The garage door is the largest and heaviest moving object in most homes, plus some of its components are under high tension. Improper installation, damage, or poor maintenance creates a dangerous condition that can cause serious injury or even death. So we take garage door inspection seriously.
Here’s a summary of the 10 points we check on a garage door during a home inspection:
1) Confirm that the garage door has a manual release handle, and that it is functional.
2) Check the garage door panels for cracks, dents, signs of fatigue, or separation of materials.
3) Confirm that the door has safety warning labels in place.
4) Check that all hardware is securely and correctly attached, and visually inspect the springs for damage.
5) Verify satisfactory door operation: handles or grip points on the inside and outside of door, door moves freely and is not excessively noisy, and rollers stay in the track throughout the opening and closing.
6) Check that the counterbalance springs have a containment mechanism, such as a center cable or protective shaft.
7) Operate door with wall button, confirming that it is in clear view of the door, at 5-feet above the floor, and safely away from all moving parts
The wall button in this photo is located in the laundry room and does not have the required clear view of the garage door if the door from laundry to garage is closed. It should be relocated to the garage.
1) Confirm that the photoelectric safety beam is a maximum of 6-inches above the floor.
2) Test the safety beam (non-contact reversal mechanism), and verify that the door returns to fully open position.
3) Test the contact reversal safety system, and verify that the door returns to fully open position. The mechanism should be set to reverse itself at 10 to 15 lbs. of resistance.
The two most common defects we find in the Gainesville area are: a safety beam set too high, and the contact reversal system set to too high a resistance before it reverses.
Manually operated and older, tilt-up garage door are evaluated somewhat differently, but with door operation safety as the primary concern. Our inspection sequence is based on Technical Data Sheet #167, issued by DASMA (Door & Access Manufacturers Association International), which is considered an industry standard. You can visit their website for more information at : http://www.dasma.com/.
While we hope you find SitePro of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the state of florida and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.