Garage doors do not have a best before date. Their lifespan, and how long they can operate safely, is highly dependent on some factors.
Of course, the age of the door is a factor. However, you also need to consider what type of life this door and the door’s opener have had. Have they been used twice a day or twice a month? Have they been punished with wind and snow every winter?
If you’re considering an upgrade, we invite you to read 5 signs that you need to replace your garage door opener to see if any of them sound familiar.
However, if you’re worried your door is unsafe, look for the following warnings.
It Was Made Prior to 1993
America’s garage doors got a lot safer in the early 90s. New legislation required that all garage door openers manufactured after 1993 to have an external entrapment protection device (like an electric eye) to prevent it from closing if it detects something in the way.
If your garage door opener does not have this functionality, you are looking at a significant safety issue. Kids and pets are often distracted and oblivious to what the door is doing. You need that sensor in place to act as a safeguard.
If your garage door opener does not have this feature, you should look into an upgrade or a retrofit immediately.
You Have Lost Your Garage Door Opener
Your garage door opener being lost or stolen is more than inconvenient. It’s a major safety issue.
A thief can use that remote control to open your garage and help themselves to any of your expensive tools or sporting goods inside. Or, if you leave the interior door to your home unlocked, this thief can use the garage to access your entire home, without picking a lock or breaking a window.
It’s Made of Old Wood
We all love the look of aged and distressed wood, but it doesn’t always make for the safest choice.
Old wood can crack and warp with age, which leads to kids getting those nasty cuts and splinters in their little hands. However, things can get considerably more serious if warping or rotting causes the door to fall apart while it’s being lowered or raised merely. This is a hazardous situation that needs to be avoided.
If you’ve grown accustomed to the look of aged wood, you can get a brand new (and structurally solid) door that’s been treated to give you the distressed character that you’re looking for. This new door will also give you all of the modern safety features you need.
It’s Behaving Differently
If you start noticing any new sounds, or your door starts malfunctioning in any way, you may be on the verge of dangerous failure.
If the door is “acting up” by doing things like only lowering halfway before going back up again, chances are good you have a less dangerous sensor issue. However, new noises or vibrations could be a sign; something is wrong with the chain or springs. When those items fail, things can get extremely dangerous in a hurry.
If you even suspect that your garage door is unsafe, it’s worth investigating. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and have your older doors looked at or replaced.