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How To Make Sure Your Garage Door Is Balanced In Three Steps

by Ryan Wright

One of the great things about garage doors is that they don't need a whole lot of maintenance. Most of the time, they just work, without much effort on your part. But one thing that you should be doing at least once a year is checking to make sure that the garage door is balanced. This will help keep it opening and closing easily, and alert you if your springs are beginning to wear out. Having the garage door serviced when the springs become worn can help extend the life of the door. Before you start working on the garage door, make sure that you move any objects or debris out of the path of the door.

Step One: Unlock the Emergency Release

Close the garage door from the inside, then look up. You should see a red cord hanging down a few feet from the top of the door. This is the emergency release cord, and all that you have to do is pull it. Normally, you would use this if you lost power, or if the garage door opener malfunctioned. The cord releases the door from the electric opener, allowing you to open it manually. In this case, releasing the door from the opener allows you to test the door.

Step Two: Raise and Lower the Door

Now that you've separated the door from the opener, you need to open and close the door manually a few times. Try opening and closing it extra slowly once or twice so that you can feel any points where it gets difficult to move or gets briefly stuck. You should also open and close it at a normal speed a few times. Listen for any squeaking or grinding sounds that might indicate trouble.

Step Three: Partially Raise the Door

Once you've tested the door going all the way up and down, you should raise the door about halfway and leave it there. The idea is to see whether or not the springs can hold it in a partially suspended position. Garage doors are heavy, so it may move a little, but if your springs are good, the door should basically stay in place. If the door crashes to the ground, you definitely need new springs.

If you notice that the springs can't hold the door in place, that the door makes a lot of noise, or that there's a lot of resistance when you try to move the door manually, call a garage door repair company for assistance. Working on a garage door can be dangerous, so if you're not experienced, you should leave it to the professionals. If the door works fine when you move it manually, but you can't open or close it with the garage door opener, then you may need a replacement garage door opener from a company like Garage Intel, Inc. If everything seems fine, just re-engage the emergency release and check it again next year.

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