It is always a good idea to check the safety of your garage doors periodically and, if there are minor problems, you might be able to clear them yourself. If minor problems are not noticed and handled in time, this might lead to unwanted hassles. Balancing a garage door is not very difficult to understand and it does not involve any rocket science. It involves a little balancing equation which is very simple.
The weight of the garage door should be directly proportional to the tension in the springs that hold it. In other words, if the weight of the garage door and the tension in the springs, nicely complement each other, your garage door is bound to move swiftly.
Testing the balance of your garage doors
In order to see if the above equation holds good to your garage doors, you can perform some simple tests. If there is an automatic opener attached to your garage door, remove it, before performing the test. Now, catch hold of the middle of the door and move it halfway up, and then leave it. You have to be careful when you let the door go off and be prepared to catch hold of it in case of any drastic movement.
But, if the door stays where you left it or if it has minimal movement, then the equation between the weights of the garage door and springs is good and you can go ahead and see if any other maintenance is required. On the other hand, after you leave the door mid-way if it tends to drop down, then it can be determined that the tension in the springs is too weak. If the door starts moving upwards, then the tension in the springs is higher than required. If there is considerable movement, either upwards or downwards, then it’s time for balancing.
Balancing – Garage door springs
There are two types of springs that are normally used for garage door mechanisms, extension springs, and torsion springs.
Extension Springs: These springs are normally used for lightweight purposes, such as a single-door garage. These types of springs run parallel to the track and often come with a big pulley. They get stretched when the door is open and tend to contract with the help of a pulley when closed. These springs can be adjusted in both stretched and normal positions, by adjusting the joints or the hooks that hold them. A homeowner may be able to do its maintenance.
Torsion Springs: These are heavy-duty springs that are normally used for double garage doors. They run parallel to the track and are situated above the door. These are designed to handle heavyweights. An expert is needed for its maintenance as they have high torque and can result in serious injuries if not handled properly.
Balancing – Weight of the garage door
When you leave the door half-open, if it moves up, then it can be balanced by adding some weight. This can be done by adding a door stiffener or by adding extra weight to the door in the form of a brace. This can be done on your own. This extra weight will provide that extra pull necessary to balance the tension in the spring and will result in a smooth operation.
A balanced garage door will let the automatic opener function properly. If your garage door is a manual one, proper balancing will allow you to operate it with minimal effort.