Some projects around your home are perfect for DIY. When it comes to a straightforward and low-risk task, you can often save money or time, customize your design, and enjoy the satisfaction of completing the project yourself. Other tasks, however, are best left to highly trained professionals. Working on your garage door is one of these. Of course, homeowners can and should inspect their doors, apply lubrication, and look for obvious signs of wear. This includes things like listening to doors and operators in motion or checking weatherstripping, all the while using common sense as you would with any large moving object.
How to Conduct a DIY Garage Door Inspection
Park your vehicles outside, close the door and see if it moves smoothly.
Disconnect the door from the operator and move it by hand. Does it stay closed? Does it drift down from the open position?
Look to see if it sits level on the garage floor. Does it clear the header when in the fully open position? Check to see if the photo eyes are clean and properly aligned.
Inspect the sections inside and out; worn or damaged sections can mean that the door no longer provides security for the home and could cause property damage and serious bodily injury.
Make sure the track is fastened securely to the jambs, look for frayed cables, broken springs, worn rollers, and loose fasteners. Be mindful of the fact that to the untrained eye it’s easy to miss something that is worn, loose, or broken.
Doing these things should be a regular part of household maintenance. If you are handy around the house, go ahead and snug up a loose fastener, tap that nail that holds the weatherstrip to the jamb, clean and lube the door as necessary. When a serious problem arises, however, it’s time to turn to an expert for help.
3 Important Reasons to Bring in a Professional
Tools: An experienced garage door technician will have the proper ladders, specialized tools, and the correct parts needed to fix most problems. He or she will also have things the homeowner won’t have and can’t buy at a big box store: cold-rolled steel winding bars of various sizes, aircraft cable, special cable pulleys, operator parts, spring stock, and gauges, torches and much more. Hammers, screwdrivers, and pliers are good for small jobs around the house, but of little use, and can cause injury, when performing proper garage door repairs.
Training: Another consideration is that with overhead garage doors things must be done in the proper order. What’s the first step to take to adjust, replace, or wind a spring? Are repairs made with the door in the open or closed position? How would you attach a new cable to a spring, drum, or bottom fixture? If you attempted to do the work yourself, how would you test it to see if it was okay? The garage door spring is among the most dangerous repairs and can result in serious injury, or even death, if not done correctly.
Ladder safety: It sounds simple, however, each year thousands of people are injured or killed in home-related accidents. And, almost without exception, the number one leading cause is falls. The Home Safety Council says falls account for roughly 6,000 deaths annually. While you’re always susceptible to a fall, you should do everything you possibly can to avoid situations where falls are particularly dangerous. This includes climbing ladders to fix garage door issues.
Above all else, safety is the key factor in making the decision to use a professional.