Your garage door is by far your home’s largest moving object, and possibly its hardest working component. On the average, the electric opener raises and lowers the 150 to 250 pound door more than a thousand times a year. Many homeowners use the garage to enter their home rather than use the front door.
It’s easy to ignore your door, but it’s a bad idea. A broken overhead door is more than a hassle, it’s a danger. To ensure your door and electric door opener operate smoothly and with efficiency, here are a few recommendations to oversee periodically:
Make sure springs aren’t rusty or on the verge of breaking. Look for loose fasteners, worn tracks and hinges, frayed cables, or damaged roller wheels. Springs usually last 5 to 10 years or less if the garage is used as the main entry into the house.
TEST THE AUTOMATIC SAFETY REVERSE SYSTEMS:
Required by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission since 1991, the Automatic Safety Reverse System (ASRS) feature forces the door to immediately stop and return to the open position when it detects an obstruction. There are two systems that feature the auto reverse: contact reverse and infrared motion. To test the contact reverse, place an object in the path of the closing door. When the door contacts the object, it should reverse quickly and return to the open position. To test the infrared motion system , swipe an object in the path of the infrared beam when the door is closing and it should detect the motion of the object and reverse quickly to the open position.
TEST THE EMERGENCY MANUEL RELEASE:
This is a bright red handle that hangs from a rope. If the door were to malfunction or the system loses power, you should be able to pull the release and move the door up and down on your own.
TIGHTEN LOOSE BOLTS AND LUBRICATE:
Use garage door lubricant, silicone spray or powdered graphite on rollers, hinges and springs. Every three to four years, wipe the springs with motor oil. Also wipe the door opener chain with a light oil.
If you are not handy and want a professional to perform an annual inspection, expect to pay $100 to $125. Average repairs such as roller or spring replacement may range between $100 to $300. The average cost to replace and install a new hurricane impact garage door may range from $1000 to $1750 depending if it is a single or double car garage door.
When hiring garage door contractors, ask for proof of insurance and appropriate licensing. Also, recommend pulling permits for the new installation to assure the installation was performed properly.