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Should I Service my Own Garage Door?

By Blog Master on 23 Feb 2014 In

Should you service your own garage door? There’s a simple answer to this question; yes and no. Yes, you should perform simple maintenance tasks on your garage door to help keep it in tip-top shape as it ages over the years, and no, if your garage door isn’t working properly, you shouldn’t service your garage door yourself.

 We asked garage door service mechanics what they had to say about homeowners servicing their own garage door equipment. Here’s what Jim Norman of Overhead Door Company of Central Jersey had to say about the matter:

“Simple service such as lubrication is OK as a DIY project—changing springs and cables is best left to the pros. Not everyone is a mechanic and non-pros can damage equipment or themselves. Many accidents — including lacerations, broken fingers, and head injuries — have occurred during this type of repair.”

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Simple Tasks to Help Maintaining Your Garage Door

Here are a few simple tasks that you can do to help keep your garage door working perfectly:

1.      Bi-Monthly Visual Inspection:  From the inside of your garage with the door closed, look at your garage door springs, cables, rollers, mounting hardware and pulleys for any signs of wear and tear. Check all cables for fraying wires. Any loose nuts or bolts on the mounting hardware should be tightened. Keep your ears open as well. If you hear any odd grinding, squeaking or other unidentifiable noises when the door opens or closes, call a service technician to have it inspected right away.

Broken Cables in Garage DoorGarage Door Fraying Wires (Cables)

2.      Bi-Monthly Balance Test: Disconnect your automatic garage door opener mechanism and lift the door by hand. It should be evenly balanced with no resistance and the door should also remain open on its own. If not, you should call a garage door repair expert.

How To Manually Open Your Garage Door

3.   Bi-Monthly Reverse Test: Test the mechanism by closing the door on a 2x4 lying on the ground flat. If it closes and doesn’t rise back up after it makes contact with the 2x4, then you’ll need to have this important safety feature checked on by a professional.  Your garage door opener should be replaced if it isn’t equipped with photo eyes and a pressure-sensitive safety switch to sense movement or pressure and automatically reverse. Units that pre-date 1993 are no longer supported by the industry for safety reasons. New units are equipped with monitored safety devices. These can help save lives in case the door accidentally closes on someone without them knowing it. 

Garage Door Safety- Liftmaster Photoeyes

Suggested Article: How to Check and Maintain Your Garage Door Photo Eyes or Beams

4.      Bi-Monthly Photo Eye Test: An emitter sends a beam of light across the bottom of the garage door opening no higher than 6 inches above the floor. This light is invisible to the human eye, but it is ‘seen’ by the receiver on the opposite side of the door. If the garage door photo eye does not ‘see’ the light from the emitter, it reverses the garage door immediately. To test this safety feature, close the garage door and wave a broom next to the photoelectric eye to break the beam. If the door goes back up, then you’ve got a good working photoelectric eye beam. If not, call a garage service mechanic for an estimate on the repairs.

Photo-Eyes-Safety-Beam-for-Garage-Door-NJGarage Door Photo Eyes

5.      Bi-Monthly Force Setting Test: If the garage door comes down on your car when you’re backing out or pulling in, it can do some serious damages to your car and the garage door. Test its force setting feature by closing the garage door from its fully open position. Place a new roll of paper towels on the floor under the closing door to provide soft resistance to the closing door taking care not to block the photo-cells. If the door closes on the towels and doesn’t go back up right away, then you should have it checked by a garage door professional. The force setting is too great and needs to be serviced to prevent accidents. This is a very subjective test, if the door passed the 2 x 4 and photo-cell test it is probably OK, but if you are not sure, call for service.

Testing Your Garage Door Auto Reverse System NJ

6.      Bi-Annual Lubrication: Apply a spray-on lubricant to the door hinges, tracks, rollers, and other moving parts twice a year to keep them from corroding and to keep them well lubricated as they move.

So garage door maintenance is ideally a sensible partnership between the homeowner and the garage door professional.

Overhead Door Company of Central Jersey is always available to assist you with any service issues you may encounter with your garage door or garage door opener system.

We are easily reached at 908-722-5785, or email us at

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We’ve been providing service in central New Jersey since 1972. Call one of our professionals today if you are experiencing a garage door system malfunction, we’ll be glad to assist.
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Photo Gallery for Installations by Overhead Door Company of Central Jersey