Americans have a thing about garage doors. In a two-career household with school aged children, the average garage door opens smoothly, and closes securely more than 1,400 times during the course of a year. However convenient this may be, after months of daily use, it’s only natural for the garage door and its components to start showing some signs of wear and tear.
A malfunctioning garage door is a human affliction – one that has gotten worse the busier and faster-paced we’ve become. But take heart! Routine garage door maintenance is well worth the effort as it can help you avoid the dangers of a malfunctioning garage door. Dangers that can quickly lead to an accident if left unchecked. The following tests should be performed monthly.
Reversal Test: With the door fully open, place a 2×4 (or similar size object) on the floor, centered directly under the door. Operate the door in the down direction. When the door hits the object, it should immediately reverse direction. Never attempt to stop the door using your hands or a object. If the door fails to reverse direction, halt further use, and contact a professional repair technician.
Force Limit Setting Test: With the door fully open, place a 2×4 (or similar object) on the floor, centered directly under the door. Much the same as you would in the reversal test. Operate the door in the down direction. If the door fails to automatically reverse, the force may be excessive, and will require immediate adjustment
Door Balance and Alignment: With the door fully closed, disengage the garage door opener from the door itself, by simply pulling the red manual release rope straight down and then back towards the motor. Once disengaged, lift the door about 3 or 4 feet above the ground with your hands, and let go. If the door stays open, then it’s properly balanced, but if it closes then you’ll need to contact a professional.
Visual Inspections: Regularly inspecting all moving and non-moving components is one of the best ways to prevent malfunction. If you suspect that something is amiss, it’s best to leave it for the professionals to inspect and repair if need be. To maintain the tracks, simply wipe or vacuum any debris, which may prevent the rollers from moving smoothly along them.
Proper Lubrication: The International Door Association recommends regularly lubricating all of the moving components of your garage door during maintenance. You should, however, refrain from lubricating any plastic components. Using a high-quality silicone lubricant, lightly lubricate the door’s rollers, bearings, hinges, springs, chains (as long as they’re not plastic).