To test or not to test? In the eyes of the Insurance company

Examining the garage door pressure test. Interesting article that some may want to read.

Good article, Marcel.

Here is the last paragraph from the link:


"Shortly after publishing the article, home inspector Dan Katz of TrustPoint Inspections in Indiana asked us how often we see professional liability claims resulting from not testing garage doors. We have yet to receive an E&O claim that alleged that the inspector failed to inspect the auto-reverse function on a garage door. That isn’t to say it could never happen or that other insurance companies haven’t seen one come in. But in 10 years, we haven’t encountered such a claim.*"

So what was your take away from the article? it just listed things from third-party sources…

The garage door will fail if it was about to fail or the inspector applies unreasonable force to it. Some people do not have a sense for how things operate and or are designed to operate, you cannot fix that. Maybe those people shouldn’t test but disclaim instead. However, to me, testing a garage door is just like testing anything else… for example, you go to remove a cover for an electrical panel and something short circuits and causes $1000 worth of damage. Who is to blame? I can create a large list of these. Garage door is nothing special, not sure why some make it out to be.

What would be helpful is to see how many garage door claims resulted from the use of 2x4 vs the use of a hand. (yes, I know, many on this forum tested 1000000 doors with 2x4 and not a single one failed :slight_smile: )

Nothing special for me either Simon, but I feel that some of the younger inspectors out there that have a hard time distinguishing between torsion springs and extension spring installations, might be a good idea for them to sit back and decided if they really want the liability to inspect something they don’t know how to install and test properly.

While recognizing the SoP’s capacity to protect inspectors from liability, Gromicko believes that exceeding the InterNACHI SoP is a common and appropriate practice so long as inspectors use their best judgment.

“Let’s just dispel this myth that inspectors do exactly what’s in the SoP and never exceed it when it’s practical,” he said. “You don’t need a formula and a calculator to realize when it’s very logical to just exceed the SoP technically for a moment.”

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If I was still inspecting, I would test 'em like I always have.

After scrutinizing the O.H. Door, I would test with my hands while watching the door for any anomaly.


I do as Larry did.

Larry and Marcel, obviously I have a long way to go before I reach the Master level of you two titans of the industry. Just to be clear, you think using the manufacturer suggested 2x4 method is a bad idea?

No, as long as you feel comfortable in the knowledge of garage doors and its parts and know how to safely test them.
The important thing is to test the operator and door safeties per the checklist as provided by DASMA.

Pay special attention to item 10 where they advise you that service may be required before doing that test.
(NOTE: The door may need servicing, based on findings in Item #3, 4, 6, 7, 8 or 9 above, before this test is conducted.)

I would also advise that this test not be done if any part of the findings above are found.
Especially on operators that have been installed on older doors by homeowners, which is usually obvious.
Hopefully you have read the whole article above from Inspector Pro, and you can make an informed decision with what I just pointed out.
Hope this helps.


I agree with Marcel…

But, I always did test with my hands, anyway. :smile:


I test them with my hands, and do a walk through to see if it stops the door.

I’m not in favor of the 2"X 4" because I don’t want to buy a door.

With hands it’s not likely to cause damage, unless your a lessron and try to push it back up instead of just applying a little resistance.

If it’s an old unit I just walk through to see if the sensor is working.

( lessron )= Someone that does not qualify to be a moron.

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Thanks for the reference Marcel. Solid information as always.

The unfortunate reality is that due to settling and shifting of walls and floors some homeowners dial the resistance way up so the door will land tight to the floor. I personally will look at the opener before testing said function to see where the setting is at. If found to be excessive then I advise that the unit be returned to manufacturers recommended setting.
I’ve heard many stories from inspectors of crumpling panels while testing and I cant fathom how, apply a little resistance, if it doesn’t reverse then let go it’s a defect.

That is what I did, too, Michael.

Same here…It’s no big deal to do so.

Something I failed to note in either the article or this discussion is the fact that both the CPSC:

and the Door Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA):

recommend testing by the 2x4 method. These two accredited sources alone should negate any claim about improper testing. I use a 2x4 and will continue to do so because it is a recommended testing procedure by two authoritative sources.

A physically damaged door should not be tested and the report should indicate this.

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It there is excessive downward pressure and you place a 2X4 under the door…It could very well cause significant damage to the door.
Testing with a 2X4 is very bad advice…
I’ve had them come out of track just using my hands…

Personally, the only time I have used a 2x4 is when I installed the door myself and to make sure everything functions like it is supposed too, other than that, for some other door that has not been maintained, I don’t.
No one maintains an overhead door as long as it goes up and goes down. LOL

People too often (it’s easier) do as they are told, they rarely question or try to understand why they are being told something. The recommendation to use 2x4 is a perfect example of this. This, however, was beat to death a number of times. We’re just resurrecting a dead corpse.


Of course all claims result from someone testing the door. Up to that point the only thing the seller knew was that the door went up and down. Once the buyers agent tries to get them to repair the door for a function they never knew existed…it has to be the Inspector’s fault!