How to Inspect Your Garage Door

How to Inspect Your Garage Door

You may want to periodically inspect your garage door for not only functionality, but safety as well. Garage doors can be costly and unsafe for children and pets. That is why it is such crucial part of the home inspection.

Lets get into how you can inspect your garage door.

Overall Condition

The first thing I like to do when looking at a garage door is get a good overview.

I like to ask myself a few questions:

  • Are there any dents?
  • Is it rusting?
  • How does the opener and tracks look? Are they bent or rusted?
  • Is the opener older and maybe past its life?
  • Does the garage door have sensors?

Give a good look to both sides of the garage door as well.

This gives me a sense of the overall condition of the garage door and which parts may be problematic or need repairs soon.

Functionality

Next, I take a look at the functionality and safety of the garage door.

When operating, I monitor the door opening and closing without interference. A loud opening/closing could mean it needs more lubrication.

Furthermore, I check for areas it may not seal fully, such as, near the bottoms or sides.

How to Check & Fix a Garage Door Not Sealing

While the garage door is in the closed position, we can check to see if daylight comes in through the bottom or sides. If daylight does come in, then we can replace the bottom or side rubber treads.

Here is an example of a replacement of the bottom seal.

If daylight is coming through the sides, you can use a rubber flap/framing to seal the door. Purchase Side Seal here.

Checking the Garage Door For Safety

As mentioned previously, a big part of the inspection process is to check the garage door for safety. We will look at three major aspects for safety: the sensors, auto-reversal, and the springs.

The Sensors

Checking the sensors for safety is pretty easy. All you need to do is close the garage door, and while the door is closing, quickly run to put your foot in front of the sensors.

When blocking the laser sensors, the garage door should reverse. If your door did not reverse, there may be a wiring or alignment issue.

(This should go without saying, but if the garage door does not reverse, please move out of the way so that your foot doesn’t get crushed. Also, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to take safe action; don’t put your foot out when there’s only a little bit of time left before the garage door closes.)

Auto-Reversal

Checking the auto-reversal for safety is again an easy task. Simply close the garage door and as it is closing, firmly (not with extreme force), pull up on the garage door to give it reverse pressure.

The reverse pressure should simulate a kid or car being hit with the garage door and ultimately reverse the garage door to go back up.

If the garage door does not reverse with pressure, you should check the garage door pressure sensitivities. There are typically knobs (controlled by a flat head screwdriver) to adjust the closing sensitivity.

Be sure to not make your garage door too sensitive as it will reverse when it is not needed.

Garage Door Springs

Newer garage doors are typically made with torsion springs, which are safer. Older models typically come with extension springs, which sometimes need additions to make them more safe.

Torsion Springs

Torsion Garage Door Spring
Torsion Spring

Check your torsion spring for breakage and rust. Older models may need to replaced or lubricated.

Extension Springs

Extension springs on the other hand, are a little bit different. They will need retention cables if they do not have one already.

Retention cables basically protect a spring from hurting someone if it work to break or fall off.

Home Depot has extension springs with retention cables. Be sure to purchase the correct size if you are getting a replacement!

Concluding on How to Inspect Your Own Garage Door

It is imperative your garage door meets the safety features as mentioned above. These features help protect your belongings and kids.

If you have any further questions about how to inspect your garage door, be sure to just drop a comment below!

Aaron Shishilla

Author Aaron Shishilla

Aaron Shishilla is the youngest registered professional inspector in Florida. Coming from a family-owned home inspection company and now the marketing manager at Waypoint.

More posts by Aaron Shishilla

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