If you are a homeowner with a garage door cable mechanism you need to check it periodically. You may need a cable repair and not realise it. Here is how to check and what to do about it. Read on to learn more.
Do I Need a Garage Door Cable Repair?
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Garages are a great convenience for many homeowners and are so popular in the United States that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported roughly 65% of the homes built in 2019 included two-car garages. Garages can also be found in many older homes. However, garage doors that are not properly maintained could become dangerous liabilities.
Your garage door is possibly the largest machine in your home. A standard garage door can weigh between 85 and 225 pounds, depending upon the door’s size and material (metal, wood, etc.). There are different mechanisms used to open the door, but all depend on one critical component: cables. If your door’s cables are damaged or have slipped out of place, your garage door will not operate properly and may seriously injure or kill someone.
Types of Cables: Lifting and Safety
The two primary types of garage door cables are lifting cables, which open and close the door, and safety cables, which keep the door from crashing down or flying open. Torsion spring systems operate the door by tightening and loosening springs. As the springs loosen, the cables pull the door open. Extension spring systems, on the other hand, operate through extension and contraction. The cables are attached to pulleys, which stretch the springs out when the door is closed. As the springs relax and contract, the cables lift the door up.
Retaining (or safety) cables are used with extension springs and prevent the door from crashing down if the springs break, while emergency cables – found in most garages – allow you to open the door manually and serve as a backup cable to prevent doors from crashing on objects, animals, or people.
Main Reasons for Failure
Cables usually fail due to one of two reasons: slipping off drums or snapping. A cable can slip off of a drum for several reasons – broken torsion springs, the garage door hitting an object, or improper installation. Snapping is caused by rust, friction, and time. If cables are not the right size or strength, they are more likely to snap from strain or erode from the friction of movement against drums, pulleys, or other objects. Springs and cables must be the proper gauge for the door’s weight, and all components must be perfectly balanced to avoid accidents, malfunctions, or premature wear.
Signs That You Should Replace Your Cables
Depending on their usage, garage doors usually last 10,000-15,000 cycles (each cycle is a single opening and closing). Of course, the more a door is used, the sooner it will wear out. If you notice that your door is squeaking, shaking, stalling, or operating at a different speed than normal, then you may need to replace your cables. Other warning signs include rusted, corroded, or frayed cables and loose wires or cables hanging by the door.
A final thought on the garage door cable repair
Do not attempt to replace or repair a garage door on your own – many people are injured or killed while attempting to repair a garage door. In 2020, The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported nearly 12,000 emergency room visits due to garage door-related accidents. If you need to replace your cables, contact a licensed garage door repair service in Suffolk, VA today to set up an appointment.
FURTHER READING ON GARAGE & HOME MAINTENANCE FOR HOME OWNERS
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