Common Signs That Your Garage Door Needs to be Repaired

Garage doors get lots of use in our fast-paced lives. According to Popular Mechanics, the average door in America opens and closes about 1,500 times a year as families rush in and out for work, school, soccer games, grocery shopping, and doctor appointments. That’s quite a workout!

The garage door is one of the most integral parts of your house’s general safety, security and performance. Consequently, it’s essential to keep your garage door properly maintained to make sure that it continues to be safe, secure, useful, and reliable.

There are lots of indications that your garage door might need fixing. However, lots of homeowners overlook or ignore these signals, which can result in complicated issues and pricey repairs down the road.

In this article we’ll explore the leading signs of a malfunctioning garage door to help you determine when it needs repair work.

Before we get into the warnings that you need garage door repair, let’s first look at garage door maintenance tips.

Garage Door Maintenance

Inspect the Door

You want to look for dents, dings, cracks, and other areas where the door is not sealing. Check at the bottom to make sure you cannot see light from the outside, as well as along the sides.

Inspect the Door Hardware

Look at the hinges, springs, lift arm, and other hardware used to open and close the door for any signs of rusting or damaged parts and components.

Inspect Door Tracks

The door tracks should not be bent or misaligned. The wheels on the door hardware should roll easily when you open and close the door.

Check Door Supports

Check to make sure no anchor screws have come out of the overhead door supports or tracks.

Replace Automatic Opener Batteries

Once a year, replace the batteries in your remote garage door openers.

Lubricate Your Garage Door Hardware

Use a petroleum-based lubricant (non-silicon) and lubricate every three to six months.

Wash the door

You can use a gentle detergent, like car wash soap, and a soft cloth to wash the door. Do not use a power washer, as this can damage the door. A garden hose with an attached nozzle is all the pressure you need to rinse the door off. 

Maintenance should be performed at least twice a year (lubricating 3-4) as well as after any major storms. If you discover any problems, you need to get them fixed as soon as possible.

Common Garage Door Repairs

Broken Springs

One of the most common garage door repairs is broken springs. Garage door springs are responsible for counterbalancing the weight of the door, allowing it to open and close smoothly. As the door opens or closes, the spring expands and contracts. The continual expansion and contraction can ultimately stretch a spring out or cause it to snap. When a spring breaks or becomes stretched out, the door may become unbalanced, making it difficult or impossible to operate. This repair requires professional assistance, as springs are under high tension and can be dangerous to handle. A skilled technician will replace the broken spring and ensure the door is properly balanced.

Snapped or Broken Cables

Similar to broken springs, damaged or broken cables can disrupt the balance and operation of your garage door. Signs of cable damage include fraying, rusting, or complete breakage.

Cables can break on their own from normal wear and tear or from the stresses placed on them when springs break. If a cable is broken, one side of the door may appear to be sagging compared to the other. That side of the door may also seem heavier.

You may also notice the door is slightly angled and lower on one side as it opens. If all the cables are broken, the door may not stay in place when it is opened. Instead, it will fall down as soon as you lift up, which can be a serious safety risk. It is crucial to address cable issues promptly in light of the safety hazards.

Misaligned Tracks

Garage doors operate on a set of tracks that guide the door’s movement. If the tracks become misaligned, the door may not open or close smoothly, or it may get stuck along the way. Common causes of misaligned tracks include loose mounting brackets, debris accumulation, or accidental impacts.

You can prevent misaligned tracks by regularly cleaning them and tightening them if you notice they are loose. However, if your tracks are damaged or you cannot secure them, it is important to call in a professional to solve the issue for you. Your garage door may collapse if you attempt to open or shut the door with misaligned tracks.

Worn Garage Door Rollers

Garage door rollers help the upward or downward motion smoothly glide along the track. If this component becomes worn, the door might not open as easily as expected. Depending on the extent of the damage, things might move in a jerky motion or get stuck during a lift. When the rollers catch during an opening or closing cycle you could end up causing more damage to your garage door

If you’ve noticed that your garage door is catching more lately, a professional installer can let you know the extent of the problem.

Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener

If your garage door fails to open or close with the push of a button, the issue may be with the garage door opener. Faulty wiring, a worn out motor, or a malfunctioning remote control can cause problems. Troubleshooting the opener should be completed by checking the power supply, inspecting the wiring connections, or replacing the batteries in your remote control.

If you have completed all these steps and you still cannot determine why your garage door opener will not open or close, you should reach out to a local garage door repair company. They could help determine what repairs may be needed or whether a complete replacement of the garage door opener may be necessary.

Faulty Sensors

Modern garage doors are equipped with safety sensors that detect objects or obstructions in the door’s path. These sensors ensure that the door does not close if something is blocking its trajectory. This ultimately helps to prevent accidents or damage, especially to small children or pets.

While this safety feature is obviously important, the sensors can become a bit problematic. If the sensors are misaligned, dirty or malfunctioning, the door may refuse to close or reverse immediately after closing. Cleaning the sensors and adjusting their alignment can usually resolve this issue. If it does not resolve, your sensors may need to be replaced.

Damaged Panels

Accidental impacts, harsh weather conditions, or wear and tear can result in dented garage door panels. Not only does this negatively impact the appearance of your door, but it can also affect its functionality. Depending on the extent of the damage, panels may need to be repaired or replaced to ensure proper operation and aesthetics.

If multiple panels are damaged, you’ll likely need to think about getting a replacement door. Multiple cracked or rotting panels are easier to deal with through a replacement than by trying to fix extensive structural damage. This issue can also cause an uneven weight distribution, which puts too much extra stress on the framework and motor.

Worn Out Weather Stripping

Weather stripping is responsible for sealing the gaps around the garage door, preventing drafts, water intrusion, and debris from entering the garage. Over time, weather stripping can wear out  or become brittle. Replacing weatherstripping is a simple repair that should be completed as needed.

Replacing your weatherstripping can improve insulation, reduce energy loss, and enhance overall garage comfort. Replacing weatherstripping also helps to keep water out of your garage on a rainy day, protecting the items that you store inside your garage space.

Noisy Garage Door

Excessive noise during garage door operations can be bothersome. No one wants to hear their garage door grinding, squealing, or screeching each time the door opens or closes. In addition to being annoying, excessive noise may indicate underlying issues.

There are many reasons why a garage door may be noisy. The causes of the noisy garage door can range from worn out rollers or hinges to lack of lubrication. Lubricating moving parts and tightening loose bolts and screws may alleviate the noise. However, if the problem persists, you should reach out to a garage door repair company for more extensive repairs.

When To Replace Your Garage Door

If your garage door suddenly malfunctions or experiences minor damage, it probably is a good time to repair it. A heavy or leaning door can also indicate the need for repairs or replacement.

Sudden Malfunctioning

If your garage door suddenly malfunctions, it could be due to issues with the opener, springs or other mechanical components. Sudden malfunctioning may also point to electrical problems.

A professional inspection is crucial when faced with a sudden malfunction, especially if the door won’t open or close properly. Ignoring a sudden malfunction can lead to further damage and compromise the security of your home.

Minor Damage

If your garage door is experiencing minor damage or small dents or scratches it is often practical to opt for repairs instead of full replacement. Minor damage can be efficiently addressed by a local garage repair service, saving you the cost and aggravation of installing an entirely new door.

Addressing minor damage promptly also helps in maintaining a quieter operation of your garage door over time, contributing to a more cost-effective solution than opting for an entire replacement door.

Heavy Door

A heavy garage door could indicate an issue with the springs or cables, which are crucial for smooth operation. When a door feels heavier than usual it puts extra strain on the opener and can lead to premature wear and tear.

If your garage door feels exceptionally heavy when opening or closing, don’t ignore it as a minor inconvenience. Heavy doors may cause safety risks and should be inspected by a professional to ensure they function properly and safely over time.

Leaning

If your garage door is leaning to one side it could indicate a serious issue with the door’s balance or structural integrity. Leaning can be caused by issues such as damaged or loose tracks or spring tension problems.

Ignoring a leaning garage door can lead to more serious malfunctions and potentially cost repairs down the line. To avoid probable safety hazards and inconvenience, it is advisable to seek professional assistance if you notice any leaning in your garage door.

Final Thoughts

In deciding whether to repair your garage door, weigh such factors as damage type and extent, age, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. Signs like sudden stopping, damage on multiple panels, leaning, and high energy costs might indicate a need for replacement.

However, issues like sudden malfunctions and minor damages might be suitably addressed with repairs. If you’re uncertain, then seek expert professional advice tailored to your specific situation.

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