Safety and Preventive Maintenance of Garage Doors

Safety is the most important, but, often most overlooked or ignored aspect about garage doors. These doors are extremely heavy, necessitating high safety measures. They have many parts under extreme tension, and are usually operated either by manual means or a mechanical garage door opener. Either method offers a potential pull or push with a dangerous amount of force. If left unchecked, garage doors have the potential to cause injury and even property damage.

The most common causes of injury include falling doors, pinch points, improperly adjusted opener force settings and safety eyes, attempts at do-it-yourself repairs without the proper professional knowledge or tools, and uncontrolled snapping of spring tension. All moving parts of the garage door should be lubricated at least once a month. However, door tracks should never be lubricated.

The lubricated tracks will only create a sticky surface that can attract more dirt and grime, resulting in a door that can be hard to operate. Bearings, hinges, and rollers must be lubricated for a safe operation. Torsion springs must be lubricated with a light coat of penetrating oil to reduce the friction between the coils and to remove noise.

Garage door safety and preventive maintenance is easy to learn and can be taught in DIY fashion.

A garage door with a broken spring, or a wrong strength spring, can fall with very strong force. The increasing acceleration of a free falling garage door on an unsuspecting homeowner is enough to cause serious injury or even death. Because of this, children should never be allowed near a moving garage door, whether the door is automatic or manual. Anything broken with a garage door should always be referred to the proper professionals.

Garage door openers now have what is called “force settings” that will cause the door to either stop or reverse automatically should it encounter approximately 20 pounds of resistance. Also, since 1992, garage door openers are now required to be sold with “safety eyes.” These are sensors that prevent a garage door from closing if there is an obstruction along its closing path. Should the remote or mechanism itself be in need of repair, this should be referred to the proper professionals or specialists as well.

First, check out commonly simple and overlooked causes of garage door problems. These may stem from accidental actions or just plain forgetfulness. Is the box mechanism plugged in? It may be that someone simply forgot to plug it in, or it has a loose socket and slipped out. In the latter case, you need to replace the socket. On a side note, if your garage door has not been used for some time, unplug it then plug it in again. This will reset the sensors and wake them up.

Check to see if the problem is electrical in nature, like wires that have been exposed, broken, or have shorted out. If it is just wiring, this can be easily repaired by the homeowner using wire crimpers, electrical tape, wire nuts or sleeves, and electrical wire. Make a thorough inspection of garage wiring especially after a hurricane and flooding. Routine inspections also prevents problems before they can happen.

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