Do You Know About Your Garage Door Maintenance?

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Garage doors, like any other part of our homes require some maintenance to keep them running in tip top shape.  Check out these tips to keep yours looking and functioning at it’s best.

This garage door was just installed on this home and of course it looks terrific.  The homeowner spent a lot of time selecting the door that fit the style and design of their home.  Purchasing a garage door is a large purchase for these folks.  They want to make sure that the door will not only look terrific for years to come they want it to continue working properly and maintain its looks for many years.  (The Door picture here is an American Tradition Series Door from Haas Doors)

The garage door is typically the largest moving object in your home. Properly maintained and operated, a garage door and its operating system allow you, your family and your vehicles convenient access to and from your home. They also provide security and protect against the elements. Newer, insulated garage doors even help save energy.

But moving garage doors can also cause serious injury, or even death. While there are some garage door system maintenance chores that you yourself can – and should – perform on a regular basis, there are other tasks (including garage door installation and garage door spring replacement) that are best left to the pros.  When you are thinking of purchasing a new garage door, I recommend that you find a garage door dealer who works with garage doors and garage door installation daily.

If you have children, you should also take some time to teach them that the garage door and its operating system are not playthings.

One of the most overlooked “appliances” in your home is the garage door. You press a button. It goes up. It goes down. Simple, right?

Not really. Like every other mechanical device you own – your cars, your kitchen and laundry appliances and your heating and cooling systems – your garage door and its operating system needs to be properly adjusted and regularly maintained in order to function correctly.

You can perform some simple safety and maintenance tasks yourself. Other tasks – such as spring repair/replacement, track and roller repair/replacement and door installation – are jobs best left to trained service professionals.

Just as it is common practice to have your home’s heating and cooling systems checked annually, it’s also a good idea to have your door checked annually by a qualified service technician to ensure that it continues to work properly and effectively.

Never take a garage door system for granted; always use extreme caution when working on it or near it. Make sure that children understand that the garage door and the garage door opener are not toys. Never let children play with the door or its operating system.

SAFETY NOTE: To avoid injury, it’s a good idea to let everyone in your household know that you are checking the garage door and that it is not to be opened or closed by anyone until you tell them you are finished.

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There are times when your garage door is working properly and will not open and close, a release cord allows you to disconnect the garage door opener so the door can be lifted by hand.  This release cord is placed along the center track running to the garage door opener.

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One area that you want to stay away from is the spring counter balance system.  The springs, cables and other hardware attached to the springs are all under extremely high tension that can cause severe injury or even death if broken or tampered with.

The following tests and related maintenance should be performed in the following order: 

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Monthly visual inspection. Stand inside the garage with the garage door closed. Look over the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and mounting hardware, such as hinges, for signs of wear or damage.

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Look for cable wear or fraying. Is the mounting hardware becoming loose? If something doesn’t look quite right – or doesn’t sound quite right – it could be the symptom of a more serious issue.

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Have the garage door system inspected by a trained service technician.

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Monthly door balance test. If your door is equipped with an automatic opener system: close the door and disconnect the automatic opener. Once you are able to lift the door manually: Lift the door. It should lift smoothly with little resistance and should remain fully open. If it is difficult to open or does not remain open, the door may be out of balance and should be serviced by a trained service technician.

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Monthly reversing mechanism tests. If your door is equipped with an automatic opener system. Note: garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to be equipped with a reversing mechanism and a photo eye or edge sensor as added measures of safety to prevent entrapment. If your system does not have these features, replacement of your automatic operating system is recommended. 

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With the door fully open, lay a piece of wood such as a section of a 2 x 4 on the floor in the center of the garage door opening where the door would touch the floor. Push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. When the door strikes the wood, the door should automatically reverse. If the door does not automatically reverse, the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Monthly photo eye test: With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. Wave a long object, such as a broomstick, in front of one of the door’s photo eyes so it “breaks the beam.” The door should reverse.

If it does not reverse and reopen, pull the broomstick out of the path of the closing door. Close the door. With the door in the closed position, clean the photo eyes with a soft, dry cloth. Gently adjust the photo eyes by hand if they appear to be out of alignment. Open the door and repeat the photo eye test. If the door does not reverse and reopen, the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Monthly force setting tests:  With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. As the door is closing, hold up the bottom of the door with your hands outstretched and stiff. If the door does not easily reverse and continues to close, pull your hands away immediately. The closing force is excessive and the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Semi-annual lubrication:  Apply a small amount of spray lubricant to the door’s hinges, rollers and tracks.  This is easy to do yourself and came help eliminate a lot of the noise you hear when the door is opening and closing.

And finally, the garage door should be cleaned using a mild detergent and soft sponge or car brush.  I wash mine when I wash the car (which is about every 4 months).  And if you live in a cold climate with lots of snow, try to keep from salting around the immediate area of the door.

These are just a few things that will ensure that your garage door will give you years service and remember is you do have a problem with your garage door call a professional Haas Garage Door dealer.

Matt

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