A time traveler from the the days before horseless carriages would be amazed by our automobiles. He might even be surprised to see that we store them inside our homes! Yet we in the 21st century take these luxuries for granted. While we completely appreciate our garages and automatic door openers, we also tend to forget about them as long as they seem to be working. But we really shouldn't. Anyone who has had a sudden failure of their garage door soon learns how important regular inspections and maintenance are.
Taking a few moments every month to visually inspect your door and its components can go a long way toward catching problems before they become emergencies. However, unless you have experience with the installation and maintenance of garage doors and automatic opening systems, it's always a wise decision to ask a professional to give the system a complete check-up on a regular basis. Here's why.
Springs Can Hurt You Badly
If you aren't sure what to look for when inspecting your torsion spring or extension springs, you may not know whether they are beginning to show signs of fatigue. The springs that allow you to open the door without being the Incredible Hulk eventually wear out. When they break, they can cause some serious damage to you and your garage. While torsion springs, the horizontal springs at the head of the door, wrap around a shaft and aren't likely to cause too much damage to their surroundings, extension springs, at the side rails, certainly can if they were installed without their own safety features. A professional will be able to see if these springs are showing dangerous signs of aging.
Cables Can Strike Like Lighting
The cables attached to the bottom corners of the door wrap up onto a drum above to lift and lower the garage door. Like the springs, they are also under high tension. You can look for yourself to see if any of the cable strands have broken and are coming unwound. They should be replaced immediately if you see this happening. But if you would rather not trust your judgment, again, call an experienced service company. For your personal safety, you want to be far away when a cable breaks. Plus, you wouldn't want it to snap anywhere near your expensive rolling stock.
Unbalanced Doors Can Ruin Your Day
If your door is coming out of balance, it might not only get stuck halfway through a cycle, it can twist the rails and rollers, bending them so much that they will have to be replaced. You can tell when a door has lost its balance by disconnecting it from the automatic opener and lifting it yourself. If it's very heavy and moves in jerks, it's got a problem. Balancing can be very tricky and requires special tools. Again, if you have little or no experience with garage doors, you need to call for professional service to balance the door.
The Small Components Can Cause Big Trouble
All the rest of the mechanical components of your garage door work in perfect cooperation with the major parts. Defects in any one of them, —hinges, brackets, rollers, track wheels and auto reverse safety features — if ignored, can also suffer breakdowns resulting in big repair bills. If you don't have your door and its parts inspected, be sure to look closely at each piece of hardware involved to be sure it's firmly attached, not rusting and is lubricated where necessary.
If you've recently purchased the home, don't rely on your home inspector's sign-off on the system. Likely, he or she is a home generalist and not a garage door specialist. Spend the few bucks to have it properly inspected by a trusted garage door contractor so you can rest easy knowing the door will keep working as expected.
Wayne Overhead Door has been reliably serving Dayton and the surrounding area since 1965. We've been on the cutting edge of garage door service and installation, so you can expect nothing but the best integrity and service. Contact us today to schedule a thorough, honest inspection of your garage door.