Similar to other types of home appliances, garage doors require regular care and maintenance. At 600 pounds, a faulty garage door can be dangerous. Follow our 3-step garage safety inspection guide to help minimize the risk of potential mechanical woes.
Your garage door is a part of your home that you want to pay close attention to. They’re an appliance like any other; the more you use them, the more wear and tear it will take. You’re likely using it at least twice a day, so you’ll need to be aware of the wear that’s happening to it.
Even more importantly than that, a garage door that’s poorly maintained is going to be a safety hazard. You don’t want to be injured by your door when you use it or have it cause damage to your car. To help ensure that doesn’t happen, here’s everything you need to know about conducting a thorough garage safety inspection.
The Value of Regular Garage Safety Inspection and Maintenance
First, let’s talk about why it’s essential for you to check and maintain that garage door. As noted above, you’re using it every day. Even when it is expertly maintained and well looked after, it will take on wear and tear over time. If that wear and tear isn’t addressed, the longer you leave it, the more likely an accident will happen. Of course, you don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way, but mainly you don’t want to run the risk of a child or pet being hurt by the door.
When you do regular inspections, you’ll be able to find issues before they get too bad and are easier to fix. As a bonus, the repairs should work out to be cheaper too. Remember, those repairs will be much less than replacing the garage door or, worse, paying for medical bills if someone gets hurt. It’s usually best to inspect the garage door every six months. That will allow you to see if there’s any damage to the door without leaving it too long for that damage to become dangerous.
How to Conduct a Garage Safety Inspection
Now you know just how important it is to inspect your garage door, you’ll need to know how to do it. Here are the three main steps that you need to take.
Step 1: Check the Auto-Reverse Feature
The auto-reverse feature on your garage door is one of your most important safety systems. When working correctly, you should see that the door reverses back up if it starts to shut and detects something is in the way. You’ll want to test this feature to see if it is doing that. If it’s not working properly, you’ll want to correct the problem by adjusting the auto-reverse function. Place a 2×4 of wood in the garage door’s path, and push the button to close it. Ideally, the door will realize there’s something in the way and reverse back up when it touches it.
Usually, you’ll be able to correct the issue by checking the pressure sensitivity on your door opener. Also, check the pressure-sensitive strip at the bottom of the door. If it isn’t intact, it will need replacing. There will be instructions on how to do this in the manual.
Step 2: Clean and Inspect the Photo Eye Sensors
Your photo eye sensors are another vital safety component of your garage door. These sensors work a lot like auto reverse, detecting if something is in the door’s path and making it open again if there is something there. They do this by shooting a beam of light between them along the bottom of the door frame. If that beam of light is broken, the door won’t shut.
Again, you can test this just by placing that 2×4 of wood in the door’s path and trying to close it. If everything works as it should, you’ll see that the door will auto-reverse. The issue could be solved quite easily by cleaning the photo eyes with a soft cloth if it doesn’t. Often, they simply get dirty, and cleaning them is enough to fix them. If that doesn’t work, check if the photo eyes are aligned. You can do this by tying a length of string between them and checking with a spirit level. If it’s not level, adjust the eyes until it is. This should solve the problem.
Step 3: Inspect the Garage Door Springs
There are many moving parts to your garage door, but one of the most essential parts you should check is your springs. These give your garage door the tension they need to open and close; usually, they shouldn’t be a problem. Over time though, they will start to wear out. When that happens, and it’s not addressed, the spring can snap and, in the worst-case scenario, launch itself across the garage. It can seriously injure you if you’re unlucky enough to be in there when it happens.
Take a good look at your springs to see what kind of condition they’re in. You should see that they’re tightly coiled. If they’re starting to loosen up or are showing any other signs of wear, that’s a sign that they need to be replaced. You can also test your springs by opening the door halfway when you’ve unplugged the garage door opener. Do this, and then let go of the door. If the door is able to stand open by itself, then the springs are in good condition.
If the door starts to slide down, though, again, you’ll want to look into having those springs replaced. If you do want to replace the springs, then you’ll want to look into getting a professional to handle the job for you. Springs are highly dangerous, so they need to be handled correctly. These are just a few of the things that you’ll want to check if you want to ensure that your garage door is safe. Make these checks every six months, and you’ll be able to catch any problems before they become potentially dangerous.
These are some of the best garage safety inspection tips to maximize the protection of your garage and keep your home secure. If your garage needs maintenance or repairs, Your Garage Door Guys is ready to help! We are available in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.