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Garage Doors/not sure of mom's old garage door...



my mom's house was built in the 70's, her garage door is heavy very solid but old. long story short, I am worried about it, she always goes through it instead of the front, not your problem, but what should I do to make sure it is OK?

I read one of your letters, about accredited door people, no one is accredited in Canada anymore, what can I check for and replace and what not before I call someone in? what should I be looking for to make sure it is safe?


Hi Penny,

You have every right to be concerned as wood doors are very heavy and the spring/counter balance system can be dangerous. Canada is, as we speak, attempting to set up an accreditation/certification system like we are doing here in the states. I would recommend checking with neighbors, or local agencies to find a reputable door company.

The parts most apt to go bad is the counter balance sssembly and the rollers in the track. Look at the rollers in the tracks and see if they are at a 90degree angle to the roller stem. If not, or there seems to be play in the rollers, they should be replaced.  Check the nuts holding the hinges on and make sure they are tight. Lightly spray WD40 on the rollers and in the tracks. With the door in the closed position, disconnect the opener and raise the door by hand. Do not strain yourself. The door should raise easily with little effort and stop half-way and raise to a full open position. Look at the relationship between the tracks and the door in the rear track and make sure there is little play between them.   If these simple test's seem ok, you should be good to go. Hope this helps,

Yours in doors,


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Mike Whitacre


I will not answer questions about garage door openers 20 years old or older as they are unsafe, PURCHASE A NEW ONE. How many cell phones have you owned in 20 years? I have 40 years in the garage door industry and have seen almost everything. I sat on the Wayne/Dalton dealers board in 1986,1987,and 1988. I am on the IDEA board of directors ( and am accredited by same. I will, to the best of my ability answer your questions on doors or openers. I will not deal with shinbuster type doors. Replace it if you have one! If your question is about stretch type springs, call an IDEA accredited dealer and have torsion springs installed.


I have been in the overhead door industry for 40 years. I have dealt with all major brands of garage doors and openers. I have been a member of the International Door Association for 25 years( My speacialty is working with and understanding stretch and torsion springs. However, I will never recommened a customer to deal with a garage door spring.

International Door Association, Door and Access Manufacturer's association, Institute of Door Education and Accreditation, American Legion

I have 2 years of collage , am on the IDEA board of directors, and if you didn't notice have been in the industry for 40 years!

Awards and Honors
I recieved the Train the Trainer certification from the Institute of Door Education and Accreditation in April 2001.

Past/Present Clients
Cal Ripken

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