Garage Door Components That Pose A Major Threat To Your Safety

3 March 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles


Garage door assemblies are responsible for thousands of hospital visits every year in the United States alone. Whether you're a parent of energetic children or just spend a great deal of time in your garage, the safe operation of your garage door is in your best interests. Make sure your garage door operates safely by discussing the condition and operation of these components with your garage door technician.

Counterbalance System

Your door's counterbalance system is the series of mechanisms that cycle your door. Your torsion springs, cable drums, and winding cones are the major components of your counterbalance system. If any of these components are heavily worn or adjusted incorrectly, then your door can come crashing to the ground when you least expect it. Additionally, broken counterbalance components will prevent you from being able to open your door—which is a serious problem if you need to make a hasty escape through your garage.

These three problems are serious safety issues that should be immediately repaired upon discovery:

  • Frayed Cables

    • The cables leading from your counterbalance system's drums are attached to your bottom roller. If the cable on either side of your door is frayed or otherwise damaged, then it must be replaced. Otherwise, it will snap while your door is cycling. Depending on the weight of your door and the gauge of your cables, one cable failure can cause the other cable to fail as well—which would send your door crashing to the ground.

  • Worn or Damaged Springs

    • Your springs are responsible for handling nearly all of your door's weight. If your springs are nearing their lifetime expectancy (which is typically between 15,000 to 20,000 cycles), or if they're corroded by rust, then have them replaced. If your springs are a few years old but still undamaged, then having them adjusted will prolong their lifespan.

  • Uneven Drums

    • As your door cycles, your drums wind and wind or unwind your cables. If your drums are uneven, then your door will open or close unevenly. Although this isn't an immediate issue, continued use of your uneven drums will cause your cables and springs to sustain unnecessary wear.

Automatic Door Opener

Your automatic opener has several built-in safety features. However, for these features to work properly, your opener must be calibrated to work with your specific garage door assembly. Have these components of your opener tested by your technician to make sure its safety features will work as intended:

  • Downforce

    • Downforce that's properly adjusted will allow your opener to reverse the closing cycling process if it encounters an object. Additionally, an ideal downforce setting will prevent your bottom panel and weatherstrip from sustaining damage when your door closes.

  • Motion Sensors

    • Your motion sensors detect objects moving beneath your door as it closes. However, if they're misaligned, they won't serve their purpose. Some openers have a safety feature that cancels the closing cycle if the sensors aren't aligned, but others may complete the closing cycle regardless of sensor alignment.

  • Emergency Release Lever

    • Your emergency release lever is designed to immediately open your door. However, if your lever's spring is broken, or if the entire lever is seized, then it can become a life-threatening hazard during an emergency such as a fire or exhaust fume buildup.

Visually inspect these components of your garage door right now. If you notice any signs of damage, or any components that aren't working properly, then immediately contact a garage door repair technician and have them further inspect your assembly and perform all necessary repairs. By doing so, you can make sure your door assembly will operate safely for you and your other household members.