Door opener repairs are a potential result of extremes in Madison WI weather. Garage doors and garage door openers require maintenance and regular inspections. As the largest moving object in your home, a garage door must respond in heat, cold, snow and ice. Metal and electronic components respond differently with humidity and temperature changes. The proper down-force sensitivity setting in mid-summer is likely the wrong one for mid-winter. Little things can have important consequences. Seasonal checkups are worth the time and effort.
Everyone should monitor the operation of garage doors and garage door openers regularly – noting any obvious changes in performance, including sounds, vibrations and operating speed. An easy first step is to lower the garage door to the floor and pull the special release cord to disconnect it from the opener. Then run the opener to find out if the door itself is having a negative effect on smooth operation or if the changes are within the opener system itself.
In addition, here’s a brief checklist to review before deciding upon door opener repairs:
- Check Electronic Safety Devices — All modern garage openers are equipped with electric eyes and auto-reverse safety systems. Federal law says these electronic beams must be installed 6 inches from the bottom of the garage door when it’s completely lowered. At least once a month do a quick performance check by deliberately interrupting the light beam while the door is closing – use a broom or some other tool rather than your foot. The door should stop its downward motion within second and move upward again. If it doesn’t check the alignment and intensity of the beam. If the two elements have been moved or damaged you may be able to make the door opener repairs yourself. If the beam is no longer lighted, check electrical wiring and light source.
- Check the Power Source — Garage door openers are electric so the first thing to check when they apparently fail is the source of electricity. The main unit is likely to be plugged into an outlet mounted in the ceiling. Vibrations and gravity can cause that connection to loosen over time. Check it first. If it is secure, check the wiring from the wall control to the door opener.
- The most common power failure doesn’t require door opener repairs. It requires replacing the batteries in the remote opener controls or the keyless entry pad.
TIP FROM A PRO – You change batteries in smoke detectors on a regular schedule and it makes sense to do change the batteries in your hand-held remotes and keypads for garage door openers on a regular basis, too. Fresh batteries mean reliable results – the garage door has become the main entry point in most homes, so not having to worry about an opener working is more than just a relief, it’s vital.
- Lubricated Parts Work Best — A regular plan to lubricate all the moving parts on the doors and door openers will keep them operating quietly, smoothly and safely. All opener tracks and chains should be treated with a quality lubricant regularly. Garage door springs can be treated with specially-designed lubricants just for them.
TIP FROM A PRO – Don’t ever us any kind of grease on garage door or opener parts, grease can dry out and make matters worse. NEVER USE WD-40! WD-40 is not a lubricant, it penetrates the metal parts and can cause damage. HINT: Basic 30-weight motor oil in an oiling can is an excellent choice for all garage door and door opener lubrications.
Sensitivity Settings Prompt Door Opener Repairs
Every door opener has a sensitivity close-force sensitivity setting that controls the force the door has on its downward path. It’s a safety feature that sets the amount of force the door needs to feel before it reacts and stops moving when something is in its path. The sensitivity should be adjusted three or four times a year because it can change with variations in temperature and humidity. The appropriate settings are listed in the unit’s operating manual.
TIP FROM A PRO – During a normal southern Wisconsin winter, the whole garage door system gets stiffer and requires more force to operate efficiently. Your winter setting may be 35 pounds. A normal summer setting is significantly less, closer to 25 pounds. If you’re not sure how to make the adjustment, call a trained technician for door opener repairs and adjustments.
New or replacement garage doors will be set for the appropriate time of year by the technician completing the installation.
Correct Installation Limits Door Opener Repairs
When garage door openers are installed correctly, they are safer, work better and last longer. There are two common garage door openers: Chain-drive and Belt-drive. Each has its strengths.
- Chain-drive — this is the most popular choice for residential installations because chain-drive units come in various sizes to accommodate heavy doors, over-sized doors, one-piece wooden doors, insulated doors and wind-rated doors. The biggest drawback is that these are the noisiest of the two choices.
- Belt-drive — using a notched steel and rubber belt rather than a metal chain this style is quieter and reported to last longer, requiring fewer adjustments and door opener repairs.
As the heaviest moving part in any house, a garage door is inherently dangerous. Poor or incorrect installation increases the risk or potential danger and the garage door opener installation is the deciding factor. If garage door openers are installed wrong, they can result in s variety of situations that require door or door opener repairs. Consider the impact of a bad installation:
- The costly door can be damaged
- The garage itself can be damaged – vibrations cause supports to loosen and pull from the wall or ceiling, etc.
- The opener, under too much stress, is damaged
- Various components and connections can be damaged
- People, pets and possessions are put at risk
Poor installations result in excessive wear on all moving parts. This wear can compromise and reduce the effectiveness of all the special safety features.
Time for Garage Door Opener Maintenance
The trained professionals at Northland Door Systems provide timely service, garage door opener repairs and accessories. Call them and take advantage of the area’s widest selection of garage doors and in-stock supplies including garage door openers.