March 18, 2016

How to Tell if Your Garage Door Needs More Than a Paint Job

How to Tell if Your Garage Door Needs More Than a Paint Job

Your garage door is an important part of your home, protecting a secure space to store vehicles and valuables, while providing an attractive entry point for your home.

Often, you only need to perform a bit of maintenance on your garage door to keep it working well. However, if you notice the following issues with your garage door, it may be time to replace the door, instead of patching it up.

Your Door is Loud Enough to Wake the Dead

A variety of causes lead to garage doors becoming noisier as time passes, especially when maintenance and alignment hasn’t been properly performed on moving parts.

Hinges and springs that haven’t been oiled or cleaned may be the cause of squeaking or squealing noises that pierce your ears. Grinding noises typically mean that a hinge or spring needs more than a quick splash of oil, requiring professional replacement.

The mechanism that powers the door may also be the cause of the noise. Most garage door motors operate through a chain, screw or belt drive, in descending order of noise created. If you have a belt or a screw drive that makes a lot of sound during operation, you should immediately seek help from a repair expert, as those two systems are typically very quiet. Chain systems often only require a bit of oil added to the drive and adjust the tension on the chain, to reduce the noise and keep everything running. If this doesn’t work, there’s a good chance that the chain drive needs repair or replacement.

If you find yourself shelling out money to get your noisy garage door fixed on a regular basis, replacing the entire system will help save you time and money in the long run.

Your Door Shuts Too Fast, or Too Hard

One of the main things to watch out for when you have young kids is the force with which your garage door closes. If your counterweight system (springs) is older than a couple of decades, you should check to see if the automatic opening features works properly. Despite finding that 88% of garage doors automatically reversed when lowering on a block of wood, researchers from the United States also discovered that 40% of doors didn’t reverse when closing on a child‑sized, CPR mannequin. because adjustments are not appropriated.

According to the same study, "at least 85 children have had permanent brain injury or have died since 1974 as a result of accidents involving automatic door openers," including one incident where an adult was present, but didn’t wait until the door closed before vacating the garage.

Researchers recommend using a large roll of paper towels to test if your own door reverses when coming down on soft, dense tissue.

Your Garage Door Needs Storm Reinforcement

In areas that are prone to storms that produce strong winds, one of the main stress points on your home will be your garage door. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends protecting against strong winds that may cause structural damage to your garage and the rest of your home by installing a reinforced garage door. Garage door experts can calculate the "wind load" of your door, "which is based on size, local design wind speed, and location on the structure, among other factors," according to FEMA.

If your current garage door system has previous damage from storms or has worn down over time, it may not be capable of dealing with powerful winds, which can be strong enough to cave the door in, especially when it comes to thin or inexpensive doors that are made of aluminum. A certified engineer or a well‑trained door systems technician should be able to assess the strength of your current installation, before making recommendations.

Your Garage Door Isn’t Secure

Those who own garage doors with remote openers, mostly made before 1993, should be wary of the fact that many installations can be easily hacked to grant access to thieves and intruders using simple technology. Security researcher Samy Kamkar devised a method of using a discontinued child’s toy to open any remote system that uses codes fixed by dip switches.

By altering an inexpensive, Mattel IM‑ME text messaging toy, Samy was able to broadcast a brute force hack attack that ran through all the potential opening codes in a few seconds or less, getting garage doors to open.

If you suspect that your garage door is susceptible to this type of hack, you should search online to see if your model is affected. You can also check out the remote fob itself to see if it contains dip switches, which guarantees that your door is easily hacked by a child’s toy.

GARAGA garage doors a are designed to prevent these structural and security issues from becoming a problem. If you deal with any of the aforementioned issues with your garage door, contact Car‑Wal Garage Doors to learn more about replacement.

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