Most burglars gain access to homes through garage doors. It is therefore imperative to ensure that the garage doors are well maintained so that the security of the home is maintained. Garage doors are heavy and can cause danger to the house or cause injury if they are not used properly. Here are some tips on how you can maintain the garage door so that it maintains the security of the house and how you can use the garage door safely.
Before working on the garage door you need to ensure that you are safe. Never work on the springs of the door and do not do anything that you are not sure of. The tension cables should also be avoided. If the door is not shutting down slowly, open it up and jam the rollers so that the door does not fall on you when you are working on it. Clamp a locking pliers or a piece of metal in the rollers. Ensure it is a metal piece that can hold the door and that will not break under the weight of the door. Unplug the door when you are working on it so that the controls do not become reactivated when you do not want them to be.
Garage door maintenance tips
Reverse mechanism – the reverse mechanism is the safety feature that allows your garage door to automatically reverse when it senses motion or something under the door. The reverse mechanism protects from entrapment by the door. The mechanism should be tested monthly to ensure that it is working properly. To test the mechanism, place a piece of wood under the door when it is completely open. Then close the door. When the door notices the piece of wood it should automatically reverse and open up. If the reverse mechanism is not working properly have the garage door checked by a professional as that poses a big danger to your family members and pets.
Cables – garage doors are held by cables under high tension. Ensure that you check if the cables are okay but do not try to fix or interfere with the cables in any way. Check on them visually to ensure that there are no damaged parts. Ensure that there are no broken strands on the cables. If anything seems amiss you should call for a pro to come and fix the door immediately. The cables have enough force to hit and kill or maim therefore they should only be repaired by the professionals.
Tracks – the door rolls on tracks on either side. To ensure that the door moves well, check that the tracks are kept clean and free of debris. This should be done regularly as debris might accumulate quickly on the tracks hampering the free movement of the door. If the door moves out of the tracks it could cause damage to the frames holding it. This could also cause the door to fall off and fail to open or close as needed.
Lubricate – where there are moving parts, friction is inevitable. It is the friction that causes unnecessary wear and tear. Also friction reduces efficiency and hampers movement in those parts. To ensure that the moving parts are freely moving and not grinding on each other, keep them well lubricated. Apply grease generously on the moving parts so that they can easily be able to move. If hear noises as the door moves it means that greasing is required. The door should move quietly.
Photo-eye test – the photo eye is the sensor that facilitates the reverse mechanism of the door. With the door open, push the close button and let the door start closing. With the door halfway or thereabouts wave something on the photo eye so that the beam is blocked. When that happens the door should automatically reopen. If it does not then it means the photo eye does not work. Wipe it clean and ensure it is well positioned and then try again. If it does not have it replaced.
Weather strip – at the bottom of the door is a rubber weather strip that seals the space between the door and the floor. This helps to keep the weather elements out of the house. You should check to ensure that the weather strip is always in place and that all of it is present. If some parts have come off the entire strip needs to be replaced. If the strip is out of line it should be positioned in the right place to ensure that it seals the garage as required.
Rollers and Garage Door Openers – these are the rollers that the cables move on. The rollers should be checked regularly to ensure that they are not chipped or broken. If broken they should be replaced immediately before they cause any damage. The rollers should also be replaced every seven years. If the garage door is used very regularly then they could be replaced earlier than that.
Tighten hardware – the garage door is heavy and moves up and down very many times in a month. This can cause the parts of the door to become loose. Listen to the door as it moves and if it makes a lot of noise then some parts could be loose. Ensure that such loose parts are tightened and firmly secured in place. The garage doors also vibrate as they move because of the tension of the cables holding them which can really make the nuts, bolts and other parts of the door become loose.
Door balance – the door should be tested regularly to ensure that it has proper balance. If the door loses balance it means that one side will be touching the ground first which can cause damage. If the door is not balanced the garage door opener will also have to work harder and therefore will not last for long. To test the balance of the door, first disconnect the opener so that the door will only be opened manually. Then, pull the door manually until it is halfway. The door should be able to stay put at that position. If it does not it means that the springs are not properly balanced and the door can cause harm. The springs might therefore need to be checked by a professional.
Painting and sealing –if you have a garage door that is wooden it needs to be well painted and sealed so that it is protected from the elements and so that it helps to seal your home from the elements. For steel doors ensure also that areas, where paint is missing or has come off, are repainted to avoid rusting.
Jammed parts – if any moving parts seem rusted or they are jammed, the rust should be removed so that the parts can move easily. You can use kerosene to clean the parts or spray them with penetrating cleaning solvents that will get rid of the rust from the parts. Scrub the surfaces with steel wool to remove all the rust and then apply a lubricant to seal the parts and prevent rusting from recurring soon.
Cleaning – regularly cleaning the garage door and grooming the region around it is a good maintenance tip. As you clean everything you get rid of debris around the door. Also as you clean you get to spot any problems that might have occurred so they are repaired immediately. Cleaning also is important because it maintains the aesthetic appeal of the door and wholesomely the house.
Sensors – the garage door sensors need to be properly positioned for the door to work properly. If you notice that the garage door is not working as required it could be because the sensors are not aligned properly and therefore they cannot sense motion as they are supposed to. Always check to ensure that the garage door sensors are positioned and aligned properly. If they are not, push them so that they are in position.
Garage Door Safety tips
To ensure your safety, that of your family members, pets and the security of your home, the garage door should be used with care. Here are some tips to help you be safe when using the garage door.
Keep the remote away from children – do not keep the garage door opener remote where your children can reach it and play with it. Also, do not allow children to play with the door because it can be very dangerous.
Containment cables- have the containment cables installed on the door. They are used to prevent the springs on the door from recoiling were they to break. If the containment cables are not installed and the spring breaks, it will whip around and cut anything on its way. The springs are known to harm many people that way. Containment cables do not cost a lot and they are easy to install even for DIY enthusiasts.
Lift handles – the door should have lift handles installed and well positioned. The lift handles come in handy when you want to open the door because they give you something to grab on and lift the door other than having to put your fingers under the door. They should be installed both on the outside and the inside of the door. Measure the space between the top frame and the door so that you know the side of the handles that you can install on the door.
Open the garage door first – before you start your car engine ensure the garage door is opened. This is important because the fumes that come out of your vehicle can cause you harm and even the people in the house. Opening the garage door first before starting the engine of the car ensures that the fumes leave the garage immediately.
Keep the garage opener safely – do not leave your garage opener just exposed for all to see. It is a key to your house and therefore should be guarded well to prevent people from gaining access to your house. The key should be kept away from the sight of many people since you might not know who can think of using it without your consent.
Always leave the garage door closed – do not leave the garage door open. If left open it exposes your house to burglars. Also leaving the door open can increase the utility bills since you expose the house to the outside weather causing the air conditioner to work more. Leaving the door open also means if anything was to go wrong with the door for instance if the springs broke the door would fall down and crush anything under it.
Do not go under a moving door – it is not advisable to walk under a door that is closing which most people try to do to save a few seconds. The risk involved is not worth it. Even with the safety measures like the auto reverse mechanism, it is still important to ensure your safety as such mechanisms could fail. If something was to go wrong with the door it would come down and crush you so it’s better to stay safe.
Vacation mode – when you are going on vacation you leave your home vulnerable to burglary attacks. Most garage door openers available now come with a vacation mode. The vacation mode button renders the remote unusable so it cannot be used to gain access into your house when you are not there. Also, you can unplug the door when you are not there so that it stays locked until you return.
Keep your fingers away from the door – always ensure that you do not put your fingers between the moving parts of the door or under the door. This can cause you very great harm. Also if you have children in the house teach them not to place their fingers anywhere in the door to protect them from getting crushed by the door.
Keep the door in view when closing – ensure that you keep the door in view when you are closing the door to make sure that it completely closes. If the door stops before it is completely shut then you can check on the issue and have it fixed.
Monthly tests – ensure that you perform monthly tests to check on the reverse mechanism of the door. Also, check on the balance of the door and if the sensors are working correctly. The tests are very easy to perform and do not require any special equipment. If you perform the tests and you find that the door is not working properly, have it repaired immediately so that you can be sure that you are safe.
Inspect the door – ensure that you inspect the door regularly. This is done by looking at the door visually and also by listening to the door as it closes and opens. The door should not make a lot of noise as it operates. If you hear so much noise it means that some of the hardware is loose and needs to be checked. Check the door to see that all things are in place and that the moving parts are not showing signs of excessive wear and tear.
Access codes – ensure that you change the manufacturer standard codes and use your own codes. If the door does not have the rollover technology that changes the codes every month, ensure that you change the codes regularly yourself.
Avoid the electrical components – ensure that you do not tamper with the electrical systems of the door. Electricity is dangerous and can cause you harm. If not handled well electricity can also cause fires and therefore it is best to avoid dealing with the electrical components of the door. Let the professionals handle that.
If the door is dented have it inspected – if you find that the door is dented, have it inspected by a professional. The dents may seem harmless to you but the software of the door could be compromised. Ensure therefore that the door is checked and repaired if necessary.
Familiarize yourself with the safety features – ensure that you know all the safety features of the door. This will come in handy when you have to do something quickly in order to avoid imminent danger. Read the user manual provided with the door so that you know where these features are and how to use them in case of an emergency. Know where the ripcord is which allows you to disengage the motor of the door to be able to use it manually when you want to.
With these tips, you will be able to have your garage door working properly and also be able to avoid causing harm to any persons using the door. Also, maintenance helps the door to last for long saving you a lot of money on repairs and even replacement of the door. It is always advisable to use the services of a professional. They can help you to do the regular inspection, maintenance, and repairs of the door. For Garage Door Service In Dallas call 365 Overhead Garage Doors.