You don’t have to be an expert to take small steps that ensure your garage door operates well for years to come. Doing these small inspections will only take a few minutes. We’re going to cover four checks that you can do all on your own. These are best done once every season or every three months. It will help to ensure your garage door system is working well, so you have it when you most need it.
Begin by doing a short visual inspection of the entire garage door system
First things first, you want to take a look at how the door system as a whole is working. You can start this by going inside of your garage with the door closed.
- Take a look at the bolts and screws, see if any need tightening.
- Check out the horizontal tracks and determine if they are aligned.
- Look at the lifting cables for any fraying.
- Determine if your rollers are beginning to look worn out. Check if they are sliding on the track rather than rolling.
- If you have extension springs placed above the tracks, determine if they are hanging down or distended.
- If you have torsion springs, which are located above the door, check if they are broken.
For step two, check whether your garage door is properly balanced
This is one of the most important things to check. What you want to do is pull the red emergency release cord down, which is going to stop your electric door opener from starting. After that, lift the door with minimal force using the lift handle located on the door. Determine if you can do this with a single hand.
Assuming this was no problem, move on to pulling the door about 4 feet (120 cm) off of the ground. See if the door will stay in this position on its own, or whether it begins to descend toward the ground.
If the garage door will not stay halfway open or it is heavier than it should be, this is a sign that your spring system isn’t doing what it should be. Its job is to work as a counterweight for the door, and if it’s malfunctioning, you will need a professional to inspect it and possibly also change it out.
Step three involves determining if your mechanical reversal system is working properly
There are actually two different types of reversal systems on a garage door for safety reasons. For this step, we’re going to be looking at the mechanical one. To make sure it is working as expected, you will need to acquire a piece of lumber. A 2' x 4' of about a foot (30 cm) long will do nicely. For this inspection, you want to open up your garage door. Then you will place your board on the flat area of the threshold. Once done, press the button to close the door. The door should come down, tap the piece of lumber, and then immediately reverse direction and go back up.
If you find this doesn’t happen, it may be a simple fix. You will want to find the limit adjusting screws, which are typically on the side of the housing over the opener. Get a flathead screwdriver and turn the screw that is next to the arrow pointing down. Do this for a quarter of a turn. You will then retest the door with the opener and lumber. If it reverses, you are done. If not, you can turn the screw another quarter turn. Do this until the right setting is found.
Next, let’s check if your photo‑eye reversal system is working as it should
The other safety system we mentioned is based on photo‑eye sensors. Beginning in 1993, every electric garage door made in North America has been required to be equipped with this type of automatic reversal. The system uses a beam of light to cross the entire garage door opening and cannot be seen by the naked eye. The light comes from two units on the side of the door, about 5 or 6 inches (13 to 15 cm) from the floor. When testing this system, you will first want to close the door with your remote. While the door is coming down, simply put your foot or hand in front of one of the two units, which will break the beam of light. If it is working correctly, this will stop the door from coming down, and it will reverse and open.
If your door does not do this, it likely means that there is a worn out or broken wire between the unit and opener or one of the units is improperly aligned.
If something isn’t working right, or you want a tune‑up…
We are available and would urge you to contact us at 506-450-3031! Not only can we provide a “tune‑up”, but we can also change out your door opener or garage door. We are also happy to send you a quotation via email, or even stop by your home and go over the many different options you have in person.