Tampering is the only way an automatic garage door becomes dangerous. Nowadays, more are turning to independent solutions, learning how to maintain home appliances while saving. Homeowners should heed the following warnings about handling garage doors, the biggest, heaviest pieces of equipment found in the home.

A large number of horrific blunders have been caused by people meddling with springs, children playing with remote control devices, and aging garage doors. When it comes to garage doors, there are two major rules. One should not tweak the springs, and one should not leave repairs for another day.

Springs for doors come in two varieties. Some models use extension springs that stretch like rubber bands to slow the closing of the door, and then contract to help lift the weight of the door when it is opened. On the other hand, torsion springs wind up to support the entire heft of the door.

A precarious situation is created when one tries to alter either type of spring. Imminent peril awaits those homeowners who insist on setting up torsion springs by themselves, especially if they are not familiar with the special tool required for installation. Homeowners who attempt to increase tension on their torsion springs with makeshift devices such as screwdrivers are in for a big trouble.

Something else few homeowners recognize is the danger of tweaking the spring brackets on the garage frame, which are also under pressure. To defer needed repairs is prohibited under the second rule. Repairs should not be done alone, and it is best to hire a professional.

Inappropriately installed doors are a threat to the whole household, and to make things worse repairs can be quite costly. Check for adequate installation by measuring the period between the impact of the door and the corresponding bounce back from impact. From crash to reversal, it should take two seconds at most.

If it takes longer than that, check for common problems, such as worn tracks and broken springs. The track should not be crooked or unfastened to the garage, and all wheels should turn smoothly. The wheel bearings may need some grease if they don't work properly.

Oiling rollers, springs, hardware pivot points, and openers can prevent any problems you might have with them. An annual coat of paint for the door can protect it from exposure, but the same does not apply to hardware. Paint simply gets in the way of hardware, whose job it is to change the door's position.

Children should not be able to retrieve triggering devices for automatic door openers. Buttons in the garage should be installed where they will be difficult, if not impossible for children to reach. These suggestions will ensure a longer, safer life for your door.

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