Have you ever left for work, saw your old garage door closing as you backed out of the drive, and thought “Man, that door makes a lot of noise, but as long as it’s still working, I guess it’s probably all right?” If so, you aren’t alone. Many homeowners have older garage doors that are noisy or slow, but still work, so they leave them be.
While you can get by with your old garage door, it does post certain risks to you and your loved ones when you don’t have a properly maintained garage door.
Wondering exactly what those risks are? You’re in the right place – just keep reading.
Before We Begin…
Before we dive into the hazards your garage door could pose, it is important to be reminded that the garage door is a huge moving part – the largest moving part of your home, in fact. That is why it is very important that it works safely all the time.
Also, keep in mind that the garage door can take up from 20% to 45% of the facade of your house. It plays a big part in the first impression of your home. An old garage door that looks beat up or shabby won’t be very inviting to guests, potential buyers, or your own self!
The crucial spring system is at the top of the hazard list!
One common problem for many older garage doors is that the spring system, or counterweight system, for raising and lowering the door, is in need of a good adjustment or replacement. The usable lifespan for springs is no more than seven years, and you’d be surprised how many homeowners go much longer than that before replacing these components.
Consider these facts:
- A 9‑foot‑wide garage door can weigh about 140 lb. (63.5 kg)
- A 16‑foot door (2‑car garage), around 260 lb. (118 kg)
- A garage door opener can easily lift a garage door weighing up to 350 lb. (159 kg)
- It can also push down the same amount of weight
…and that’s where the danger arises! If the photo‑eye safety reversing systems don’t work correctly, this can cause serious accidents because a huge weight is falling down.
However, if the spring system is working properly, the door will only represent a weight of between 8 and 10 lb. (3.5 to 4.5 kg). You should be able to lift your door with just one hand if the springs are working properly. If you are not able to, contact us immediately for repair. Don’t DIY this repair – the high tension of the springs can be dangerous!
Loose nuts and bolts are another big problem!
If your garage door is very squeaky and noisy when it moves, you need to check the nuts and bolts. It is very likely that the nuts and bolts are loose on the hinges and the system that holds the tracks. Be sure to check these and tighten as needed.
Rollers should be rolling smoothly!
On the garage door, the rollers should, well, roll, and not slide. If they look square rather than round and smooth, they need to be replaced. And they should always be on the shaft where they roll, not about to come off. Contact us to have this issue resolved right away if they are off the shaft.
Keep the metal parts lubricated!
Rust can wear out a garage door and its parts far sooner than they should be worn out. By giving a good lubrication to all metal parts (springs, rollers, tracks), you’re making sure that they stay in good shape for much longer.
Keep an eye on the garage door opening system, too.
Newer garage door opening systems have an automatic reversal system, which is a very important safety tool. These react to anything running under the door when it is in motion by automatically reversing its path. This keeps kids, pets, and belongings safe.
We strongly recommend changing your garage door opener if your current one was made before 1993. Your safety and that of your loved ones are of utmost importance.
Consider how garage doors have changed in the past few years.
Garage doors are also keeping up with the Internet age with technology like LiftMaster’s MyQTM. Introduced to the market in 2014, this advanced technology allows you to open and close your garage door anywhere you may be in the world. Don’t worry about whether you forgot the door ever again. Have an early meeting, or are you in a rush? You can just check on the door when you get to work and shut it then if you forgot – no big deal at all! You can also let someone into the house without having to give them a key.
Get professional advice on where to start.
If you just don’t know where to begin with a new or repaired garage door, contact us 515-276-3700. We are always happy to show you what is available or to walk you through all our services. It’s our goal to make your garage as safe as possible, so we’ll advise you on all the latest technology. We can also send you a quotation by email if you prefer.
We also welcome you to visit our showroom or use our Design Center to choose the style that suits your home from our gallery. At a loss for what your style may be? Take a look at our image gallery to get some great inspiration!