Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Three Garage Door Components Most Likely to Fail

Automated garage doors have made life much easier for many people and also offer a greater degree of safety and security for your vehicles and your home as well. However, moving parts can and will succumb to wear, tear and failure. However, there are three components that are the most likely to cause problems with your garage door.


Springs are widely used in garage door systems to help keeps things on track and moving the way they should. They are often held under a great deal of pressure and tension which can cause them to wear out quickly. Springs, especially torsion springs, are the most expensive and are also the ones most likely to give out and break. Many manufacturers try to save money and cut costs of producing springs and they use un-coated springs. These springs are rated for approximately 10,000 cycles, which means it will last for 10,000 open/close cycles before it gives out to the point where it will no longer function. This type of spring usually will last between 3-5 years.

Higher grade systems will usually use powder-coated and high grade commercial quality springs. The coating helps them stay in shape longer, helps them resist rust, and they usually are rated for 30,000 cycles or higher, which translate into a longer life cycle. Always be sure you look into the cycle ratings each time you replace the spring to ensure you are using one that will last.


Rollers are very important to the functioning of the garage door. Manual garages need them but especially automatic garage doors will rely on rollers for smooth operation. The rollers are what helps guide the door up and down the track. Most garage doors are designed to use plastic or nylon tires that are secured on a steel shaft that will travel along the track for the door. While these rollers are affordable and easy to find and replace they do not last as long and will wear out faster.

Cheap rollers usually have a life span of about 12-18 months with average use. Rollers with metal components and bearings are typically better. They are more expensive and harder to find but they last much longer and actually save you money on frequent replacements. Ask about the rollers that your technician recommends when you need service work done on your garage door system.


Bearings are the third piece of garage door components that you will likely end up replacing quite a bit. A typical automatic garage door system will have several designs but they all should have three sets of bearings- the middle and both ends of the door. The more bearings there are the more distribution there is in the work load they have to carry- so the more the better.

Some designs have only two bearings at the ends of the door, which makes them wear out faster and makes it easier for them to wear out and come out of alignment. When getting a garage door system in place, it is best to get one that uses three bearing sets rather than two.

Call R&S Erection of Concord today to schedule maintenance for a garage door that works better, lasts longer, and keep you and your family safe.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Test Your Garage Door Reversal Function

The typical garage positively brims with goodies that children want to get their hands on. From great stuff they’re allowed, like their bikes, to stuff they’re not - tools and toys requiring adult supervision - the attraction can be overwhelming. Once a kid has seen how the remote clicker works, it’s only a matter of time until he or she tries it alone.

With a malfunctioning or maladjusted reversal function on your automatic garage door, that adventure can swiftly turn lethal.

Real Dangers

In a 1996 report entitled Automatic garage door openers: hazard for children, the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) observed that “... at least 85 children have had permanent brain injury or have died since 1974 as a result of accidents involving automatic door openers." Detailing an average of almost four child deaths per year, the data makes salutary reading.

A subsequent news release, from the Consumer Product Safety Administration (CPSA), estimated the number of children trapped and killed beneath closing garage doors at an annual average of approximately three, “with other children having suffered brain damage or serious injuries when the closing door hit them, and failed to stop and reverse its direction."

Clearly, it’s vital that you, as a responsible homeowner, ensure your reversal device is working correctly.

Recommended Tests

The CPSA report suggests placing a length of 2"x4" wood on the garage floor, in the path of the closing door. The door should promptly reverse as soon as it strikes the wood. This test fails to take into account that children’s bodies are far more yielding than a chunk of solid timber; a door which reverses when contacting a 2'x4' may not react so promptly when crushing a child.The authors of the NCBI report used a cardiopulmonary resuscitation mannequin in their experiments, and found that 40 percent of doors tested failed to reverse when contacting the mannequin.

Rightly disturbed, they sought “ develop a means by which homeowners can evaluate their door openers." They came up with the recommendation that you use a large roll of paper towels.
Notwithstanding the professionalism of both the CPSA and the NCBI , the inherent inaccuracies of using a length of wood or a roll of paper towels may seem a little off-putting when weighed against the life of a child.

Ensure family safety with garage door reversal function


Testing the balance of your door is also important. A properly balanced door will maintain a partially-opened position when not held in place, either by an operator or any attached machinery. Unbalanced doors can crash to the floor unexpectedly, presenting yet another danger to people beneath them, both adults and children alike.

To test balance:
•Close the garage door
•Detach the opener using the Quick Release mechanism
•Grasp the handle and move the door to a semi-open position
•Release the handle

A properly balanced door will remain absolutely static.

Professional Advice

Old-fashioned automatic doors may not be fitted with a reverse function, and doors that simply stop moving when they encounter an obstruction can hold a person trapped beneath them. This is more likely to be the case with garage door equipment manufactured, or imported, before December 1992, after which the  CPSC required that they be outfitted with an external entrapment protection system. While these devices, most commonly an electric eye or a door edge sensor, add another level of operational safety, they also create another level of potential system failure.

Homeowners who suspect their doors to be of pre-1993 vintage, or with doors that bind or stick in operation, should immediately disconnect the mechanisms or power supply, then use the door manually until you can call on a professional like R&S in your area.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

3 DIY Garage Door Maintenance Tips

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, many homeowners can overlook a myriad of things involving the maintenance of their property. One thing you don't want to overlook is the maintenance of your garage door, or they  will soon fail to work properly. With that simple thought in mind, here are 3 garage door maintenance tips that every prudent homeowner should follow:

Keep Everything Lubricated

An automated garage door assembly – while quite complicated to engineer and manufacture – operates on some pretty simple mechanical principles. This single fact means that it must be maintained on a regular basis or it will fail to operate efficiently and properly. Most importantly, regular lubrication must be applied or the system can fail entirely. In particular, WD-40 or some other graphite lubricant should be applied directly to the chain, the casters and the motor assembly to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.

Maintain the Springs Properly

While some garage doors will use a counterweight, most modern ones function with a set of finely tuned springs. Typically, these springs exactly counter the weight of the door and allow the electronic mechanism to work with a minimum of effort. Keeping them in tip top condition only requires a little bit of effort and pays off big time. Most garage door springs are tightly sprung and – if there's a major problem – should only be dealt with by a professional. Still, maintaining them is merely a matter of keeping them clean and lubricated once per year.

Adjust the Electronics Regularly

One of the most common places for a garage door system to fail is in the electrical system. The wires and the sensors comprise not only a convenient method for controlling the system but also a highly developed safety net. In terms of maintaining the system, the sensors that control the emergency recoil system are the most sensitive. These sensors – usually located at the bottom of the garage door – can easily be knocked askew by a inattentive guest, a careening child or even by an overburdened delivery person.

A Final Thought

As you can see, keeping your garage door in the best physical condition does not take a whole lot of time, energy or money. Instead, a little proactive maintenance like the ones mentioned above will go a long way towards keeping your garage door in the finest of conditions for many years to come.

garage door maintenance