Garage door openers manufactured before 1982 may pose a threat to household members. Routine maintenance is also necessary to ensure that the door and opening mechanisms continue working properly.

Garage Door Safety

Many find the appeal of owning an older home attractive. However, older properties may not meet safety standards. Surprisingly, there are homes constructed within the last 10 to 15 years that often fall short. Automated garage doors are one of the hazards to consider when looking into purchasing charming, historic homes. The overall size, weight and ability to move are some of the reasons why garage doors play a role in serious injuries and fatalities each year.

Precautionary Recommendations

In 1993, the Consumer Product Safety Commission required garage door openers to include an external entrapment protection system. The feature involves an electronic sensor mounted four to six inches from the floor and aligned with the door frame. The technology behind the safety measure alerts the door to reverse when detecting any obstruction. Older systems did not reverse until making contact with an obstruction. By this time, injuries or property damage already occurred. The CPSC recommends that homeowners replace openers manufactured before 1982. Garage door opener owners should also periodically check the performance of door reversal mechanisms to ensure continued reliability.

Testing Doors

There are a number of tests that homeowners should perform to ensure that the door is working properly and safely. With the door closed, trip the release in order to move the door by hand. It should lift easily. The door should also remain three or four feet from the floor when pushed down to close. Also, the door should not go up or down too swiftly. Check the force setting on the reverse mechanism by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does not reverse, the setting needs adjustment. Another reversal test involves placing a block of wood or brick on the floor aligned with the door frame. The door should rise before hitting the obstruction.

Simple Maintenance

Bakersfield garage door repair professionals recommend performing lock maintenance by cleaning the mechanism by applying oil and a shot of graphite. Clean the garage door tracks periodically and apply a light machine oil to metallic areas. Bearings, door rollers, and hinges should be lubricated monthly with light oil. Tracks are easily adjusted and realigned when needed using a level and a socket wrench. Tracks lacking parallel alignment causes wear and premature deterioration of the wheels, which also interferes with the door closing and opening.