We talk a lot about your garage door and even the entire garage, but your opener needs some attention every now and again too. This little piece of technology will wear out, eventually. We go over a few things you should know to look out for during your garage door maintenance checks. These clues can help you determine if your garage door opener is past its life expectancy.
A simple test can help you decide if the door or the opener is the problem
You can disconnect your garage door opener by hitting the manual switch or taking the batteries out of the opener. Carefully lift the garage door and see if it is easy to open. If you stop the door at waist-height, it should stay open without dropping. If it slowly drops, is uneven, or hard to open, then you may have a problem with the springs. These results dictate that the door is likely the problem and not the opener.
Your door opens partially, slowly, or sometimes not at all
Intermittent operation is a good indicator that your opener is malfunctioning. It could mean that someone else has an object that uses the same radio frequency as your opener. If you have a newer model, then one way to check the theory is to change the frequency. Many garage door openers have multiple frequency settings you can select manually. You can also change your code to make sure the right people have access to your garage. Nothing is scarier than going outside to go to work and finding your garage door open for no apparent reason.
Reversing by itself
When your garage door suddenly goes up when you are pressing on the down button, then your opener is likely the culprit. The electronics in garage door openers can fail, wear out, get moisture in the wires from ice or snow and break. Any time you see your garage door acting differently than what you expect, it may be a problem with the opener. Other things you can try to fix this problem include cleaning the eye on the garage door and the opener making sure nothing is blocking the path of the beam.
Testing the emergency reverse mechanism
Your garage door should reverse itself if it finds something in the opening as it closes. To test this part of the system, you can put a box or something that you do not mind crushing under the door. Hit the close button on the remote and see if the door comes down and crushes the item. It should hit it and reverse to coming back up a foot or so. If the door keeps coming down, then this is an emergency repair that needs immediate attention. If the door reverses like normal, then you know your garage door opener and the door are operating properly and safely.
Problems that are not because of a faulty opener
If your garage door rattles, vibrates or is loud when operating, then the opener is not the problem. A rock in the track, loose chains, broken springs, and bent tracks are possible issues that can cause these noises and reactions when using your garage door. When you have these problems, then you may want to call your garage door repair specialist for a quick checkup just to be sure everything is in good shape.
Keeping your garage and property safe with an updated garage door opener
If you have an older model garage door opener, then you may want to look at the newer remote controls. Some come with software you can upgrade and apply updates to regularly. Other models have several functions letting you alternate frequencies or use different codes to track who accesses the garage and when.
Most older remotes have batch frequency numbers that criminals know and use to break into garages. Thieves can drive down the alley or street and emit a frequency to see if any doors will open. When they find one that does, they shut it back and write down the address. These cons will come back when it is easier to hide and break in while you sleep or sit down to a meal with the family. If your garage connects to your house, then you could end up in grave danger with a faulty remote control.
Your garage door does more than keep you from scraping snow and ice off of your car windows in the morning. It provides safety and keeps your most precious belongings secure. The opener is just as important as the door because it operates the door. If the remote goes on the fritz someone could get crushed or burglars can find an easy way into your house or garage. A quick check each month is all it takes to tell if you need to replace your garage door opener. If you have any concerns, then call our firm at 804-920-9677. Our garage door specialists at Commonwealth Garage Doors are happy to help you solve problems and check your equipment.