How safe is your garage door opener?

When was the last time you performed routine preventive maintenance on your garage door opener? Although your garage door opener is a great convenience and works well, almost all home owners take it for granted and overlook a monthly maintenance check. Neglecting regular maintenance of your garage door opener could potentially cause severe injury to family members.

A spokesperson from Garaga brought this very interesting fact to our attention: "According to a recent US survey, 45% of homeowners who have a garage use the garage door as the primary point of entry into their home. In addition, a separate survey indicates that 71% use their garage door openers (GDO's) to enter their homes".

This seems like enough evidence to convince anyone about the importance of regular maintenance for their garage doors and openers. An important thing to remember is that a GDO can easily raise a 150 to 200 lbs (65 to 90 kg) residential door. Therefore, when a door reverses as it is closing, does it not seem logical that the door opening mechanism be in top notch shape?

Here are routine preventive maintenance tips from 'The Garaga Guy'

Keep remote controls away from children and do not let them play with the wall control panel.

Twice a year, you should deactivate the automatic opener (while the door is in the closed position). This can be done by pulling on the red cord or pull rope.

Balance test: once the door is in "manual mode" check to see if it is properly balanced. You should be able to lift the door easily with only two fingers. If this is not the case, you may have a cable or spring malfunction. Call your local Garaga dealer or speak with a qualified garage door installer immediately.

Visual inspect rails, chain/belt and mounting brackets. Ex: Horizontal rails should always be parallel to insure that the door operates properly.

Lubricate all metal parts twice a year with a proper metal lubricant (not WD-40). The same applies for weather seals, making sure to use a silicone based lubricant. This will add years of worry-free operation to your garage door.

Reversal test: Make sure that the reversal mechanisms of your garage door opener are functional. Since 1996, all garage door openers are equipped with 2 safety systems. The first one is a photocell system that will stop and reverse the motion of the door whenever a person or an object passes through the light beam. The second system will stop and reverse the door automatically if it senses any resistance while the door is closing.

In conclusion, "Regular maintenance for a home owner should cost about $70 for a tune up (cost for parts is additional)", says our savvy Garaga Guy. He concluded with the well-known saying: "It's better to be safe than sorry". More tips on door maintenance are available on the Garaga web site.

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