Garage door injury statistics provide a lesson in why quality doors and routine maintenance are needed.
Statistically speaking, you are unlikely to have ever experienced a garage door related injury, or even know someone who has. This may start to give you a false sense of security about your garage door. After all, it’s equipped with safety features, so it must be safe, right? The reality is that garage doors may start off very safe, if all possible safety features are included, yet become extremely hazardous if they are not properly maintained.
Every year thousands of Americans who probably thought their own garage doors were very safe become injured. Don’t let yourself or a loved one become part of these statistics! Instead, educate yourself on the most common types of garage door injuries and how they can be prevented using the following information from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance Survey.
Injury Type: Pinching
Americans Affected: Every year, over 7,550 Americans suffer pinching injuries, most often when fingers get caught between the panels of the garage door. Pinching fingers between the rollers and the tracks is also common. A little pinch may not seem like a big deal, until you stop to think about the forces involved in moving a heavy garage door. Then you can begin to understand why in some cases the fingers are so badly pinched they have to be amputated.
Prevention: The most important step you can take to prevent pinching is to keep fingers away from the garage door in the first place. However, if you have small kids you can get added peace of mind by choosing a garage door that has a pinch-proof panel design. Frequent professional maintenance will also help keep pinching injury risks low.
Injury Type: Crushing
Americans Affected: According to NEISS data, over 2,200 Americans will be injured each year by a garage door falling on them from above. About a hundred of these injuries typically occur when individuals unwisely try to run beneath a garage door as it is closing. The remaining injuries can be attributed to mechanical problems with the garage door and opener equipment.
Prevention: The best way to prevent sudden garage door failures that could trap a person beneath the door is to inspect your garage door regularly. You should do a visual inspection once per month yourself, and invest in a professional garage door inspection and maintenance visit each year. This way, you can avoid getting taken by surprise by issues like broken garage door springs that could cause the door to drop suddenly.
Injury Type: Lacerations
Americans Affected: About 800 Americans will suffer lacerations when the window glass in their garage doors breaks.
Prevention: This type of garage door injury is becoming less and less common as older doors with regular glass are replaced with new doors that feature shatter-resistant glass. This type of glass is similar to the glass used in car windows, so when it breaks it creates small dull chunks rather than wicked shards. If you need help replacing an old garage door with dangerous glass with a safer model, contact Rowe Door Sales Company for help.
Here are a few fall maintenance items to check that will only take a few minutes but could save you a hassle later:
- Look and Listen. Is your garage door running smoothly? If your garage door is shaking like a leaf now, winter isn’t going to look much better. Take a second to clean out the tracks (a quick once-over with the vacuum nozzle will do the trick) and add some lubricant to battle what summer humidity may have done to the metal in your garage.
- Grab Your Level. Using a simple construction level can tell you whether your door or tracks have warped. This will tell you if you need to get some repairs before your car is held captive by a faulty door and you’re late for work. Again.
- Replace the Weatherstripping. If it’s cracked or brittle, ain’t no way it’s gonna keep the cold and damp out of your garage. Your gloved hands will thank you later. We carry a stock of many different colors and lengths, and it’s pretty easy to install yourself too.
- Keep It Movin’. Check your rollers and springs to make sure they aren’t chipped, cracked, or stretched out. If they are, they’ll need replacing fairly soon. If you’re looking to DIY, check out our tips, but like any powerful, tightly wound, well-used thing, we have to warn you that springs can be dangerous. Be careful, or call us – we’ve done it a thousand times.
- Check the Opener Battery. Never fear, sometimes it’s as simple as that.
We know you’re busy. And we want to make sure running kids to soccer games, prepping for the holidays, and last-minute runs to the store go as smoothly as possible. If you know it’s important but don’t have the time to do it, give us a call! From tune-ups to repairs to replacements, we’ll keep your garage door moving as consistently as you.
Your garage door is the largest moving part in your entire home and is used multiple times per day at any hour and in all seasons. To keep your garage door operating smoothly for decades to come, it’s very important that you take the time to perform regular preventive care and maintenance. Here are 10 things that all homeowners can do:
1. Look and Listen
The most important preventive step you can take is to observe your garage door in action every time you use it. Is it moving smoothly or is it jerky in places? Does it operate silently or does it make grinding or scraping noises? Do both sides of the system (springs, pulleys, and cables) look symmetrical?
2. Tighten up the Hardware
The average garage door moves up and down more than a thousand times a year. That’s a lot of movement and vibration, which can loosen the hardware. Examine and tighten all roller brackets and bolts with a socket wrench.
3. Test the Garage Door Balance
If your garage door is not properly balanced, the garage door opener will have to work harder, and it won’t last as long.
After you disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord), manually move the door about halfway up. If it doesn’t stay put, the counterweight system (springs) are improperly balanced. Garage door spring adjustment is best left to the professionals.
4. Inspect and Replace the Rollers
The rollers, whether steel or nylon, need to be inspected twice a year and replaced every seven years or so, and even more if you use your garage door many times a day.
Worn, chipped or cracked rollers should be replaced as soon as possible. You do this by removing and reinstalling any roller brackets that are not directly attached to the cable system.
5. Replace the Weatherstripping
If the rubber weather seal strip on the bottom of your door is brittle or cracked, replace it right away to keep the elements out of your house. Weatherstripping is sold by the foot at hardware and home improvement stores. Just cut to size and insert into the grooves with the wide angle of the flange inside the door.
6. Lubricate the Moving Parts
Keeping your garage door parts greased up will add years of seamless operation to your system – and it takes just 10 minutes a year! Use white lithium grease on the opener’s chain or screw, and a spray lubricant, available from your garage door specialist, to coat the overhead springs.
7. Check the Cables
You should never tinker with the high-tension cables that lift your door because they have enough force to maim and kill. But you can check their condition so you know when to hire a pro. Check for broken strands and damage near the bottom roller bracket.
8. Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Features
There are two mechanisms: mechanical and photocell. In order to test the mechanical feature, place a piece of wood or a brick on the ground in the path of the door. When the door coming down touches that object, it should reverse direction and go back up again. To test the second, the photoelectric system with beams at each side, close your door and just pass your leg in the door’s path. Your door should reverse.
If your opener is more than 20 years old, it may lack this basic safety features – and so it’s time to buy a new garage door opener.
9. Clear the Tracks
Make sure the tracks on either side of the door are free from debris and, if you are so inclined, you can use a level to check the plumb. Any major adjustments to tracks must be done by a professional garage door technician.
10. Groom Your Garage Door
Don’t forget to examine the door itself. Wood doors will need to be checked for water damage and warp, as well as chipped and peeling paint. Steel doors may have rust spots that need to be sanded, primed and painted. Wash your garage door regularly with a mild all-purpose cleaner at the same time you do your car.
Remember, your garage door makes up about one-third of the exterior of your house, so keep it fresh and clean. If you don’t have time to do this kind of check-up, call us at Rowe Door Sales Company to schedule a tune-up service call.
Before the weather starts to turn colder and winter bears down upon us, there are three maintenance checks every homeowner should perform on their garage doors.
Misalignment, cracking, or worn parts will only get worse with winter’s rough conditions. Many emergency repair jobs happen when the temperature dips. To avoid having to repair your garage door in the dead of winter, make sure it is in good condition now. Save yourself from the frustration and cold!
1. Test the Balance of Your Door
Step 1. Close your garage door. Disconnect your door from the opener by pulling on the red release cord.
Step 2. Manually lift the garage door. Stop it at waist height, and keep it steady.
Step 3. Release the door. It should stay at waist height. If door goes down on its own, you need to have it adjusted. If it goes back up, the springs are too tight. Both of these scenarios put undue wear on the garage door opener. If the springs are too tight, the door has to work against the spring pulling it up. If the door needs readjustment, it has to work against gravity pulling the door down.
Step 4. If your door moves, contact us right away—a professional needs to adjust it for balance right away. A professional has to adjust the garage door and springs for balance.
2. Visual Examination of Parts
1. Start by making sure the tracks aren’t bent or rusting.
2. Make sure the rollers on the track aren’t worn out or rusty.
3. Examine the cables for rust, fraying, or areas that seem worn.
4. Close your garage door and inspect the seal around the door. You shouldn’t see any light coming through any of the four sides (left, right, top, bottom).
5. Check the hinges on your door for rust or cracks.
If any of the door’s parts are worn or rusty, give us a call for preventative repairs.
3. Check Bottom Seal
Between the bottom of the door and the floor, your garage door has a seal (astragal). An astragal is either a solid black flap or tube-shaped. Its shape and material enable the astragal to form a tight seal and soft close. In the fall, small animals like mice, rats, chipmunks, and squirrels can chew through the seal to get into the warm garage or to find food.
Take a few minutes to check your bottom seal throughout the fall season to make sure no little critters are trying to get inside your garage for the winter. If you determine that your door can’t close or seal properly, try replacing your seal first.
For service, repair, installation, and answers to any of your questions, call us at (570) 655-7701.