Posted on: 30 March 2016Share
Automatic garage door openers certainly make life convenient, but if they're not maintained properly or if developing issues are not caught early, they can also pose a safety hazard. You would never want your garage door to close or fall on someone, or the spring to pop off and fly into someone's head. If you take the time to go over this safety checklist this spring, you can ensure your garage door is in safe shape and reduce the risk of dangerous calamities.
Check the torsion springs.
The torsion springs are the large springs that run along the length of the garage door track. There are typically two torsion springs -- on on each side of the track -- though some smaller garage door openers may just have one spring down the middle. These springs are under high tension, so if they break, they can cause a lot of damage, even death, if they snap back.
There are a couple safety points to check when it comes to your torsion springs. First, make sure that each one has a cable running down the middle of it. This cable is designed to "catch" the spring if it does snap. The spring will stay on the cable instead of flying off entirely. Second, make sure there is no visible rust or corrosion on the spring. Over time, this could get worse and could cause the spring to either snap or fall off the cable.
If your torsion spring is off the cable or has begun to rust, don't attempt to replace it yourself. Because of the pressure the springs are under, this is a very risky repair that is best left to the pros. Also, do not continue operating the garage door until you have the spring repaired or replaced. A garage door with a faulty torsion spring could fall down suddenly if the spring snaps, causing severe injuries.
Look over the cables.
Take a look at the cables that run from your garage door to the opening mechanism. If any of the cables are beginning to fray or look worn, it's important to replace them before they break. If a cable that shows wear is not under tension, you can remove it yourself and take it to a home improvement store to help you find an identical one. Then, snap the new one into place. If the cable that's damaged is under tension, however, you should have it replaced by a professional.
Test the laser sensor.
Garage door openers are typically fitted with a laser sensor that is located across the doorway. The sensor sends a laser beam from one side to the other. If something gets in the way of the laser and stops it from being detected on the other side while the garage door is closing, the garage door will stop closing. This is to prevent the door from shutting on someone.
To test the laser sensor, stick something small, like a broom handle, into the path of the door while it is closing. The door should stop closing; some will reverse and open the rest of the way. If the door continues to close in spite of the broom handle being in its path, then it's time to have the sensors checked and replaced.
Make sure the garage door track is secure.
Sometimes the bolts and screws that attach the garage door track to your garage wall work themselves loose over time. Grab a screwdriver and a wrench, and work your way along the track, making sure that all of these bolts and screws are tightened. The garage door track should not wiggle or jostle.
Complete this checklist at least once a year. Twice a year is even better! You'll reduce your risk of injuries due to your garage door, and you'll be taking an important step towards keeping family and visitors safe, too.
For more information, contact a company like Overhead Door Of Akron.