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Garage Door Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Garage Door Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Automatic garage doors are a convenience that have been enjoyed by homeowners for generations. These doors make it easy for you to park your vehicle and quickly enter your home from a safe vantage point. Such doors make use of a number of components including pulleys, springs, cables and mounting hardware. Your garage doors need to be regularly maintained, something a homeowner can do with the occasional professional check added in as needed.

Caution

When working with any electrical or moveable device, must caution must be taken. Make sure that small children and pets are not present when working on your automatic garage door.

Wear rubber gloves and a hard hat when working with your garage door. Eye protection may be necessary too as you inspect your door system closely. Use a ladder to examine the roller up close, wearing safety boots as you undertake your inspection.

Visual Inspection

The easiest automatic garage door test is the visual inspection. With the garage door shut and you standing inside of the garage, your eyes should run up and down the entire length of the door system.

Take note of the cables, pulleys, rollers and springs that move the doors up and down. Note the mounting hardware and examine each component for signs of wear. Cables tend to fray, hardware can loosen and springs may get stuck. A can of WD-40 should be used to lubricate metal surfaces, an effort that will keep movable parts working flawlessly.

Up and Down

Push the button that activates the garage door. Observe how the doors move along the track, taking note of the rollers and the attached cable.

Disconnect the automatic opener and lift the door manually. Your door should open without resistance, smoothly moving into place just as it would if opened automatically. If resistance is felt, you can make adjustments to the hardware. For more complex cases, consult a garage door technician.

Safety Checks

Garage doors built from 1983 on have an important safety mechanism installed: a reverse mechanism. An edge sensor or photo eye is part of this comprehensive safety feature, what should be checked from time to time.

Your test is an easy one. Find a solid wooden or metal object and place it where the garage door meets the floor. Activate the transmitter button to close the door. The moment the door touches the object it should reverse itself. If not, you need to have your door serviced to fix this critical safety issue.

The photo eye should be checked separately from time to time, at least once every quarter. You can test the eye by activating the transmitter and waving a solid object such as a rolled up newspaper in front of the eye. The moment the eye detects movement, your garage door should reverse as the beam has been split, signaling your door to retreat. If your garage door fails one or more safety checks, then have it serviced by a trained professional.

Periodic Inspections

Homeowners should place garage door inspections on the calendar. Monthly checks are necessary when the door is operated daily. Quarterly checks may be sufficient for less regular use.

Move up your inspections following an important weather event. Heavy rains, wind and snow can impact the exterior of your garage door and, therefore, affect the complete system. If you have an extended power outage, the system may need to be calibrated. Finally, if faced with an emergency, make use of the emergency release rope. This rope will automatically stop the door if your other efforts have come to naught.

If you have been maintaining an older garage door system, particularly one that was installed before 1983, it may be time to replace it. A new door can give your home a fresh look and the new system will include the safety features your older door may not have offered.

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