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3 Ways To Prevent A Broken Garage Door Cable

Garage Door
All automatic garage door systems use cables to attach the door to the lifting mechanism. Specifically, the cables attach to the springs, which provide the majority of a door's lifting power. The springs also keep the cables under constant tension, allowing your door to begin opening within a split second of activation.
Garage door cables take a lot of wear and tear over the course of their lifetime, and they may eventually break, leaving your door nonfunctional. Fortunately, smart homeowners can reduce the risk of cable problems with a few simple steps. This article takes a closer look at three key ways to prevent a broken garage door cable.
1. Have Your Cable Sized by a Professional
Different garage doors require different cable sizes, in terms of diameter, length, and loop type. If you have recently suffered a broken cable or installed new components on your door, you must ensure that your new cable correctly complements your existing system. For best results, always hire a professional technician to size your cable.
Garage door cables vary in diameter from 3/32" to ΒΌ". Generally speaking, the heavier the door, the thicker the cable. Thicker doesn't always mean better, however. A technician must also consider the groove size of your drums and pulleys. An overly thick cable won't sit properly in the grooves and may suffer damage from repeatedly slipping out of the guidance system.
Cable length varies according to the size of the door, as well as the style of the lift. Most standard lift doors require a cable 18 inches longer than the door height. Finally, a technician must choose a cable with the correct loop type to integrate with the existing hardware. Otherwise the cable stands a greater risk of breaking loose or suffering friction-related damage.
2. Keep Your Cables Clean and Lubricated
Friction poses one of the largest threats to a garage door cable, leading to premature fraying of the metal wires. To minimize friction, you must ensure that your cables remain properly lubricated. Before applying lubricating, wipe accumulated dust and dirt off of the cables using a soft, clean rag. 
Not just any lubricant works for a garage door cable. Avoid using WD-40, which works more as a cleaning substance than as a lubricant. Also avoid using grease or oil, both of which can be messy and attract unwanted amounts of dirt and grime. Instead, use either white lithium grease or a silicone-based lubricant.
Those with nylon rollers should opt for a silicone-based lubricant, as excessive amounts of petroleum-based products can damage nylon and plastic components. In either case, don't overdo the lubrication; just add a light layer to protect the outside of the cable. If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself, contact a professional technician for help.
3. Have Your Garage Door Inspected Regularly
Even a clean and well-lubricated cable may break prematurely if other parts of your system fall into disrepair. Drums, spools, and pulleys can create problems if their bearings go bad, since the component won't rotate as freely as intended. Likewise, a poorly aligned door may rub against the cable, leading to unacceptable levels of friction.
Another common cause of broken cables involves excessive corrosion, often the result of damaged or degraded weather-stripping. Weather-stripping ensures that moisture cannot penetrate between the panels of a garage door or enter from below when the door is closed. A professional knows how to identify and correct such problems in order to keep your cables free from corrosion.
Cables rank among the most important garage door components, being the necessary interface between the lifting mechanisms and the door itself. For more information about how to keep cable problems at bay, please contact the garage door experts at JKH Door Service Company. 

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