We hope you enjoyed Part One last month. Now we’ll keep the fun going this month in Part Two. Last time, we went over the most popular garage door types and a handy garage door checklist. This time, we’ll explore why garage door safety is a top priority for homeowners and what the most common questions are that we get about garage doors. Keep reading to learn more.

Garage Door Safety: Priority #1

Yes, your garage door is the focal point of your home, but it’s also an alternative point of entry and exit, not to mention it protects your vehicles, bikes, tools, and lawn equipment. But even on top of all that, your garage door serves a big purpose: keeping you safe. It’s a sad fact, but malfunctioning doors are very common. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that 30,000 injuries happen annually from malfunctioning garage doors. Between the years 1982 and 1990, 46 deaths occurred. This is what prompted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 1990 to be signed into law, requiring all residential garage door operators to meet stringent standards regarding entrapment protection.

One such safety precaution says that automatic garage door systems must include safety reversing and/or automatic shut-off systems. But even with all these regulations and new technologies, you still need to use your common sense when using your garage door. Keep up with regular maintenance on openers, sensors and accessories to prevent serious injury or death, or even expensive property damage.

Garage Door Safety Tips

Professional technicians should be called in when major repairs, inspections, installations and service checks are needed. However, as a homeowner, you can handle some smaller things to keep your garage door safe, such as:

  • Keeping the remote control out of the reach of small children.
  • Knowing exactly how to use the emergency release feature.
  • Visually inspect your garage door on a monthly basis, paying attention to springs, cables, pulleys, and the door itself.
  • Testing the reverse mechanism. Here’s a tip: place a wooden board or roll of paper towels under the path of the door. Press the close button. If the door doesn’t bounce back up after hitting the object, call a pro right away.
  • Telling your kids the dangers of playing with garage doors, and telling them to keep their fingers away from the slats.
  • Not leaving the garage door partly open, as the next time you go to press the opener, the door may continue downward, trapping objects beneath. Of course, this is also a security risk.
  • Unplugging the garage door opener unit or installing a vacation lock security switch when leaving on an extended trip.
  • Not leaving the garage door opener in your car or handing it to a valet parking attendant.
  • Not removing parts or making adjustments by yourself. A professional should always be called in for these jobs, in the interest of safety.

Your Common Questions: Answered

We get a lot of questions from our customers on a regular basis. We thought it would be helpful to compile some of them here for your information.

Q: Why Isn’t My Garage Door Closing Properly?

A: If your garage door is opening or closing just halfway, or not closing at all, it can be frustrating to troubleshoot these situations. It’s usually a simple fix like switching out the battery in the opener. But other times, a more serious problem is at hand and you will need the advice of a trained technician. Check out these common reasons why your garage door isn’t closing the way it should:

  • The photo eyes are misaligned (these are located on either end of the garage entrance).
  • The transmitter batteries are dead.
  • You have an out-of-range transmitter.
  • There’s an object in the door’s path (toys, debris on the track, trash can, etc.)
  • The track is misaligned.
  • Your limit settings haven’t been set properly.
  • The door was locked manually.
  • You have broken tension springs or cables.
  • The disconnect switch has been enabled.

Q: Why do I Hear Squeaking?

A: Squeaky garage doors are loud and annoying, but don’t just ignore them and figure that’s the way they should be. That squeakiness has a reason, usually caused by worn rollers, un-lubricated parts, loose hardware, or an opener requiring anti-vibration pads. You can take care of the lubrication on your own (such as by spraying the springs, hinges, and roller bearings), but anything more than that, call a pro to:

  • Inspect the garage door opener chain
  • Tighten the door and track hardware
  • Inspect and replace worn track rollers and hinges

Q: Why Does My Garage Door Reverse After Hitting the Floor?

A: This is a serious issue. It’s a safety concern, of course, but an open door can also encourage burglars, pests, and Mother Nature to enter your home. These are some reasons why this could be happening:

  • The threshold is blocked by an object, even a small one like twigs, acorns, and other tiny objects.
  • You need to adjust your “travel down” setting. Your garage door will automatically re-open if it can’t go the distance it has been programmed to. This is designed to prevent damage or safety risk. Your garage door technician can adjust the setting to the new distance. Sometimes even small variations in weather can throw this balance off, so it’s usually not something you have done on purpose.
  • You need to adjust the limit switch. Just like with the “travel down” setting, the opener’s limit switch that determines how far the door can be raised or lowered may need a re-calibration.
  • You have a worn logic board. This logic board acts as the brains of your garage door system, and if it wears out (which most do over time), you will need to get it replaced by a professional.

We hope you found this Part Two guide helpful in maintaining your garage door. Look out for Part Three next month!

Contact M&M Garage Doors

It’s not easy being a homeowner these days. You have so much to worry about, like garage door maintenance and safety. Let our experts take some of the burdens off your shoulders when you run into trouble. Schedule a consultation or get a quote when you call M&M Garage Doors at (586) 610-5434.