be easy, over time, to excessively load the object above the casters. Whether it's a shelf that's weighed down with heavy tools or a rolling island loaded with china dishes, the weight can eventually take its toll on the casters. Visually inspect the casters to see if they're showing signs of buckling. The axles might appear bent and the screws that mount the casters to the object might even be starting to pull out. Reduce the weight sitting on the object to avoid further damage to the casters.
Keeping your steel casters lubricated drastically improves not only their functionality, but also their lifespan. While you should always follow the manufacturer's specifications regarding lubrication, using a multipurpose grease on the axle of each caster ensures that the caster rolls smoothly and won't seize. Apply the grease liberally and wipe off the excess to avoid a mess; through use, the grease will work its way along each axle. The goal is to have each axle appear greasy at all times; if one is dry, it's time to add more lubrication.
Caster wheels typically have a smooth finish, but it's still possible to tell if one wheel is wearing quicker than the others. Typically, a worn caster wheel develops a flat area; this spot is a sign that the wheel isn't turning and is, instead, dragging across the floor while the other wheels turn. Although it's possible that the axle needs lubrication, another likely issue is that something has become wedged around the axle. For example, the seemingly minor event of running over a small length of twine can wrap the twine around the axle until the wheel no longer turns. Visually inspect the underside of the caster and remove any obstructions. To find out more, speak with someone like Garland's Inc.