June 29, 2018

Is your old garage door a danger?

Old garage doors

Every time you leave or arrive at your home, you see your old garage door. You think, “It’s no big deal. It makes a lot of noise, but it can wait a little longer. As long as it still opens and closes when I push the button, I’ll just wait to replace it.

While you can definitely wait to have a garage door replaced, you should know that there are risks are you facing that could put your safety and that of your loved ones in jeopardy.

Here are the dangers that may be waiting for you and your family when you put off replacing your garage door.

Why is the garage door so important?

Remember: A garage door is the largest moving component in any home. That means that it requires very precise balance and it is important that it works safely when you need it the most.

From another perspective, your garage door is also important for the way your home looks. The garage door can take up from 20 to 45% of the surface area on the front of your home. It is the thing that greets you when you pull into your driveway. An old, shabby, and poorly maintained garage door may give visitors a less than welcoming impression of your home, and won’t make you feel at home either.

Crucial component #1: The spring system!

If your garage door is older and hasn’t had regular maintenance, it is very likely that one of the most crucial components is in a very dangerous state. The spring system, also called the counterweight system, is meant for raising and lowering the door and has to be regularly adjusted to keep it working correctly. The usable lifespan for springs, in any type of garage door system, is no more than seven years.

If your garage door is nine feet wide, it can weigh about 140 lb. (63.5 kg). If you have a double garage door (a 16‑foot door for two cars), it can weight around 260 lb. (118 kg). If your garage door opener is properly adjusted, it can lift and support a garage door weighing up to 350 lb. (159 kg), but keep in mind that that means it also pushes down the same weight – this is where the spring system becomes so important. (Also keep in mind that if the photo‑eye safety reversing systems don’t work correctly, this can cause serious accidents.)

When the spring system is working properly, the garage door will only feel as though it weighs between 8 and 10 lb. (3.5 to 4.5 kg). If you were to pull on the emergency cord to disengage the door opener, you’d be able to lift your door with just one hand. If you are not able to, contact us immediately. Do not try to repair the problem yourself because the spring system is under very high tension. You could seriously injure yourself if you are not experienced in garage door repair.

Another important component: tight nuts and bolts!

Is your garage door noisy when it opens and closes? That is usually caused by nuts and bolts that are loose. Look closely at the hinges and the system that holds the tracks. If needed, tighten up these areas to keep everything secure.

Next Up: Check the rollers for smooth action.

The garage door moves up and down on rollers, and that is exactly what they should be doing – rolling, not sliding along. If they no longer have smooth, rounded edges, it’s time to change them. And if any of the rollers are coming off the shaft where they roll, don’t delay in having a professional fix the issue!

Lubrication is key

Did you know that garage door parts can rust in even slightly damp conditions? This will cause all the parts to work incorrectly over time. By giving a good lubrication to all metal parts (springs, rollers, tracks), you can make them last much longer.

Final component: the garage door opener

If your garage door opener is more than 20 years old, it likely needs to be replaced with a newer model that has an automatic reversal system. This means that the garage door will stop moving if something runs or moves under the door, like a pet, a child, an item rolling, and so on. This system is very important for keeping everyone and everything safe in your garage.

We strongly recommend changing your garage door opener if your current one was made before 1993.

Consider the many garage door advancements

Thanks to the boom of technology in the recent decades, garage doors are more advanced than ever. Since 2014, LiftMaster’s MyQTM advanced technology makes it easy to open or close your garage door anywhere in the world. This means you never have to worry about your garage door being forgotten in your early morning rush.

Not sure where to start? we can help!

If you aren’t really sure if you need a new garage door, contact us 616-453-0164. We can help you understand all the options on the market, and will advise you on the best choice to make your garage as safe as possible. Ask us about getting a free quotation by email!

Want to see all the possibilities in action? You can visit our showroom or use our Design Centre to choose the style that suits you best. At a loss for ideas? Then take a look at our image gallery to spark your imagination.

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