Preventing Garage Door Problems
September 25, 2015
How to Prevent Garage Door problems
As summer is upon us and outdoor activities increase, many of us will be in and out of our garage with various items and sometimes in a hurry. We want to do everything we can to make your garage door safe. It's what we do.
Use Your Eyes and Ears
The best way to avoid the hassle of a broken garage door is to take the time to look it over and just listen. One easy way to do this is to simply stay in the garage while the door is closing after you park. We all like to rush in and get on with their lives, but once in awhile, stop and take a listen. It will only take a second and might prevent an even bigger maintenance or repair job in the future.
First Things First
The simplest problem to look for is a physical obstruction in the tracks. It happens. We've seen pogo sticks, rake handles, and all kinds of things interfere with the track, as well as simple bits of dirt and sawdust from home repair projects.
Take a quick look at the wheels and tracks. Is there a thin coating of grease present? Do the wheels look like they are spinning freely (the film of grease should be even all around and have no dry/rusty/dusty spots)? Do the springs look unbroken and – for lack of a more technical explanation – the way they normally look?
Nothing keeps machines running smooth and lasting a long time like simple lubrication. Set a calendar reminder once a year and you'll be all set. It's not the most exciting thing to put on your calendar but it will help save money for the things that are! For some practical tips on how to do it right, check out our video.
[Precision Door Video: How to Lubricate Your Garage Door]
Checking the Spring Tension
Garage doors are heavy. Springs work against gravity to lighten the load on the motor. If the power is out, the only way to open your garage door is to disengage the mechanism and lift it by hand. This can only be done if it's tuned correctly and opening it manually is also a great way to check this.
How to check spring tension:
1. Start with door closed
2. Pull red release handle, noting the motion of the small lever the rope is attached to
3. Lift the door manually
4. See if the door will hold itself in place, both halfway open and fully open (note: keep your hands nearby and do this check only for a few seconds. If the springs are not adjusted properly, you do not want to let the door fall nor do you want to try to catch a falling door!)
5. Close the door fully, holding it all the way down to the ground
6. Reengage the lifting mechanism by returning the small lever to its original location
Unless you are very tall, you'll probably want to get a step ladder before you release the rope. It can be released from ground level but requires some height to re-engage.
Note: Winter conditions in Spokane can end up as power outages once in awhile – doing this will give you the know-how and confidence to open your door quickly and easily without electricity. Have all drivers in the household participate if possible.
If you are not confident that the springs are balanced properly (the doors easy to lift and stays in place when you let go for a few seconds), call us. Our trained technicians can check out the springs safely. Please note – springs can store a great deal of energy and can be dangerous – do not do maintenance yourself.