During day to day operation, you’re not really paying attention to the specifics of your overhead door’s operation. You’ll notice major changes in noises or if the door stops altogether, but the little things will slip by. This is why regular inspection of your garage door is critical to its general upkeep and lifespan. Even if the door seems to be working just fine, it still helps to perform regular maintenance.
One such aspect of this kind of detailed maintenance involves the balance of your garage door. Heading off balance issues can be of huge importance for your home. Neighborhood Garage Door Service of Atlanta, GA has some tips on doing your own DIY checkup of your garage door balance.
About Garage Door Balance
Your garage door weighs up to 200-250 pounds. That’s a lot more than some people could lift on their own. This is where the overhead garage door balance system comes into play. The door is connected to high-strength lift cables. These are in turn connected to the torsion springs.
These torsion springs bear the bulk of the door’s weight. This allows just about anyone to lift the door on their own. However, when the spring is not set properly, the balance gets off. This shifts more of the weight onto the lifter, whether human or machine.
Improper garage door balance can lead to several problems. Increased lifting load on your opener can cause unneeded wear and tear on the unit. This can decrease the lifespan of the opener.
Safety is also an issue. If you don’t catch the problem early, it will only get worse. Eventually, there can be total failure of the torsion spring. If this happens, the results can be harmful, even deadly. If the spring fails during operation, it could drop the door suddenly, damaging your vehicle on the way out of the garage, or even falling on a pet or family member.
The spring itself can be a hazard if it fails suddenly. Because it is wound to the same poundage of tension as the door’s weight, the torsion spring is under extreme pressure. If it breaks, it will release all that energy at once. Pieces of the spring can fly in any direction.
As always, it’s important to observe general garage door safety while performing any operational checks. Make sure no children are in the garage, or just outside during your inspection. Clear the doorway completely. Make sure no toys, equipment, or materials of any kind are anywhere near the garage door opening.
During the check, it’s possible that the door could come down very hard, very suddenly. You don’t want anything in its path if this should happen. This includes yourself. So, make sure to be aware of the door’s position and operation if you cross the doorway while it’s up.
Performing the Checkup
To perform the actual checkup, disengage the automatic opener. While the door is closed, pull the release cord. This usually hangs from the lift shuttle and has a red handle at the end. Now that the opener is disconnected, all the work is manual.
Lift the door to the fully open position. It should lift easily and smoothly throughout the opening process. If properly balanced, the door will weigh anywhere from 20-40 pounds. If you feel like it’s taking more work than that, you may have a problem.
After opening the door, you’ll reverse the process. Close the door, watching for smooth, consistent operation all the way down. If the door hesitates much on the way down, or slams shut, further work is needed.
If you discover any problems during your garage door balance check, do NOT attempt any repairs. The incredible tension on the springs that we mentioned makes it very unwise to try to correct any problems. Call
Neighborhood Garage Door Service of Atlanta, GA right away for work on your torsion springs.
Our professional customer service representatives can have one of our technicians on site as early as today. Our service trucks are equipped with many of the tools and parts needed for basic repairs. This allows us to get started right away on most repair jobs. Call us today to get your garage door fully operational!