Simple Maintenance Checks to Keep Your Garage Door in Good Condition
It is easy to perform simple garage door safety checks and maintenance tasks. If you aren't the DIY type, you will probably want to get these tests done by a qualified service technician.
Important SAFETY NOTE
: To stay safe and to avoid injury, tell everyone in your family that you are going to check the garage door. Ask them not to close or open the garage door until you tell them that you are finished.
Here is a simple overview of the tests and maintenance tasks you need to perform.
Monthly visual inspection:
Get inside the garage and close its door. Inspect the garage door rollers, springs, pulleys, cables, and mounting hardware like hinges. Look for visible signs of wear and tear. Has the mounting hardware become loose? What about the cable? Is it showing signs of wear? If things don't look right or sound right, maybe there is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. If you suspect that something is wrong, get your garage door system serviced by an experienced professional.
Monthly door balance test:
Perform this test if your garage door has an automatic opener system. Here is how to:
Close the garage door and then disconnect it from the automatic opener. Can you lift the door? You should be able to do so. The door should lift with hardly any resistance and stay fully open. If it doesn't, it is probably out of balance. In this case, you need to get it serviced by an experienced technician.
Monthly reversing mechanism test:
This is another test you need to perform if your garage door has an automatic opener system. Keep in mind that federal law requires garage door openers designed after January 1, 1993 to come standard with a photo eye and a reversing mechanism. These safety measures are added to prevent accidental entrapment. If your door opener system doesn't have these features, you should consider getting it replaced by a newer one.
Keep the garage door fully open and place a piece of 2 by 4 wood in the middle of the door opening where the garage door will touch the floor. Close the garage door by pushing the wall button or the transmitter of the door opener. The door ought to reverse when it strikes the wood. If the door doesn't reverse automatically, it should be inspected by a technician.
Monthly photo eye test:
The monthly photo eye test is also meant for garage doors with automatic opener systems.
Keep the garage door fully open and then push the wall button or the opener's transmitter to close it. Wave an object like a broomstick in front of the photo eyes of the door. The object should break the light beam. In this case, too, the door ought to reverse automatically.
If it doesn't reverse, remove the broomstick. Close the garage door. With a piece of soft, dry cloth, clean its photo eyes. This should fix the issue. If the photo eyes are out of alignment, adjust them by hand. Now open the door again and perform these tests. If the door doesn't reverse, you should get it serviced by a technician.
Monthly force setting test:
(If the garage door has an automatic opener system)
When the door is fully open, press the wall button or the opener's transmitter to close it. When the door is about to close, try to prevent it from closing by holding up its bottom with your hands. If the door doesn't reverse easily, pull out your hands immediately. This shows that there is excessive closing force. Get the door serviced by a service professional.