How to Take the Headache out of a Heavy Garage Door

Your garage door is the largest moving part of your home. It certainly is not a child’s toy. It is built to keep you and your entire family safe.

The door material is irrelevant

Regardless of the material with which your garage door was made, its thickness, its size (single or double) or if it has windows, it weighs at least 130 pounds (single door), and it can go up to 350 pounds or more (double door with windows). Contemporary doors (all glass, double door) can weigh over 400 pounds. To be able to raise and lower garage doors manually, they are equipped with a counterweight system, made of torsion or extension springs.

Life Expectancy

Over time, springs lose their effectiveness and their strength. Most garage door manufacturers recommend changing the spring system after 10,000 cycles (opening/closing). If you have a single car garage and use it four times per day, this represents a life expectancy of about seven years. If you have a double garage door, and use it regularly for two cars, the life expectancy could be reduced to about five years. However, nothing is perfect. A garage door spring can break at any time due to poor workmanship.

You can extend the life expectancy of your garage door spring system by lubricating it on a yearly basis. It’s simple: take car oil (for example 10W30) and apply it to the springs. Use a cloth to remove the excess oil. This lubrication will also reduce the noise springs can make when they contract.

One important point to note: If your system is made with extension springs (springs placed above the horizontal rail), they need to be fitted with a safety cable. If a spring breaks, the safety cable will keep it in place, preventing it from causing damage or hitting someone.

It’s okay, I have an electric door opener!

If the counterweight system is not doing its job or your garage door balance is off, your electric garage door opener can compensate. However, this is not without consequence. Without the counterweight system, a door opener can lift up to 200 pounds… while making so much noise that it will worry you.

To avoid this situation, it is important to complete a spring system check twice per year. Pull the emergency cord on your door opener and gently lift your garage door. A properly balanced garage door weighs about 10 to 15 pounds, which can easily be lifted with one hand. There could be several issues preventing your door from lifting easily. For safety reasons, don’t try to solve the problem yourself.

Annual preventive maintenance

We recommend having a maintenance done to your garage door every 12 to 18 months. Call a Garaga EXPERTS specialist in your area. They will offer a preventive maintenance program, done only by experienced and trained technicians. They can fix a heavy garage door to make it safe and easy to use!

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