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General Garage Door Questions

What are the benefits of an insulated garage door?

A garage door opening represents a large opening in your home’s thermal barrier. Aligned with the tax credit incentives to promote a healthier and more energy-efficient environment, an insulated garage door will help to reduce the amount of outside temperature that enters your garage, thus reducing the amount of energy required to cool or heat your home. Insulated doors also reduce noise from the exterior of your home.

Garage Door Maintenance Checklist

What maintenance is suggested for my garage or overhead door?

While we suggest a certified professional undertake any major repairs, there are some steps you can take to maintain your door. They are:

  • Periodically lubricate your garage or overhead door track. Call us to determine the best methods for lubricating your specific door.
  • Clean the frame’s weather stripping with vinyl cleaner and lubricate it once every other month with an appropriate product to keep the stripping pliable.
  • Inspect the rollers every six months and replace any that are worn or broken, or call us and have us replace them.
  • If you have painted door, periodically paint the exterior to help protect it from the elements.

What should I know about garage door durability?

Garage Door Springs

A “cycle” is one full opening and closing action. Garage door torsion springs are rated by cycle life, with 10,000 cycles as the industry standard minimum. Upgrades are available to around 100,000 cycles. The average spring breaks about every 7 to 12 years with average usage for the recommended product. If a garage door has two or more springs and one breaks, all springs should be replaced to maintain proper balance.

Garage Door Failure

The leading causes of garage door failure and/or replacement include lack of maintenance and being hit by vehicles. A proper maintenance schedule for a garage door includes lubrication of the rollers, bearings, pulleys, and springs once a year; washing painted steel surfaces several times a year; painting or refinishing wood surfaces as necessary; and making proper adjustments to the counter balance system as necessary to maintain door balance. A properly balanced garage door should be able to be stopped mid-travel without drifting down or up when operated manually.

What should I know about garage door safety?

Section Joints

This is the area between garage door sections. People have been injured by attempting to close a door by placing their fingers in an open section joint and pulling down on the door. Some garage doors are now being equipped with finger-protected section joints that won't allow you to place your fingers in the joint. As a safety precaution, however, never attempt to place your fingers in the section joint.

Corner Brackets

The corner brackets are the two brackets that are attached to the lower left and lower right corners of the door. The cables that lift your garage door are typically attached to these brackets. Since these cables are under high tension, the brackets could fly dangerously when disconnected. Only an experienced technician should service these brackets.

Extension Springs

Garage doors are typically balanced either by torsion springs or extension springs. Extension springs are generally mounted just above the horizontal track, perpendicular to the closed garage door. They provide lifting power by stretching.

If an extension spring breaks, broken spring parts can cause injury by flying around the garage. However, a safety cable, installed inside each extension spring, can contain the spring and prevent injury. If you have extension springs but do not have a safety cable, call us for a safety inspection. Only an experienced technician should service garage door springs.

Torsion Springs

Garage doors are typically balanced either by torsion springs or extension springs. Torsion springs are usually mounted above a closed door, parallel and horizontal to the top section of the door. They provide lifting power for the door by winding and unwinding while the door is opened and closed.

The torsion spring is under high tension and requires special tools for adjustment. Because of the high tension, the torsion spring, and any part associated with the counterbalance system, should be adjusted only by a professional. These parts include: the springs, the cables, the corner brackets attached to the cables, the cable drums, and the center bearing bracket that holds the torsion spring shaft.

Garage Door Openers

A garage door opener is a separate product from a garage door. Openers are electric motorized devices that open and close garage doors. Most garage door openers include an internal reversing mechanism that causes the door to reverse when it hits an obstruction. However, garage door openers with inadequate or poorly maintained reversing mechanisms have caused injury and even death to children who are caught underneath motor-operated garage doors.

The sensitivity of these internal reversing mechanisms can fall out of proper adjustment so that the door will not reverse when it hits an obstruction. You should check your reversing mechanism monthly by setting a block of wood or a full roll of paper towels on the floor in the path of a descending door. If the door does not reverse after contacting the obstruction, call a Fawley to examine and repair your door system.

Lift Handles and Pull Ropes

A lift handle is a handle attached to the door that allows you to manually open or close a door. A pull rope performs the same function and is usually attached to the bottom bracket in the lower corner of the door.

The lift handles and pull ropes are intended for use with a door that is opened and closed by hand. But when an opener is attached to the door, the pull rope should be removed. Otherwise, they can snag or hook on people or loose clothing while the door is being opened by the operator. If you have a power outage and need to manually close your motor-operated door, don't close the door by placing your fingers between the door sections.

Photoelectric Eyes and Sensing Edges

Photoelectric eyes are sensors that are mounted about 5 to 6 inches off the floor on both sides of a garage door. These sensors operate with a garage door opener and send an invisible beam across the door opening. If that beam is broken while a motorized door is closing, the garage door opener will cause the door to reverse direction to the fully open position.

A sensing edge is attached to the bottom edge of a garage door. When this sensor contacts an obstruction during the closing of the door, the opener will cause the door to reverse direction to the fully open position.

A federal law requires that all residential garage door openers sold in the United States since 1993 must include an additional protection against entrapment, such as photoelectric eyes or a sensing edge. The law also requires that, if these sensors become inoperative, the opener will not function. Your garage door opener can be dangerous if it does not have these safety devices.

Remote Controls

Garage door openers are usually operated by a wall-mounted push button, a hand-held remote control, or a keyless entry pad that requires you to enter a numerical code. Small children have been seriously injured by playing with the remote controls of motor-operated garage doors. Running under a closing door can be a deadly game. Do not let children play with or use the push button or any remote controls for your door. Keep all such controls out of the reach of children.