On a field training inspection with my students the other day, we came across this big heavy rusty wrench attached to the bottom panel of the garage overhead door.
My first reaction was that perhaps it was art.
However, later on in the inspection, when it came time to put the door through its reversing tests, we discovered that the door would only come down part way and then go back up. I had one of the students push the button while I pulled lightly on the bottom of the door and it closed just fine.
The wrench was merely additional weight added to the door to get it to close. One of the wheel tracks at the ceiling was bent inward. The bend in the track made the door bind. The reversing mechanism interpreted the resistance as some sort of blockage—so it reversed itself.
Perhaps when originally installed, the heavy wrench was enough to overcome the binding. Now, due to wear and/or weakening of the springs, the door was meeting even more resistance and the bottom of the door simply needs more wrenches.
Actually, if the track is straightened, the door will work properly and leave any attempt of future inspectors to figure out what the wrench is for near impossible.
Perhaps then, “art” will be the best answer.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board