The garage door is typically the largest moving part in your home and is probably used every day. With normal use, parts can wear out and break, creating potential safety problems. There are a few light maintenance duties and inspections a mechanically inclined person can perform to ensure maximum safety and increase the life of their door.
Check the rollers, hinges and safety devices to be sure they are fastened securely and in proper working order.
Check the balance of the door by lifting it a few feet off the ground and releasing. The door should not travel more than a couple of inches in either direction. If the door drops to the ground then your springs either need adjusting or replacing. When operated manually a garage door should go up and down smoothly.
In the event of spring failure extension springs can cause severe damage if they are not contained. If the doorís springs donít already have safety cables installed, now would be a good time to get them installed. Remember even the highest quality springs eventually wear and break.
Replace springs if they show signs of wear such as uneven gaps between the coils, bent or damaged ends.
Inspect the cables for fray. Replace frayed cables immediately. Check the pulleys for nicks or excessive wear that can cause damage to the cable. Replace worn pulleys if necessary.
Verify that the tracks are level and plumb. Tracks should line up parallel to the door sections without binding. Ensure that the lag screws securing the track brackets to the jambs are secure. Replace bent, missing or rusted lags immediately.
Tighten all hinge and bracket screws, bear in mind that garage door bottom brackets are under extreme tension when the door is closed and can cause serious injury if accidentally or deliberately loosened or removed. Replace bent or broken hinges. Check the doorís rollers for excessive wobble and replace as necessary.
All garage door openers manufactured and installed after 1991 are required by law to have a reversing mechanism. Garage door openers manufactured and installed after 1993 are required to have photo eyes connected at the bottom of the track to trigger the reverse mechanism when an infrared beam is broken. A defective or improperly adjusted reversing mechanism on your garage door opener could cause damage injury and possibly death. Check your door opener regularly to be sure that the reversing mechanism is in proper working order.
Lubricate rollers, hinge pivots, pulleys, torsion spring coils, bearings and the electric opener chain and sprockets.
With periodic inspections and maintenance the average garage door can safely provide many years of trouble free performance.
Richard Aquino has been selling and installing replacement garage door parts since 1982. Visit Bargain Enterprises at http://www.garage-door-hardware.com for residential, commercial and industrial garage door and electic opener parts and accessories.