Garage doors and their automatic operators must work 24/7 in all weather conditions; therefore, monthly visual and safety device checks should be performed, and it is incredibly important to ensure the door functions safely, reliably, efficiently.
Most homeowners never perform a garage door inspection, and they call garage door technicians when their doors need emergency repairs.
To help you minimize the risk of any mechanical or safety issues, we put together a simple 14-step garage door inspection checklist (Click here to download). It only takes about 10 minutes to inspect your garage door once a month, and it will save you costs and frustration when you need emergency repairs.
- Test your garage door’s balance
Disconnecting the door from the opener by pulling the red release cord. Open and close the garage door by hand to see if it moves on the tracks smoothly and naturally. Open the door halfway and let go of it. The door shouldn’t rise or slam to the ground. It is off the balance if it does.
If you sense any issue with the balance, contact an expert to help you.
Note: the balance is one of the hardest parts of the garage door to maintain and that it can be dangerous to adjust it yourself. For swift, safe, and reliable help, it is extremely recommended that you contact an expert.
- Test your garage door’s limit and force
Open the garage door and let go of it halfway. If functioning correctly, the door should stop itself and hang in the middle instead of falling all the way to the ground.
Test the force limits to ensure there is the proper force being applied to the door during opening and closing.
- Check the condition of the door panels
Check how your door looks: any cracks or dents in your garage door? Repaint any chipped paint, clean off any rust, and make sure you don’t have any wood rot if you have a garage door made out of wood.
- Check the condition of the rollers
Inspect the rollers on your garage door for any signs of wear and tear, or damage. Generally, there are two types of rollers, and they typically show signs of deterioration differently.
Nylon rollers typically tend to crack and chip. Fortunately, this kind of damage is easy to spot.
Steel rollers, on the other hand, tend to slowly become bent out of shape. You must look closely to spot this kind of wear.
- Check the condition of the drums
Visually inspect for any unusual defects and cracking.
- Check the condition of the cables
Visually inspect your garage door opener’s lifting cables. Look out for any broken, kinking or fraying strands.
Cables can lose tension over time. Pay special attention to the parts of the cable near the bottom of the roller bracket. These parts of the cable usually deteriorate more quickly as they are more likely to be exposed to moisture.
Please note that it can be very dangerous to attempt to replace your garage door’s cables yourself. It is extremely recommended that you contact an expert if you sense any issue with the cables.
- Check the condition of the strut
Struts are added supports for the garage door structure. Generally, garage doors have a strut mounted at the top of the high garage door section. Some garage doors are equipped with multiple struts depending on the weight of the door. Struts may be added if the damage requires additional struts for support.
- Check the condition of the tracks and brackets
The track is the road for your garage door. Making sure it’s intact is an important part of garage door maintenance. Make sure there is not debris impeding the path of the rollers and that the track isn’t cracking or defective in some way. Jamb brackets should attach the vertical tracks to the framework on each side of the garage door opening; and top brackets should hold the top roller in place. Visually inspect for bending and damage.
- Check the condition of the hinges
Visually check the hinges on your garage door for any signs of damage and excessive wear.
Hinges can come unscrewed, so give it all a well-detailed glance. Ensure that all hinges are firmly attached and anchored.
Remember, it is important not to tamper with the hinges on your garage door as it can be extremely dangerous. If you believe that your hinges need to be replaced, we recommend you contact a professional garage door technician for help.
- Check the condition of the bottom seals
Bottom seals are rubber located at the bottom of the garage door. This seal helps prevent wind and windblown objects from entering the garage.
Visually inspect your garage door’s bottom seal to see if it has become worn away or ripped.
If the bottom rubber does need to be replaced, this is a relatively simple project that you can tackle yourself, if you so choose.
- Check the condition of the Opener Trolley/ Carriage
Visually inspect for damage and grinding in screw drive openers.
- Check the condition of the motor gears
Inspect the motor gears for any signs of wear and tear in the belt and chain drive.
- Check the condition of the springs
Garage door springs are possibly the most important part of your entire garage door system. The only thing you can inspect is whether they are supporting the weight of your door. Visually inspect the springs for signs of rust and deterioration. Open it halfway and see if it closes. If it does, they need to be repaired, but DO NOT ATTEMPT garage door spring repairs on your own, because springs are dangerous, both when they break and when DIY maintenance is involved.
If you hear any squeaking, lubricate the springs. If the squeaking persists, this could be indicative of a more serious problem and you will need an expert’s evaluation.
Sensing a problem with your garage door springs? Contact Steel-Line Garage Doors for help.
- Check the condition of the photo eye sensors
The photo eye sensors keep the door from closing if a person or object is in the garage doors path. To test the photo eye sensors, place an object that is over 6 inches tall at the edge of the garage door so that it blocks at least one of the sensors. Using the garage door opener, press the button to close the garage door. If the photo eye sensors are functioning correctly, the garage door should not close.
WARNING: A garage door is the largest and heaviest moving object of a home. The door is constantly under extreme spring tension. DO NOT attempt any adjustments or repairs, especially to the cables, spring assembly or bottom brackets. All maintenance should be performed by a trained garage door technician.
If you have ANY suspicion that your garage door may need servicing, contact a professional garage door service company immediately.
Steel-Line Garage Doors is a reputable team of repair & installation professionals is happy to answer any questions. Give us a call at 1300 767 900!