If you’re a handy person, or at least someone who is willing to get your hands dirty and try new things, it’s hard to hire someone to fix a problem in your house. But when it comes to you garage door – the largest moving system in your home – that’s exactly what you should do.
3 Primary Risks of DIY Garage Door Repair
When it’s operating smoothly, your garage door isn’t something you focus on. You hit a button and it goes up. You get in your car, pull out, press the remote transmitter in your vehicle, and it goes down. In fact, it’s such a habit that you don’t even think about doing it at all – it’s as routine as pressing the brake pedal in your car to shift into reverse and back out of the driveway.
But what happens when you’re rushing off to an important meeting, you hit the button, and the door won’t open? Or when the door does open, you hear an awful sound? It’s at this moment that you, as a homeowner, have a decision to make. Are you going to attempt to diagnose and fix the problem yourself, or will you call in a professional to take a look?
If you have a DIY gene in your DNA, you’ll be tempted to find your own solution. You think to yourself: How hard could it be? But that may be the wrong question to ask. The truth is that DIY garage door repair is more dangerous than anything else. You may be capable of fixing a problem 7 out of 10 times, but it’s those two or three times where something goes wrong that your decision can prove dangerous.
Garage door safety isn’t something to take lightly. When it comes to DIY repair, there are three primary risks that you face:
Serious Bodily Injury
Garage doors are designed with certain safety features that are meant to protect homeowners from injury, even in the instance that there is a malfunction with the system. Unfortunately, when you attempt to repair a part and don’t know what you’re doing, these safety mechanisms quickly become useless.
Bodily injury is one of the biggest risks of DIY garage door repair – and one of the most important reasons for practicing proper garage door safety. Minor injuries include pinching – usually occurring when fingers are too close to the door’s panels when it moves up and down – and abrasions. However, there are some more serious injuries that can take place when proper precautions aren’t taken.
Crushing-type injuries can occur when a homeowner runs underneath a closing door, while concussions, lacerations, serious bruising, and even broken bones can occur when a garage door spring breaks.
Damage to House, Vehicles, and/or Possessions
You’re not just putting yourself at risk with DIY garage door repair. You’re also risking possible damage to your house, vehicles, and other possessions in your garage – such as tools, lawn equipment, and bikes.
Garage door springs are the biggest risk factor. Most springs have a life expectancy of 10,000 cycles. This means the average lifespan is anywhere from three years (used eight-times per day) to 14 years (used twice per day).
When garage door springs reach the end of their life cycle, they can break. This essentially releases all of the tension in the spring. Under normal circumstances, this merely leaves your garage door inoperable.
But if you manipulate the spring prematurely or incorrectly during repair or maintenance, you could actually cause it to fly off and hit objects in your garage. In some cases, the force is so strong that it can shatter windshields, rip through drywall, or concuss a bystander.
Damage to the Garage Door System
A typical garage door will last anywhere from 15 to 30 years – at least that’s what most manufacturers claim. However, it honestly comes down to personal use and how well you treat and maintain your garage door.
If you take care of your garage door, have it serviced when problems arise, and avoid doing anything that could compromise the system, you can extend the life of the garage indefinitely. The opposite is true when you don’t take the proper precautions.
You might think you’re saving some time and money with DIY garage door repair, but you could actually be shortening the lifespan. A shoddy job could put undue stress on the garage door, cause parts to wear prematurely, and/or damage key mechanisms. As a result, your garage door might not last more than a couple of years.
Put Garage Door Safety First
Admittedly, there are some situations in which you might not need to call a professional garage door repair company. While you should always proceed with caution, here are some examples of simple tasks you may do on your own:
- You obviously don’t need to call a professional when the batteries in your garage door transmitter go out. Simply replace them and you’re back in business. If the transmitter still isn’t working, you may need to reprogram it to the operator.
- It’s common for the photo eyes at the bottom of the garage door tracks to become misaligned. Simply correct their positioning with your hands so that they are facing each other and the door should open and close properly
- If the door won’t open, it’s possible that it was manually locked. Unlocking is as simple as finding the appropriate lever and turning it in the opposite direction. You may also have the vacation lock on, which is located on the wall mounted push button.
- Has the light on your garage door motor unit gone out? Simply pull off the plastic cover and replace the light bulb like you would with any light fixture in your home. Be careful using LED bulbs. They can cause interference with your garage door opener remotes.
Other than properly caring for your garage door, keeping it free from obstructions, and examining the system for worn out parts, there aren’t many repair and maintenance tasks you should tackle on your own. There are simply too many risks. Instead, use GarageDoorRepair.com to find a licensed and skilled repair expert in your area. Just enter your zip code in the footer below and we’ll get you connected!