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How To Inspect Your Door For Damage
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Most homes have what is referred to as a residential sectional garage door connected to an automatic garage door opener. Over the course of this article we will be going over ways to check the health and inspect the safety of this system in order to ascertain whether or not your garage door needs repair. Before we begin the steps and details of the inspection, there are some safety precautions to review to make sure that serious injury does not occur. Most garage doors are among the heaviest objects in a person's home and death or serious injury can occur if the proper safety precautions are not taken.
During the course of this inspection you are going to need some tools. These include:
Manual Release Handle
The first question you must ask yourself is whether or not the door has a means to manually detach from the operator. Begging the inspection form inside the garage with the door closed. Check for a manual release handle. This is the handle that allows the door to be manually detached from the door. UL 325 requires that this handle be colored red and be easily distinguishable from the rest of the door. This handle should be easy to access from the ground and no more than six feet above the floor.
There are a number of warning labels that need to be present on the door system. These warnings are to be tamper resistant and easily visible in the areas that they refer to:
- A warning label referring to the springs. This should be attached to the back of the door.
- A general warning label affixed to the door panels back, easily visible
- There should be a warning sticker attached to the wall in the area of the garage door button.
- One warning label for each side of the door next to the bottom corner brackets
When checking the Doors, there are a few questions you want to ask yourself as you walk around the doors inspected for proper function. Disconnect the door from the automatic function and ask yourself:
- Does the door move without an objection? Is there anything preventing the door from moving properly?
- Are there pinch points in the areas where the handles are on the doors?
- Are the handles suitable for gripping? Are they affixed to the door properly?
- While the door is in operation (moving) do the rollers stay on the track?
- Does the door stay open fully when it is moved into that position? Does it droop or hang while it is in its upright, locked position?
- Can the door be locked at a halfway open position? Using the manual release, disconnect the door from the automatic operation to perform this test. Using the inside handle, pull the door without straining yourself into the open position. Then slowly bring the door to a halfway closed position. Then fully close the door.
Wall Station Button
The wall station is the button that controls the door from the inside of the garage. The first thing to check is if it is working. If the wall station has a light attached to it, does the light operate? If there are multiple buttons attached to the wall unit, do they all work? The button should be in clear view and not behind any object or shelving. The button should be at least five feet above the ground, in order to prevent small children from attempting to operate the door.
These sensors will typically be near the floor mounted on a housing on either side of the door. The first thing to check is whether these sensors are present and functioning. Measure the height of each sensor to make sure that they match. If there is no sensor present then refer to your instruction manual that comes with your door about the entrapment protection safety information or call a garage door service provider like Fresno Garage Guys to have one installed. These safety systems are among the most important new features of modern doors.
Make sure that all the hardware and springs are properly attached. While the door is in a closed position, inspect the springs for damage or signs of visible age. Visually check the hinges and door brackets and fasteners. If the door has an automatic opening function, check that that method of connecting the operator to the physical door is secure. The springs should look new and have no discoloration.
Contact Reversal Test
This test is to make sure that the automatic door function will reverse if it comes into contact with an object. Place a 2 by 4 on the ground in the way of the door. When the door comes into contact with the object, does it reverse course all the way back to the fully open position? This is a check only for doors that have an operator. Always stand at a safe distance when performing this test.