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7 Issues That Could Make Your Garage Door Unsafe

Your garage door is one of the largest moving components in your home, so it only makes sense to ensure it remains safe for you and your family to use. Each year, thousands are injured in accidents involving garage doors made unsafe through poor maintenance or misuse. The following highlights seven maintenance and upkeep issues that could eventually make your garage door unsafe to use.

1. Worn Springs

Homeowners often underestimate just how heavy their garage doors are. A typical steel garage door can weigh upwards of 350 pounds and a custom solid wood garage door can weigh 1,000 pounds or more. Needless to say, your garage door’s extension or torsion springs must be in excellent condition to handle the weight.
Garage door springs use tension to support the door as it opens and closes. Years of ordinary wear and tear can cause your springs to lose that tension, leaving the coils looser and weaker than before. Weakened garage door springs may also start popping, chattering, and groaning as the individual coils make contact with one another.
Once your garage door springs have had enough, they can fail violently by snapping apart. A catastrophic spring failure can cause your garage door to slam shut, potentially injuring anyone caught within the doorway. A broken spring can also seriously injure anyone standing nearby.
Most torsion and extension springs are designed to last for 10,000 cycles or approximately seven years under normal usage. Heavy-duty variants are able to survive for upwards of 50,000 cycles or 20 years.

2. Damaged Cables

Garage door cables aren’t immune to the ravages of time and constant use. Years of cumulative wear and tear can cause the cables to stretch and fray, placing them at greater risk of catastrophic failure. Rust can also eat through the cable, leaving it weak enough to break without warning.
A broken garage door cable can be just as dangerous as a broken spring. A snapped cable can lash out across the garage, seriously injuring anyone unfortunate enough to be in the way. A broken cable also makes it more difficult to safely open and close your garage door. An annual inspection by a seasoned professional can help prevent dangerous cable failures.

3. Loose or Damaged Hinges

Loose or damaged hinges can also cause problems for your garage door. Vibrations caused by ordinary garage door movement can loosen up screws holding the hinges in place. Loose or missing screws can cause sections of the garage door to fall apart, making it unsafe to use.
Rust and corrosion can also permanently damage garage door hinges, especially if they’re made from thinner metal. Metal hinges can also bend or crack if they’re not thick enough to properly support the garage door’s weight and movement.

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