Posted by Steve Dumais on Saturday, December 8, 2012
Safety Tips for Garage Doors
Steve The DoorGuy 613-809-1004
Replace Old Springs. Your garage doors springs are arguably the most important and most dangerous part of your garage door. Springs wear out due to regular use, weather and corrosion. Inspect your springs periodically and replace if needed. If your door has two springs, replace both, even if one is not broken. This will not only prevent any damage caused by the breaking of the second spring, but also keep your door working efficiently while taking advantage of their full lifespan.
Check Your Garage Door Cables. Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on both sides of the door. If these cables are frayed or worn, they are in danger of breaking, which can cause injury. While replacing your torsion springs, it is advised to change your garage door cables as well.
Squeaky Springs? Springs can squeak and be noisy. This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate a problem. Before replacing your springs, use a spray-on lubricant (we recommended 3 in 1 oil). If the noise persists, call us and we can help you measure your springs and replace if necessary.
With the right instruction and help, an average Do-It-Yourselfer with a certain amount of mechanical knowledge and common sense can successfully repair their own garage door and or garage door springs. Installing a garage door can be very dangerous and is not recommended for a novice. If you attempt the installation by yourself, be sure to follow the manufactures installation instructions carefully. We can help you along the way as well. Check our online garage door videos and article tutorials.
Safety Cables. If your garage door has extension springs, you need a safety cable that run through the center of the spring and secures to the wall or ceiling at each end. When your garage door is down, extension springs are under high tension. If the spring breaks, it may cause injury. A safety cable can keep that broken spring contained. If you have extension springs but do not have a safety cable, we recommend Installing a set Immediately. Check our parts page under cables.
Struggling Door? If your door does not go up and down smoothly, you may have an unsafe condition. Even older door systems should operate smoothly. If the awkward operation continues when the door is manually operated, you may have a spring system that is out of balance. This may cause premature wear and tear on other important door components. Check your vertical garage door track to make sure they are tight fitted and completely plumb and level. Check every garage door wheel or garage roller to make sure they are moving freely.
Watch Your Fingers! Every year, many unsuspecting homeowners injure their fingers by placing them between the garage door sections to pull down on the door. According to DASMA Standard 116, if your door lacks pinch-resistant joints, you should have lift handles or suitable gripping points on the inside and outside of the garage door. Even if your door has an opener, the door must occasionally be operated manually. Never place your fingers between the door sections. If you manually open or close the door, use the handles or safe gripping points!
Tamper Resistant Brackets. Since the bottom brackets on a garage door are connected to the doors springs, these brackets are under extreme tension. Many manufacturers now include tamper resistant hardware that prevents loosening of the brackets by a novice. In the event that you have to remove these bottom brackets, make sure you carefully release the tension of your garage door springs and garage cables before attempting to remove the hardware.
Use the Old Track? When buying a replacement garage door, some homeowners are tempted to save a few dollars by putting the new door on the old track. However, your old track may not fit with your new door, depending on the thickness of your sections, the weight of the garage door, the headroom required, the location of the garage door opener, and other considerations. For most residential installations, 2" garage door track along with a 12" radius is standard. Inspect your old track for bends, bows, or twisting caused by your old door. In some cases you can use your old garage door track as long as your new garage door is within the same weight, height and thickness. Recycling a perfectly fine garage door track set is just good sense.
Regular Service. Your garage door is probably the largest moving part in your home and is typically used every day. Over time, parts can wear out and break, creating potential safety problems. Although you should provide monthly safety checks and maintenance to your garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time.
Keep the owner's manuals for your door and opener hanging near the door for easy reference. Every model of door and opener has specific safety instructions unique to that model.
Please thoroughly read and understand all instructions before attempting any garage door repair. CAUTION: Garage door springs, cables, brackets, and other hardware attached to the springs are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause serious injury or death. Do not attempt any repairs without the proper tools, instructions and safety equipment. If you have any doubts about your ability to perform the work safely, please contact a door professional to complete your repair.