Inspecting garage doors for safety and proper functioning

Garage doors are probably used everyday just like your main door or side door.  But, have you ever given a thought to this door and ensuring it is working properly?  You really should consider getting your garage door inspected for safety at least once a year to ensure its proper functioning. These are some simple inspection steps that are easy to conduct which will ensure proper and safe functioning of your garage door for another year ahead:

  1. Proper installation of photo eye sensors on your garage door: On either side of your garage door photo eye sensors are installed which must be just 6 inches from the ground level. Check if these are tightly installed at the perfect height.

  2. Make sure that the photo eye sensors function properly: To check the functionality, place an object above 6 inches such that it blocks one of the two sensors. Now close the garage door by pressing the button next to it (use garage door opener). The door must not close if the eye sensors are functioning properly.

  3. Check the mechanical reverse of the garage door: Keep a piece of wooden plank at 1.5 inches high along the edge of garage door. Now close the garage door by pressing the button (use garage door opener). The garage door starts closing down and as soon as it comes in contact with the object (wooden plank) it will reverse and start to open again. This shows that the reverse mechanism is functioning perfectly.

  4. Check the balance of the garage door: The garage door opener should be set on manual mode. Then, try to open and close the garage door manually, it should move smoothly. Now to check the balance, open the door manually and leave it halfway. It must stay in that place and not fall down on the ground. This proves it is perfectly balanced.

  5. Check the springs of garage door: Torsion springs and extension springs are the two types of springs found in garage door. Torsion springs are found above the garage doors while extension springs, as the name suggests are fixed along the upper tracks on either side of the garage door. To check if these springs are working properly, close the door and check for any kind of damage visually. Lubrication is required if you hear a squeaky sound. Even after lubrication you hear the squeaky sound, it might indicate a serious issue.

  6. Check the working of pulleys: Check if there is any wear and tear of pulleys visually. Since these pulleys are under high tension, hence carefully inspect for damage or call an expert.

  7. Check the lifting cables: The lifting cables should be checked visually and see if there are any broken strands. Carefully check the roller bucket too. These tend to wear out quickly as compared to other parts as they are in contact with moisture most of the time.

  8. Check the working of rollers: There are nylon rollers and steel roller. The former can crack and chip after some time while the later usually bends and deforms. Thus close visual inspection should be carried out from time to time.

  9. Check the top and bottom fixtures of your garage door: You need to check for loose screws by inspecting the top and bottom of garage door. The screws normally become loose due to constant opening and closing of your garage door.

  10. Pay close attention to hinges: Check the hinges visually. Ensure that the hinges are firmly fixed and not loose anywhere. Loose hinges can cause serious issues.

  11. Check the rubber seal at the bottom: Long rubber strip fixed at the bottom of your garage door prevents water, insects or dirt entering into your garage. Check if it has not chipped or worn out. Replace the seal if required.

  12. Check how the perimeter weather seal is working: The top sides of the garage door have perimeter weather seal attached which prevents wind, rain and dirt entering into your garage. Thus check these seals if they are ripped or worn out. If so, make sure your get it replaced soon.

As a home inspector, we thoroughly check the garage door as part of our inspection process.  We hope these tips are helpful.  If you are local to the Albany area and local for a certified home inspector, please consider Bald Eagle Inspection Services.

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