An automatic garage door is a wonderful thing, since it means you can get in and out of your garage every day without undue effort. Of course, if your garage door doesn't work the way it should, you may be putting yourself and your car at risk.

If you would like to learn a bit more about how a garage door professional can ensure that your door functions safely and effectively, read on. This article will educate you about two of the most important garage door safety tests.


The Balance Test

Balance is the most important quality of a garage door. An unbalanced door poses a much greater risk of crashing back down on top of you, your family members, or your car. An unbalanced door can also increase the amount of stress your opener is exposed to, thus increasing the likelihood of burnout or motor problems.
For all of these reasons, a balance test is the first thing a garage door technician will do during a maintenance visit. Here is how such a test works. First, the technician will raise the door all of the way. Then they will pull down on the release handle dangling down from the opener motor. This will detach the opener from the door, making it possible to position it manually.
Now the technician will lower the door so that it is around halfway open, then carefully let go of it. In a perfect world, the door will remain exactly where it is, without moving so much as an inch in either direction. This means that the balance is perfectly adjusted.
If the door rises up after letting go, this tells the tech that the garage door springs are too tense, and should be loosened up. This extra structural stress places the springs at a greater risk of cracking or rupturing. If the door falls downward, then conversely the springs are too loose. This requires increasing their tension.
It is possible to perform the balance test on your own. Yet under no circumstances should you attempt to alter the tension of your garage door springs. The incredible tension of these springs means you could easily be hurt should something go wrong. If you believe your door could benefit from a tension adjustment, be sure to contact a pro.


The Auto Reverse Test

Auto reverse is a feature that can be found on all of the automatic garage doors being manufactured today. In fact, since 1993 there has been a federal law making this a mandatory garage door feature. This law came in response to the numerous cases of people — many of them children — being crushed and pinned beneath closing garage doors.
The purpose of an auto reverse mechanism is somewhat self-explanatory. If the door meets any resistance on its downward course, it will automatically stop moving and then open back up again. In order for this to work, however, the door's auto reverse mechanism must remain accurately calibrated.
To determine whether the door's auto reverse calibration is okay, a technician will usually perform a simple test. This involves centering a brick or a piece of 2x4 beneath the door, then hitting the button to close the door. If the auto reverse feature is working correctly, the door should open back up within one or two seconds of touching the object.
If, on the other hand, the door does not open up, the safety feature's calibration is off.  The proper solution depends on what type of auto reverse mechanism your door features. Some doors incorporate systems that physically detect the object, while others utilize so-called photoelectric sensors, which are capable of reversing the movement of the door even before they touch down against an impeding object.
Those who value to convenience that an automatic garage door offers must be prepared to take proper care of their door. Contact Edelen Door & Window to perform regular routine maintenance tests and repairs.