General maintenance and safety for garage doors and garage door opener.

Posted 11/26/2012

A garage door is the largest moving object in the home. An improperly adjusted garage door opener can exerts deadly force when the door closes – which could lead to entrapment of children or adults and subsequent injury or death from asphyxiation.

Careless operation and allowing children to play with or use garage door opener controls are also dangerous situations that can lead to tragic results. A few simple precautions can protect your family and friends from potential harm.

  • Do not stand or walk under a moving door.
  • Do not let children play “beat the door”. Adult should set a good example
  • Keep door opening clear, do not park under an open door.
  • Keep transmitters out of reach of children.
  • Do not let children play with or use transmitters.
  • The push button/wall control should be out of reach of children and away from all moving parts.
  • Keep the door in view when operating with push button/wall control or transmitter.
  • Teach children never to play under or near an open garage door.

General maintenance.

There are routine maintenance steps that you should follow once a month. Review your owner’s manual for both garage door and garage door opener. If you do not have the owner’s manuals contact the manufacture(s) and request or download a copy for your specific model. Look for the opener  model number on the back or under the light cover of the power unit.

Close the door and look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and other door hardware for signs of wear. Check for loose or missing fasteners on the door, on the track brackets and back hang support.

Lube hinges, rollers and all moving points and joints 2-4 times a year with light machine oil.

If you suspect any problems, have a qualified garage door service technician to make repair.

WARNING Springs, cables, bottom cable brackets, spring brackets and related hardware  are under high tension. Only qualified individuals should adjust and repair them.


Door balance test.

Close garage door, then pull down on the emergency release handle. The trolley will disconnect. If you need to pull the emergency release handle when the door is open, be sure no one is standing in the way of door travel.Weak or broken springs could cause the door to fall rapidly or unexpectedly, resulting in serious injury, death or property damage.

Raise and lower the door manually to see whether there is binding or sticking. You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance.

Release door about halfway open to test for balance. It should stay in any point of travel, supported entirely by its springs.

To reconnect the trolley, pull the emergency release handle, toward the opener. It will reconnect automatically when the door control or remote control push button is pressed. On some opener you need to pull the emergency release handle, toward the door or straight down.

Wash and cleaning.

Especially if you live in area with high salt content in the air from the ocean or in showy condition, it’s a good idea to wash your garage door once a month to keep it nice and clean. It will also keep looking better over time. Use light (nonabrasive) soapy water, car wash can be used to further protect the finish

Any wood door will need annual protection as any other exterior wood on your house to stand up to the element and look good.