Keeping your garage door in good working order is something that you can do, in part, by yourself. Luckily, it’s not that hard to perform a few basic maintenance chores that take about 10 to 15 minutes of your time. We recommend adopting these four checks every three months, or once per season, to ensure that your entire garage door system is in good working order.
Perform a Visual Inspection of the Entire Garage Door System
The first step is to begin with a close look at the overall door system. You want to be sure that it is all working together correctly. Stand inside the garage with the garage door closed.
- Check for worn out rollers. Are the rollers sliding in the horizontal track instead of rolling?
- Check that none of the lifting cables are frayed.
- If you have a torsion spring, located over the head of the door, take a look at it to be sure it’s not broken.
- If you have extension springs, above horizontal tracks, be sure these are not hanging down.
- Look at the horizontal tracks. They should be in alignment, not tilting away from each other.
- Do you see any screws or bolts that are loose? Give them a tighten.
Ensure that Your Garage Door Is Properly Balanced.
Proper balance is critical for a garage door system. The best way to check this is to disengage the electric door opener by pulling down on the emergency release cord, and then attempt to lift the door without using too much strength. Are you able lift it from the second or bottom section with just one hand? That’s a good sign.
If so, then lift the door to about four feet off the ground, and let go. The door should remain there, without descending back towards the floor. If it starts to slowly move back down, or if the door isn’t easy to lift one-handed, your spring system isn’t doing its job as the counterweight for the door’s weight. This needs to be inspected and possibly changed by a professional.
Be Sure that the MECHANICAL Reversal System Works Correctly.
Every garage door system has two reversal systems, which are there for safety. The one that you should check every three months is the mechanical one, and it takes just a quick check. First, take a piece of lumber, such as a foot-long piece of a 2’ by 4’. Open your garage door and put the board on the threshold between the outside and the inside of the garage. Then close your garage door. When the door touches the board, it should automatically reverse directions.
If it does not, it means that the opener’s sensitivity needs to be adjusted, which you can do yourself with a screwdriver. Go to the opener housing and look on the side for the limit adjusting screws. Use a flathead screwdriver to turn the screw next to the downward-pointing arrow counterclockwise a quarter turn. Retest the door in the same way and see if it reverses now. If not, turn the screw another quarter turn. Continue with this procedure until you find the correct setting for your door.
Check that the PHOTO-EYE Reversal System Works Correctly.
The other safety system on your garage door is the photo eye sensors. This has been a required safety feature on all electric garage door systems in North America since 1993. This system is made up of a light beam, not visible to the naked eye, that crosses the length of the garage door opening. Two units are placed on either side of the door, usually around five or six inches from the ground. Here’s how you test this safety feature:
First, close the door with the remote, and while the door is lowering, pass your foot in front of one of those units, breaking the beam of light. If the door immediately starts to reverse direction, the safety feature is fine. If not, it means that either the units are misaligned, or there is an electrical problem, such as a worn out wire, between the unit and the opener.
When Your Garage Door System Needs a Tune Up or When You’re Ready for a New Garage Door…
It’s time to contact us at (613) 546-4566! We can provide you with our “Tune-up” program to put your garage door system back in like-new working order. If you realize that you should change your garage door or door opener, we can also send you a quotation by email, or visit your home in person to discuss the many options we have available.
If you would like an idea of what a new garage door would look like on your home, use our Design Centre or take a look at our image gallery.