Garage doors are a vital component of every home — they protect our cars and homes while boosting curb appeal. However, despite using garage doors every day, we almost never dedicate any time to examining their condition — unless, of course, something goes wrong. In this article, we’ll discuss some symptoms that commonly indicate when you should have your door repaired.
Common Garage Door Issues That Require Repairs
If you experience any of the following issues, you should have them repaired by a professional as soon as possible:
1. Your Garage Door Is Slow
Several factors can cause a slow-moving garage door:
- Old age: If parts such as the torsion springs are showing signs of age, they may not be working as effectively as possible and will need to be replaced. If you’ve gone many years without a garage door upgrade, this is also a great opportunity to replace it. You can upgrade to a garage door opener with higher horsepower for faster operation.
- Programming: There is also a chance that your garage door has been programmed to open and close at that speed. Find the owner’s manual and look for an easy, safe way to increase your garage door’s speed. If the steps seem too involved or dangerous, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
- Insufficient lubrication: Inadequate lubrication on your rollers, hinges and tracks can be another common cause of slow operation. It is critical that every moving component of a garage door system is routinely lubricated, whether the door is opening and closing slowly or not. Lubrication is essential when it comes to maintaining your garage door system since it keeps the door operating smoothly, which reduces the stress on your system and prolongs the lifespan of the opener and other components. When lubricating your door, it is important to apply the proper lubricant. A common mistake is to use WD-40, which can interfere with the grease required for your door to function its best. Instead, you should apply a lithium or silicone grease spray. Don’t forget to thoroughly spray metal hinges, locks, springs and rollers. If you have nylon rollers, make sure you lubricate only the bearings and not the wheels. You don’t need to lubricate the tracks themselves — just keep them clean by wiping them thoroughly with a damp sponge.
In addition to garage doors that move slowly, they can also be slow to respond. In this case, before you call a professional, first lubricate your garage door’s hinges and rollers to ensure your garage door isn’t sticking when you open it. If your garage door’s response time is still slow, you may have a large issue on your hands and should contact a professional.
2. Your Garage Door Jerks When Closing
Regardless of the condition of your garage door, it’s going to experience some additional movement — you just need to determine whether this movement is excessive. If your door is doing an unnecessary amount of shaking and shuddering, this could easily turn into something much worse, such as rollers going off a track, loose screws or loose hinges.
3. Your Garage Door Is Coming off Track
Your garage door’s rollers help it operate smoothly, and if the rollers come off the track, operating your door becomes dangerous. Garage doors can fall off their tracks in a variety of ways, including:
- Horizontal tracks becoming misaligned with the vertical rails
- Lift cables snapping
- Rollers wearing out or breaking
- Vehicles running into the door
Regardless of how the door comes off the tracks, however, repairs will need to be made right away. If not, those who try to operate the door can become seriously injured.
4. Garage Door Is Unbalanced
A garage door that’s out-of-balance must also be immediately repaired, otherwise, you run the risk of one spring becoming more worn out than the other. This overly stressed spring will soon snap, and then the weakened spring will cause you garage door opener’s workload to increase, which may cause it to fail prematurely.
There are two main ways to tell whether your door is out of balance — the garage door is uneven or sagging.
In addition to these two signs, you can also determine whether your door is out of balance by shutting the automatic opener off and opening or closing your door manually to its halfway point. If the door does not stay in place and moves down or up, this means that a component is misaligned and must be repaired. You should check you garage door’s balance at least once per month.
5. Your Garage Door Opener Is Broken
Garage door openers tend to fail for two primary reasons — stripped nylon gears and malfunctions with the logic board. These issues are both expensive to repair and, in the majority of cases, it’s more cost-effective to just purchase a new opener.
However, in certain cases, a garage door opener repair is the less expensive option, especially if the unit has a warranty that covers the cost of the parts and labor repair. If the unit doesn’t have a warranty, then call a garage door professional to diagnose the issue over the phone and provide an estimate for the repair costs.
Before calling a professional, however, there are some simple steps you can take determine whether the opener is even broken:
- Confirm the electricity is on.
- Try opening the door manually.
- Check the light on the opener.
- Unplug your opener and then try using it again.
If the above steps don’t resolve the issue, your unit is likely broken and needs repairs or replacement.
Signs Your Garage Door Needs to Be Repaired
Homeowners should also be aware of the following warning signs that their garage doors need repair:
1. Your Door Makes Lots of Noise
A noisy garage door isn’t just annoying — it’s also a telltale sign that it needs repairs. The type of sound it’s making may also indicate the kind of repair required. For instance, a grating or rumbling sound could mean that the torsion springs are malfunctioning. If it’s making a popping noise, this could mean that certain sections are coming together correctly. If your door is dragging against the track, then you may notice a grinding sound. If your door is making any of the above sounds or just sounds unusual, chances are it needs repairs of some sort.
2. Your Garage Door Will Not Open or Close
This is perhaps the most obvious sign that your door needs repairs. It can be extremely frustrating when your garage door will not close or open. This issue is often the result of at least one of the following:
- Broken or worn down cables
- Malfunctioning garage door opener
- Garage door opener with a stripped gear
Your garage door’s springs could also be the source of the issue. If your garage door is like most, it is equipped with two types of springs — extension springs and torsion springs. In some cases, a garage door will stop halfway up when opening, and in other cases, it won’t open at all. In either case, it is most likely that the springs need replacing.
3. Loose or Broken Garage Door Cords and Wires
Regardless of whether a garage door is open, closed, or moving, it’s always powered by wires and supported by cords. If a cord becomes frayed, the support weakens and, if the wires or cords snap, this is a sign that you need a new garage door before the entire system fails.
When garage opener cords fray, the door may start to sag, and when they snap, the garage door could crash down on cars, people and animals. If garage opener wires give out, the system’s circuit will die, meaning that the remote control system will need to be replaced.
Broken cords are particularly dangerous, as they give you no warning before they snap. If your garage door is beginning to be unreliable, you should have them inspected and — if necessary — replaced by a professional immediately.
Broken wires are not as dangerous but can cause a major inconvenience — your remote control will be rendered useless and you’ll have to lower and raise the door by hand each time you leave or return home.
4. Increasing Energy Bills
When your garage door is closed, it is meant to seal your garage as if it were a wall, especially if it’s insulated. Being able to do so is important, as a well-sealed garage door prevents heat from escaping during the winter months and helps keep the entire house at a comfortable temperature. Your garage door plays a key role in insulating your home. Even if there’s a small gap along the side or bottom, your garage door will not insulate your home properly.
A garage door that’s not air-proof can lead to colder, less comfortable winters and higher energy bills. When it’s cold, windy, rainy or snowy outside, your home should be snug. An improperly sealed or poorly insulated garage door can threaten this snugness. If your garage door negatively affects your home’s insulation, you’ll be forced to increase the heat to compensate, which results in higher heating bills.
Do I Need a Garage Door Professional?
While many DIYers feel comfortable with basic garage door maintenance tasks, more involved and potentially dangerous tasks like door track replacement and opener and springs repair should not be attempted. Leave these difficult and risky tasks in the hands of a skilled, trained professional.
If you lack the experience and proper tools, garage door repair can be very dangerous. Garage doors are typically the heaviest moving component in a home, and a single misstep can cause serious injury.
Here are the top five benefits of hiring a professional to repair your garage door:
- It will save you money and time. Although you may not expect it, hiring a garage door professional will ultimately cost less and take less time. Professionals will closely examine your door and immediately repair any issues they notice. You can also count of them to do the job correctly the first time, sparing you the cost and frustration of correcting small issues that may arise later on due to poor workmanship.
- It’s safer. If you’re not equipped with the right tools and lack the appropriate skills, you’re likely to injure yourself at one point or another. Everything from basic tasks like aligning the tracks to more complicated tasks such as replacing your opener should only be handled by a professional. Professional crews have experience in dealing with heavy garage doors and can minimize the chance of injury.
- They have the appropriate tools. Garage door repair and installation require sophisticated, specialized equipment that can be quite costly to purchase at once. If you lack these tools, it will be difficult to perform more involved repair tasks. Professional garage door repair services invest in the highest-quality tools available and don’t mind spending the money for top brands.
- Their work is protected by a warranty. The majority of garage door repair companies offer warranties for their parts or services, which you won’t be able to get by doing it yourself. By hiring professionals, you can rest assured that if an issue involving the replaced or repaired parts arises, they will correct it free of charge.
It’s convenient. In almost every case, having a professional do your repair work is much more convenient than attempting to do the task yourself. With an expert, your garage door issues will be diagnosed quickly and completely promptly and you won’t need to wait days or weeks to find the time to fix the issues by yourself. You also won’t have to spend time shopping around for all the right equipment and parts.
Request Service From American Overhead Doors
American Overhead Doors is a family-owned garage door service that has been serving the state of Connecticut for three decades. Some other reasons to hire our company include:
- Exceptional reviews: We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and have received Honor Role and Super Service Award from Angie’s List, where we also have more than 50 A+ reviews.
- Industry-leading warranties: With every installation, we offer a two-year warranty on labor. We also the only dealer authorized in Connecticut to offer the Goldbar Hardware Warranty for our insulated Clopay doors.
- Authorized dealers: We have the distinction of being both a ProVantage LiftMaster Dealer and the only Clopay® Master Authorized Dealer in the entire state of Connecticut. This means we’re committed to providing exceptional expertise and are highly responsive in installation, service and sales.
- Expert team: Our team consists of over 20 experienced employees, including skilled technicians and sales and office staff. We dispatch fleets with cutting-edge tools well-stocked trucks that are GPS tracked, which allow us to complete the job properly and in a timely manner.
- Complete showroom: Our extensive showroom boasts 16 doors and six openers, as well as brochures, samples and a friendly sales representative who can help you find the perfect door for your application.
Reach out to us via our contact page to request service today.