Keeping Your Garage Door Operating Safely

The average American garage door opens and closes 1500 times a year. Coupled with the extreme temperatures and weather conditions of Minnesota, garage doors and openers require periodic maintenance. Conduct the following routine maintenance of both the garage door and the opener, ideally before the winter sets in and before the summer arrives, to avoid problems or injuries.

  • Check cables, pulleys, rollers, hinges and opener for signs of wear on a monthly basis.

  • Springs carry hundreds of pounds of tension, and their useful life varies with the amount of use. If you suspect spring problems, do not try to adjust them yourself. They are under great tension and present extreme danger to anyone other than a qualified professional.

  • Another major danger area is the bottom brackets. These are connected by cables to the springs and are also under extreme tension. Have a qualified professional make these adjustments or repairs.

  • Regularly lubricate the moving parts of the door with silicone spray or special garage door lubricant which doesn't attract dirt/dust. Do not lubricate plastic parts.

  • Garage Door Openers should have safety sensors. Check that the sensor eyes are located off the floor on each side of the door. Make sure these sensors are cleaned and aligned with each other. Cobwebs, leaves and dirt can prevent the sensors from operating properly.

  • If your opener doesn't have an electronic reversing system you are exposing yourself to significant danger if the door should close on a person or property. You are also exposed to legal liability if children, pets or property are crushed by the closing door. Deaths have been caused by these old garage door openers and they should be replaced as soon as possible.

  • Test your garage door opener to ensure it meets current safety requirements by having a working electronic reversing system. To test the opener:

    • Open your garage door

    • Place a 2X4 piece of wood flat on the garage floor near the door center

    • Close the door using the opener

    • When the door closes on the wood, it should automatically reverse

    • If it does not reverse, this is a serious safety hazard and the opener settings should be adjusted or your opener replaced with a new, safer model.

Your garage door is opened by large springs which eventually lose their strength with extensive use. Test to see if the door and springs are balanced properly by:

  • Disconnecting the door from the opener system by pulling the red disconnect cord.

  • Manually lower the door to the half-way point and see if it stays in that position without being held, if so it is balanced.

  • If it raises or lowers on its own, the springs may need adjustment.

  • Running an unbalanced door with your opener may lead to heavy wear on the opener.

If any of these issues need professional attention, please contact Metro Garage Door right away. We offer same day service if called before 1 pm.