Automatic garage door openers are an essential modern-day convenience, but they can pose a safety hazard as a result of damage or mechanical failure.
Every homeowner with an automatic garage door has an obligation to themselves and anyone else on their property to keep the garage door in safe working order. This garage door maintenance checklist will help you spot problems you can fix yourself and know when to call the experts. Avoid injury to yourself or to a guest or family member if your garage door falls closed without warning or gets stuck so that people cannot enter or leave the garage during an emergency.
Once you look over your garage door and fix any minor problems, call a licensed repair technician. You can count on quality work when you sign up for garage door repair and new garage door installation in San Diego by Garage Door Medics.
Check Door Function
The first step is to use your garage door normally, especially if you have not used it in a while. Before you inspect any parts on the garage door maintenance checklist, watch and listen to the garage door opener in action to help you focus on trouble spots.
Many issues can interfere with the smooth operation of the garage door, including:
- Rust on the tracks or other moving parts
- Insufficient lubrication of the motor or tracks
- Debris or dirt that sticks to the tracks
- Sticky rollers
- Stuck hinges
Even if the door raises and lowers, any new sounds or hitches in its motion could be symptoms of a misaligned part causing premature wear,
Put the Opener Through its Paces
The garage door opener motor is a crucial part of the apparatus that can develop problems over time. The motor moves the garage door along the tracks as it opens and closes.
Even if your garage door is opening and closing now, a worn garage door opener can fail suddenly and eventually pose a safety risk for you and your family.
The Balance Test
Cables, springs, and pulleys hold up the garage door. If they break, the garage door might not raise and lower properly.
First, disengage the automatic garage door opener. The garage door should be easy to lift and naturally rest with the bottom of the door a few feet from the ground. If it does not, there might be a problem with the torsion springs or the pulleys and cables that keep the garage door balanced.
Check for Damaged Weather Stripping
If your garage door is suffering wear, the weather stripping around the door’s perimeter can show signs of damage even if the door is still working. Check for cracks, peeling, or other damage along the weather-proof seal of your garage door.
Visual Inspection of Support Structures
If you are inspecting any garage door support mechanisms, take care to protect your safety and the safety of anyone else nearby. The weight of the garage door puts tension on the support structures, which could cause injury if they break.
Pieces of the broken components could injure eyes or puncture skin. Unless you take proper safety precautions, the garage door could slam down suddenly, crushing anything in its path.
Do not dismantle or alter the pulleys and cables in the garage door mechanism. Instead, look for signs of anything amiss and contact a maintenance professional if you notice a frayed cable or a pulley that is out of shape.
Inspect Motor Components
The garage door opener contains many moving parts that could wear out and break. Delicate gears transfer motor energy to a chain or belt mechanism. Inspect them for any damage to the cogs and watch for any gears that are out of place.
The motor could fail because the belt or chain has snapped or slipped free of the gears. Check that these elements are in place and do not use the opener if:
- The belt looks worn
- The motor produces grinding or squeaking sounds even after it has proper lubrication
- The motor produces smoke, unusual odors, or excessive heat when it is in operation
Test Safety Features
Checking the safety mechanisms is one of the most essential steps on the garage door maintenance checklist. If other parts of your garage door malfunction, safety features are the last line of defense against catastrophic accidents. Ensure that they work well even if the rest of your garage door shows no sign of failing.
Test the Emergency Reversal Mechanism
Open the garage door and place a sturdy object like a piece of wood directly underneath the garage door. Press the button to lower the garage door and observe as the garage door touches the piece of wood.
Your garage door should cease downward motion and move up if any object is in its path during its descent. If the garage door stays down, contact a professional to repair the emergency reversal mechanism.
Test the Emergency Release Mechanism
If the garage door opener fails, you might need to open the garage door manually. Follow your garage door instructions and try the emergency release to test whether you can use it to exit the garage. Typically, the emergency release is a cord hanging from the top of the garage just behind the garage door,
If the emergency release does not work, call a professional to diagnose the problem as soon as possible.
Check the Photo-Eye Sensors
The photo-eyes detect when a person, pet, or object passes in the path of the garage door. They work with the reversal mechanism to keep the garage door working safely.
The photo-eye mechanism depends on two parts, one on each side of the garage door. The transmitter produces an infrared light beam that crosses the garage door opener. If anything breaks the path of the light, the garage door will not descend.
Diagnose Computer and Electrical Problems
If you have a smart garage door opener or a garage door opener with an electronic panel, be familiar with any error codes from the instruction manual.
Some electrical problems can result from low power levels. Check the batteries of your garage door remote and any other electronic components. Replace them if necessary.
Choose a Professional Garage Door Maintenance Company
If you need professional maintenance for your garage door, be as careful in choosing the maintenance company as you were when you inspected your garage door.
You will depend on their professionalism and expertise, and you do not want to have to call another technician to fix mistakes by the first one. Garage door technicians examine each component of the motor during regular maintenance to catch problems as early as possible.
As the final point on your garage door maintenance checklist, read online reviews and testimonials from customers to answer the following questions.
- Do they have the proper tools?
- Are they punctual, courteous, and prepared to work?
- Are they certified to perform garage door maintenance?
- Are they clear about their services and pricing?
- Do they provide a warranty for parts and services?
- Do they offer a customer satisfaction guarantee?
For regular maintenance and emergency service, trust the diligent garage door repair technicians at Garage Door Medics. Read testimonials from our customers and discover the range of services we provide. Learn more about converting your manual garage door to automatic or upgrading your existing automatic garage door.
Don’t leave your safety and your access to your garage up to chance. Keep your garage in good working condition by following this garage door maintenance checklist and scheduling regular maintenance. Call us at 888-997-2423 to speak to a garage door professional from Garage Door Medics today.