How to Inspect Garage Doors
A garage door is your home’s largest moving part. Garage doors consist of different components and parts vital to proper and safe functioning. Regularly inspecting your garage doors will ensure that everything continues working as expected, and early detection can help you avoid costly repairs.
How often you operate your garage door dictates how frequently you should check it. If your garage door sees daily use, inspecting it every six months to a year is ideal. Opening and closing the garage door multiple times a day means you should examine it closer to the six-month mark, and you should immediately take a look if you notice any odd sounds or movements.
We’ve compiled a garage door inspection checklist on how to safely inspect your garage door, so you can prolong its lifespan and delay your next door replacement.
Parts to Check
You should inspect 20 garage door parts to ensure their components are in good condition. Here’s an overhead door maintenance checklist you can follow.
- Springs: Springs allow your garage door to open and close. You should visually inspect your springs for damage, rust and deterioration. You shouldn’t try to fix or move springs on your own because the tension they hold can put you in extreme danger. You can also test the door’s balance. Manually lift it and pay attention to how much effort it requires. You should be able to do so with one hand without straining too much. Your springs may need professional repair work or replacement if the door is challenging to open. Next, try opening the door halfway and leaving it there. If the door begins to close on its own, this is another sign your springs aren’t functioning well.
- Rollers: Garage door rollers look like small wheels, and they help guide the garage door up and down the track. You should inspect the rollers to ensure none of them are bent or broken. The rollers share the door’s load, so if even one is malfunctioning, it can cause additional damage over time. Observe the rollers as the door opens and closes to ensure they’re moving and not merely dragging along the track.
- Cables: Inspect the cables to ensure that there is no fraying or kinking.
- Drums: The drums are wheels that wind the cables to help the door operate. You should inspect the drums for cracks, chips and other signs of damage. Drums also accumulate dirt over time, so it’s helpful to have them professionally cleaned for best functionality.
- Center bearing: The center bearing is in the middle of the spring bar. Look for signs of damage on and around the bearing.
- Center bracket: You should check the bracket to ensure there is no bending or other wear and tear.
- End bearing plates: There are two end bearing plates to inspect — one on either side of the spring bar. The end bearings help the spring bar turn as the door moves, so they must be in good condition.
- Spring bar: The springs sit along the spring bar. Inspect this component for signs of rust, bends or other damage.
- Hinges: You can locate the hinges on the garage door’s inside panels. You should check for signs of damage and rust.
- Top and bottom brackets: The top and bottom brackets hold the rollers in place and need scrutiny to ensure no wear and tear impacts the functionality.
- Vertical and horizontal tracks: The tracks can bend over time, so you should inspect them for bends and rust.
- Jamb brackets: Jamb brackets form the connection between the vertical track and the jamb, which is part of the garage door’s framework. The brackets should have secure attachments at both ends and have no signs of bending.
- Strut: Struts are metal bars attached to the interior of the garage door to offer additional support. You should inspect them to ensure that they’re attached well and for signs of damage and rust.
- Weather seal: Weather seals are strips of rubber attached to the bottom of the door. They work to seal your garage door to the floor to prevent water and pests from entering your garage. Weather seals can become cracked and are susceptible to dry rot.
- Panels: You should check your garage door’s panels for any cracks or rust. Damaged panels can allow water to enter your garage door and cause more harm to the door over time.
- Opener controls: Ensure that your garage door remote is working as expected, and check any door controls you have outside or inside your garage.
- Opener carriage: Examine the carriage, sometimes referred to as the trolley, for any signs of rust, bending or grinding.
- Safety eyes: Safety eyes are sensors located near the bottom of your garage door that stop it from closing when anything crosses their path. You can test the safety eyes by closing the garage door and waving an object in front of the sensor. The door should immediately stop closing if you place something in front of the sensor.
- Motor gears: Check the belt and chain for any signs of rust, deterioration or other signs of damage.
- Wires: You should inspect all wires for wear and tear. Replace any that have frayed.
How to Safely Evaluate Your Garage Door
While garage door inspections are essential to keep your garage functioning well, it’s also vital that you take steps to perform your routine checks safely. You should focus on visually examining your garage door when performing your review. Never try to remove or handle the garage door springs because they can fly apart violently and cause severe injuries.
For the utmost safety, if you don’t know the purpose of any of your garage door’s parts, avoid handling them. Assume that they connect to the spring and are under tension. You should inspect your garage door when someone else is home in case anything happens and you need emergency medical attention.
When to Call a Garage Door Expert
Many garage door components operate under high tension due to the cables and springs. You should never try to take apart or replace part of your garage door you’re unfamiliar with because it may be under tension.
If you come across any broken or damaged parts while inspecting your garage, you should contact a professional garage door company to fix the problem.
Contact Blankenship Garage Doors for Garage Door Maintenance
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we have over 20 years of experience repairing and replacing garage doors. If you examined your garage door and found problems or would like us to come out and inspect your garage for you, we’re here to help. We guarantee all our work, and we provide a personal, timely and cost-effective experience for any maintenance or repairs you need.
Reach out today to have us professionally service your garage doors by filling out our online contact form or calling 541-383-2658.