Why Maintenance Matters
Let’s say that you’re a homeowner, with a happy husband Moe and two happy kids, Curly and Larry. On a typical day, how much do you operate your garage door? Maybe Curly drives himself to school while you drop Larry off on your way to work, and the two cars leave at about the same time. Moe works from home but goes out to meet a friend for lunch or pick up some groceries. You all get home at different times. Nothing too out of the ordinary, right? This family uses their door five times in a day. That’s over one thousand eight hundred times a year.
What if Curly leaves earlier and closes the door when he goes, then the family goes out to dinner? Seven times a day means that your door is opening over two and a half thousand times a year.
What your realtor probably didn’t tell you is that all garage door openers are calibrated for a certain number of “cycles” – times that you can open and close the door before your system fails, typically about 10,000. That sounds like a lot, sure, but if your family lives a busy life you can easily wear through that in four to six years. Your spring carries the weight of the door – that’s why your tiny 1/2 HP, 120-volt garage door motor can even open it – but your spring will wear out, especially if unmaintained.
Could you lift Arnold Schwarzenegger? No? Then you probably can’t lift your garage door. Weighing in at around 250 pounds, Arnold is on the lighter end of garage doors, which typically weigh between 200 and 400 pounds. A typical residential door might be made of 2 inches of insulated steel paneling, and especially if you have a two-car garage, you’d have to be built like Arnold to be able to manually open that door. That means that once your opener dies, your vehicles can be trapped inside. Looks like you’ll be taking the bus to work.
It might be bad to get shut into your home, but that’s far from the worst thing that can happen if you’re not careful. People, often children, are hurt or killed by garage doors every year. On June 22nd a man suffocated under a door in Trenton NJ. In April of 2013, a 3-year-old girl asphyxiated under a garage door that she closed on herself. These accidents are not very common, but every family who has suffered a similar incident wishes that they had checked the safety of their garage door system beforehand. There are thousands of more minor injuries every year.
If you want to know how to protect your family, read our simple tips or call a licensed technician to examine your door and evaluate the safety features – especially if you have an older garage door opener.