Saturday, June 1, 2013

DIY Broken Garage Door

Your garage is supposed to prevent trouble by keeping your car safe from the elements (and from thieves), but sometimes garages have problems of their own. Garage doors won't open, refuse to lock or age and warp.

Maintenance is a best remedy to prevent this from happening. Here are some tips on how to maintain or fix garage doors.

1) Lube the vital parts of the door. Do not use lubricant oils like WD-40. Only use a spray that is specially labeled for garage door use to spray all the rollers, the hinges, and, most importantly, the springs. Do this 3 or 4 times a year. Avoid using thick grease, because grease will only help to accumulate dust and dirt. Dust and dirt will rip away the bearings and cause an unwanted black paste to appear. It will also create a very sticky surface.

2) Check for worn or frayed steel cables. If the cables that are attached to the door are worn or frayed, you should call your local garage door company to have them change them out as soon as possible. This isn't difficult to do, but without the proper tools and knowledge of the spring system, this can be extremely hazardous. Always remember that the springs have enough tension to make the door weightless (easy to open), so the springs' kinetic energy is equal to the weight of the door that is vertical in the opening.

3) Make sure that all the bolts are tight. These bolts hold the back of the track. You don't want your door randomly falling on your car, just because a bolt wiggled loose and fell out.

4) Check the spring system for possible problems. Make sure the spring are rust free. The springs are no more complex than a twisted piece of metal that is then wound up and tightened down, rust will cause your spring to break. There are a few types of springs:.

- The oldest, and most dangerous, is the extension spring system. The springs run parallel to the horizontal track via a pulley system. The springs have no tension when the door is up, but as the door closes the spring extends (hence "extension springs"). Make absolutely sure that there is a cable that runs through the spring and that it is anchored securely on both ends. This stops the spring from becoming a flying projectile. Your spring WILL break at some point in time, it happens, my company changes about 40 springs a day, so when your's breaks, you would probably rather it stay where it is. There have been deaths related to these springs flying across the garage. If the spring doesn't have the "safety cable" you need to call your dealer and have them installed.

- Wayne Dalton doors and a few other brands have a "contained" spring system. This means that the spring is actually in a tube, these tubes are not serviceable without taking the tension off of them. You shouldn't worry about maintenance to these springs.

- The most common type of spring system is the "torsion spring" system. This system has the springs on a bar above the door or sometimes in the rear of the track via a pulley system, but they're still on a "shaft". Spray these springs with WD-40 3 or 4 times a year.

Rebalanced your door. Pull the emergency release on your door (while it's closed). Now lift the door to waist height and it should stay on its own. If it forcefully falls to the ground then the springs need tension added to them. Adversely, if the door flies open, then tension needs to be taken off of the springs.

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