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How to Inspect Your Garage Door

Regular inspections of your garage door can help you identify issues early and save money on repairs. As the largest moving part of your home, your garage door comprises numerous components that need to work together seamlessly. An annual inspection can ensure that your garage door operates smoothly and safely.

Step-by-Step Garage Door Inspection #

1. Inspect the Door Panels

  • From the Inside: Start inside your garage, observing your door from the top down.
  • Check for Damage: Ensure that the panels are not split or cracked, especially at the top of the door.
  • Wood Doors: For wooden doors, check for rot at the bottom.
  • Hinges and Hardware: Verify that the hinges are tight, undamaged, and not bent, with all lags and bolts in place.

2. Inspect the Spring System

  • Torsion Spring System:
  • Corrosion: Check for signs of rust or corrosion on the springs.
  • Spring Mount: Ensure the spring mount is securely attached to the wall and not coming loose.
  • Safety Warning: Do not attempt to repair the spring system yourself due to the risk of serious injury. Call a trained professional if you notice any issues.
  • Extension Spring System:
  • Broken Springs: Look for any broken springs or noticeable gaps in the springs.
  • Cables: Inspect both the safety and operating cables for fraying.
  • Pulleys: Ensure the pulleys are intact and can spin easily.

3. Check the Bottom Rubber

  • Condition: Look for any tears or rips in the bottom rubber seal.
  • Attachment: Ensure the bottom rubber is securely in the channel and not coming out.

4. Inspect the Weather Seal

  • Gaps: Look for gaps between the weather seal liner and the stop molding around the door.
  • Contact: Ensure the vinyl flap makes a good, flush contact with the door to keep out drafts and pests.

5. Inspect the Opener and Its Functions

  • Safety Eyes: Ensure the safety eyes are mounted 3-6 inches off the ground and are free of debris.
  • Safety Reversal Feature: Test this feature by placing a 2×4 piece of wood on the ground beneath the door and closing it. The door should touch the wood and then reverse back to the open position.

6. Test the Weight or Balance of Your Garage Door

  • Safety Note: When manually operating the door, keep your fingers away from the spaces between joints and panels.
  • Emergency Release: With the door in the closed position, pull the emergency release cord to disengage the opener.
  • Manual Operation: Lift the door manually. It should not feel heavier than 5-10 lbs.
  • Position Testing: Test the door in three positions: 1/3 of the way up, halfway up, and 3/4 of the way up. The door should stay in place without sliding down.
  • Close the Door: Bring the door back to the closed position and observe for any issues during the movement.

7. Inspect Brackets and Woodwork

  • Brackets: Ensure the brackets are securely attached to the woodwork.
  • Woodwork: Check that the woodwork is not split, cracked, or rotted, especially around the areas where the brackets are mounted.

By following these steps, you can keep your garage door in good working condition and address minor issues before they become major problems. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can extend the life of your garage door and ensure the safety and security of your home.