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Is your garage door ready to roll? Survey casts doubts

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Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:41 am, Sat May 17, 2014.

(BPT) - Does your garage door creak, squeak or groan when you open or close it? If so, that isn’t a good sign. But noticing this is the first step to fixing what could become a major home repair issue.

Newly released survey results show that you’re probably not alone with your maintenance concerns. The online survey was conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the International Door Association (IDA), the world’s largest association of professional garage door and access systems dealers and installers, and its consumer website GarageDoorCare.com. It reveals that 82 percent of Americans who own a house with a garage/garage door may be taking the maintenance of the largest and heaviest moving object in their home for granted. Consider this:

* 54 percent have never had a garage door and/or garage door opener safety check performed by a professional garage door/dealer installer.

* 47 percent have never had a garage door professional inspect or service their garage door(s).

* 34 percent admit that no one in their household has ever personally tested the safety features of their garage door(s) and/or garage door opener(s).

* 27 percent say that their garage door’s hinges and rollers have never been lubricated.

* 12 percent say that they are not at all sure when their garage door’s hinges and rollers were last lubricated.

“Those numbers are cause for concern because so many folks rely on the garage door for easy access to their home,” says Chris Long, managing director of IDA. “It alarms me that so many homeowners aren’t even sure when their door’s hinges and rollers were last lubricated - the most basic of maintenance tasks - and that’s a prescription for problems.”

“When a garage door isn’t working as it should, it can be a major disruption in terms of access to and from the home and often results in an unplanned expense,” Long says. “And, like most home repair emergencies, it never happens at a ‘convenient’ time. GarageDoorCare.com outlines the things homeowners can do on their own to maintain their door’s operation, such as semi-annual lubrication of a garage door’s hinges and rollers.”

But there are other tasks, such as making sure that a garage door system is properly balanced or reversing, that homeowners may feel more comfortable leaving to professionals.

A broken garage door can be an inconvenience in terms of access. But a broken and falling garage door or busted spring can be downright dangerous.

It doesn’t have to be that way, according to Long. Regular and proper maintenance is the answer. He suggests that homeowners think of garage door maintenance in the same manner they think of regular oil changes for the family autos or annual furnace inspections - scheduled tasks that ensure devices continue to perform safely and efficiently.

“An annual garage door and opener inspection performed by a professional can help make certain that a home’s garage door operating system continues to function as it’s meant to,” Long says. “For a nominal inspection fee, a professional can recognize a small problem and remedy it before it becomes a large problem. And if a garage door operating system is in really bad shape, most folks should consider a professional for repairs or, if necessary, replacement.”

“Just as many homeowners wouldn’t think of going into the winter without having their furnace checked by an HVAC professional, it could be just as beneficial for homeowner to hire, at a nominal fee, a garage door maintenance professional to perform a garage door safety check to ensure that all is in order,” Long says.

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