According to in-depth research, 55% of Americans spend an average of 1 to 2 hours per week performing hobbies and other activities in the garage. Another insightful study reveals that 90% of realtors believe anyone purchasing a home seeks a garage that offers more space and functionality than simply parking vehicles. From these facts and figures, it’s evident that the garage is an integral part of your home.
A malfunctioning garage door poses severe health risks. In fact, about 20,000 Americans suffer from garage door injuries per year. If your garage door isn’t performing optimally, it’s best to either troubleshoot the problem immediately or contact an expert. Here, we discuss the best ways homeowners can repair overhead garage door issues without hurting themselves:
How To Properly Repair Your Garage Door?
Regardless of whether your overhead garage door rolls up in sections or swings up in a single piece, most models operate on spring tension. Generally, the door works on metal tracks, and a robust spring(s) provides power.
Usually, all you need is to repair the garage door to bring it in working condition. Here, we discuss the top repair tips to keep in mind:
- First and foremost, check the metal tracks and mounting brackets of your garage door. In case either is loose, tighten them. Also, be on the lookout for dents or flat spots. Consider replacing them.
- Use a level to check your tracks and ensure they are aligned.
- Look for obstructions, dirt, grime, and anything else stopping the tracks from offering premium performance. Next, clean your tracks with a concentrated household cleaner and hardened grease.
- Search for loose hardware and tighten accordingly. Check the plates, screws, hinges, and other parts to ensure everything is tight and well-oiled. If yes, your garage door will offer optimal performance.
Tools Needed To Repair A Garage Door
It’s best to be well-prepared before repairing your garage door. These are a few of the must-have tools:
- Adjustable wrench
- Wrench set
- Locking pliers
- Cordless drill
- Winding bars
- Socket set
- Leather gloves
- Safety glasses
Garage Door Repair Safety Rules
Your home, alongside its incredible garage, is only appealing and valuable if you know how to use it safely. In case you don’t practice proper garage safety, you could put your and your loved one’s life in danger.
To protect your family members, you must ensure your garage is operating optimally. Here, we take a closer look at the best ways to maximize garage door safety:
Keep it Out of Children’s Reach
The most important safety measure to keep in mind is that the garage opener should not fall into the wrong hands. Make sure your kids are always at a safe distance away from the door opener.
To avoid endangering your loved one’s life, you must keep the remote control in places your little one cannot access. Moreover, teach them to keep their hands away from joints between the garage door panels when it is closing.
Research indicates that at least 188 injuries occur due to children’s fingers getting caught between door sections. Here are a couple of things to teach your children:
- The garage door is not a toy
- Before closing the door, always look around to make sure no one is in the way
- Always shut the door if no one is around
- Don’t share the password with anyone, be it your friends or teachers
Check the Sensors
A majority of garage doors use sensors to open and close. Typically, sensors are small black boxes at the bottom, in some cases, alongside a small, red light.
In case the sensors are misaligned, your door will refuse to operate correctly. But it’s always a good idea to recheck the sensors of your door are in tip-top condition by testing them regularly.
An excellent for homeowners to test their garage door’s opener reversing mechanism is by putting a 2 x 4 board of paper towels in the door’s path. If your garage door does not change after contact with the object, you should call a certified garage door professional.
In case your home lacks an opener, you should purchase a brand new garage door with an auto-reverse feature.
Unplug Garage Door Opener When on Vacation
If you’re going on vacation, it’s a good idea to unplug the garage door opener unit. You may use a holiday-lock-console security system which makes your remote unusable and is a popular accessory among door openers.
Change the Access Code
A rolling-code technology switches your access code every time the opener is utilized to prevent code grabbing. If your garage door opener lacks such security, be sure to alter the manufacturer’s standard access codes on both the opener and remote control.
On the other hand, you may invest in a newer, better model with revolutionary security and safety features.
Use a Key Chain
Multiple cases show that an increased number of home invasions occur due to thieves gaining access to homes via stealing openers.
For this reason, homeowners must avoid leaving remote controls in the car. Or, you should leave it with a parking attendant. Moreover, a better idea is to use a key chain remote and always lock the entry doorways. It is a small price to pay to ensure security and safety.
Ensure maximum safety by taking a closer look at your door and its operations every month. You don’t need to be a professional garage door installer to figure out when you should call one. Increase familiarity with various cables, pulleys, rollers, and springs with an in-depth, monthly visual inspection. Plus, you can read the owner’s manual to ensure that everything is working optimally.
In case you notice any signs of wear and tear, be sure to address them right away. Don’t waste time or endanger your safety by trying to fix anything yourself. Instead, call a professional. If you try to fix tension springs and various cables without any know-how, you may end up hurting yourself. It is also one of the significant precursors to garage door accidents.
There’s always a chance that the springs could snap, and it’s always a good idea to stay away from flying metal parts with sharp edges.
Always Be Cautious
Avoid stepping, running, walking, or otherwise moving under an opening or closing garage door. Plus, teach your kids to avoid doing so as well.
Don’t Leave Your Door Ajar
No matter if you’re near a garage door or not, avoid leaving it partially open. Besides an accident-prone situation, it is a security concern since burglars and thieves could enter your garage and potentially your home.
Moreover, there’s always the risk of someone getting caught under the door if it reactivates suddenly.
Don’t Reveal Your Keypad Password
A keypad is both a necessary and an incredible feature as it helps you in different emergencies. In instances where you or your children forget home keys, you can reach inside safely. But to ensure this, make sure you don’t share the entry password with other people.
The only people who should know the entry password are the people residing in the home. If members of your immediate family live nearby, you may tell them the passcode as well. But remember the more people who know the password, the less powerful it will be.
You must teach your kids never to share the password with other people. Teach them that you, as a parent and adult, are the one who decides who should know the password and who shouldn’t.
The Most Prevalent Garage Door Issues And How To Repair Them
Proper garage door maintenance is necessary to maintain your door’s functionality and build. Because of the wear and tear your garage door experiences on a day-to-day basis, annual maintenance and garage door repairs are essential.
Although it’s best to contact a professional if a garage door issue arises, you can troubleshoot specific common problems on your own. Make sure you have the necessary tools before you begin understanding the following common problems and their no-fuss repairs:
Remote Related Issues
One of the major garage door issues is this mechanical problem. More often than not, wireless remotes fail to respond or break.
In case your garage door doesn’t respond, you are likely out of range of the antenna inside the garage. If that is not the case, there’s a possibility the antenna itself is broken or damaged. In cases like this, you may attempt to repair the keypad on your own.
A bonus tip to keep in mind is that you should always check your remote’s battery before taking any serious steps. Ensure the batteries are installed correctly and in tip-top condition. If this is not the cause, consider reaching out to the manufacturer for further information.
Garage Door Seals Are Broken/Falling Off
Weather sealants are designed to keep out water, reduce street noise, and seal all air leaks. In case your adhesive is broken or features cracks and seams, it’s time to replace it with a brand new sealant. You can counter the problem yourself by removing the old sealant and installing a new one. Plus, weather-resistant sealants are easily accessible at local home improvement stores.
There’s also a possibility that your garage door may fail to seal to the bottom. You may solve this problem by using pipe insulation and installing it in the place lacking adequate sealant.
Every time you push the button to close your garage door, the motor should stop operating after the door reaches the top. In case the engine continues to work, you should contact a professional garage door specialist right away before the problem worsens.
Typically, motor-related issues require nothing more than various switch adjustments. If you’re well-versed and knowledgeable, you can consider taking care of the problem yourself. However, it’s best to contact a professional first.
The chain or cable of your garage door can break as well. The fact is that garage door cables often fail due to everyday wear and tear and the stress placed on them when springs corrupt. If your garage door cable ends up breaking, one side of the door may start sagging. The damaged side of the door may also look heavier.
At the same time, you may notice that the door is angled oddly and lower on one side than the other. In case all cables break, the garage door may fail to remain in its tracks. Instead, the line may snap, and the door will fall as soon as you lift it. This can lead to injuries and, in some cases, death. Avoid putting your life or your family member’s health at risk by contacting a professional.
The springs installed in your garage doors close and open the door at various times. And with daily wear, the springs will likely end up breaking. The fact is that when a garage door’s springs break, it ends up making a tremendously loud noise. If you’re at home at the time, you will undoubtedly hear something.
Moreover, once the door breaks, trying to open or close the door can be dangerous. If there is tension in the spring, it may knock the door off its tracks, causing personal injuries. If you notice that the springs of your garage door are broken, don’t try to open them.
Rather than doing that, you should consider calling a garage door repair service instantly. Also, avoid using your garage door until it’s fixed.
A majority of garage doors roll to the typical overhead position with the help of rollers or wheels that help them reach their destination. These rollers are prone to experiencing wear and tear, so they may freeze or stick up during colder months.
In instances like that, your door may jump off its tracks, making the opening and closing process uneven. Ultimately, your door could stop opening, and closing and the damage done to the opener could increase your workload.
Consider following an extensive guide to safely swapping rollers. In case you think you’re not well-equipped and trained, it’s best to see a professional’s help and allow them to take care of the problem for you.
Garage Door Opens Immediately After Closing
In case your garage door opens slightly and then closes, there’s a chance you may have to replace the springs at the top of the door. If you previously replaced the garage door springs one to three years ago, you’ll need to replace only the broken ones.
A pro-tip to keep in mind is that replacing all the springs at the same time is cost-effective. Whereas replacing broken springs every once in a while could double the fees of repairing your garage door.
At the same time, there’s a chance your garage door opens and closes immediately as a result of misalignment of your garage door’s photo-eye. Photo eyes refer to small plastic devices located on either side of your garage door to ensure safety.
Make sure that the photo-eyes are performing optimally by looking for a flashing green light on the device. If there is no green light, check if debris or dirt is in the photo eyes’ line of vision.
Once you confirm that the photo eyes align appropriately, you should measure from the ground up to the center of the photo-eye. Plus, take a second measurement from the wall up to the photo eye’s center. Follow the same steps for the second photo-eye. Adjust the photo eyes according to your measurements to ensure they align.
Broken Garage Door Wall Opener
If your garage door wall opener suddenly stops working, the wiring in your wall opener is likely becoming loose. To solve this problem, you should check whether your opener has screw terminals or push-in connectors. Next, make sure the wires are secure by tugging at them all. Typically, wall openers boast two different sets of cables, so you should test both.
There’s also the chance that your garage door opener won’t work due to bad wiring. In that case, use a screwdriver to check if the wiring is causing a problem or not.
In case the button is causing an issue, you may disconnect the wires from it and connect them. If the door continues working, the wires aren’t secure. Here, you may replace the button with a doorbell button to ensure the door operates properly.
Unlubricated Garage Door Hinges
With time, you may notice that your door starts making squeaking and rattling noises. If your garage door does this, you should grab some oil and lubricate the door’s hinges.
Get rid of noisy hinges in no time by lubricating the doors, followed by tightening the doors and bolts.
Garage Door Maintenance
If you want your garage door to stay in tip-top condition for the years to come, you need to inspect operations twice a year. Here are some tips you should follow for garage door maintenance:
Look and Listen
The first and foremost preventive step homeowners need to take is to observe their garage door every time they use it. Ask yourself whether the door opens smoothly or not. Next, listen carefully for any grinding, rattling, or squeaking noises.
Lastly, be on the lookout for misalignment. Check carefully to figure out whether the springs, pulleys, and cables are symmetrical on both sides.
Conduct Safety Tests
Make sure your garage door performs optimally by conducting the following safety tests:
For Garage Door Balance
- First, disconnect your garage door from its opener. In this way, it will start operating manually.
- Now, lift the garage door halfway up from the ground before releasing it.
- Your garage door should not budge out of place. If it slips downwards, it means the door isn’t balancing correctly. To solve this problem, you need to contact a professional.
Mechanical Reverse Feature
- Place a piece of objects such as a brick on the floor in the pathway of your garage door.
- Now, activate the garage door and press on ‘close.’
- Upon coming in contact with the block, your door should move in reverse. If your garage door fails to do so, you need to call a technician.
- Firstly, find the two photosensors at the base of your garage door.
- Check the alignment of the sensors; if it is not aligned correctly, it will fail to light up. Adjust according to need.
- Activate the garage door to test if it’s working. As the door begins to close, wave an object along the sensor path. Your door should use its mechanical reverse feature instantly.
- Be sure to test various points in the beam’s path.
Service the Chain/Belt
If your door starts making suspicious slapping, groaning, or squeaking noises when operating, it means that you need to check the drive chain (belt) for slack and cracks. Here’s what you need to do for that:
- First and foremost, disconnect the garage door opener from its power source. Next, raise the garage door to chest height and then detach it from the opener. Next, close the door by hand to start working on the chain.
- Find the adjustment bolt connecting the chain/belt. Once you locate the nuts on both sides, you need to adjust the drive mechanism according to need. Your belt should lift slack.
- Begin tightening the chain or belt until it is ¼ inch high from the bottom. Be sure not to over-tighten the chain as this could cause the chain to break.
- Now reattach the door to the opener and then connect it back to the power supply.
- Use a high-quality garage door lubricant to decrease corrosion in metallic areas. You’ll notice that not all screw openers require lubrication; therefore, be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Lastly, lubricate the chain, belt, and screws with the help of white lithium grease.
Tighten up the Hardware
Your garage door hardware requires monthly inspection for signs of repairs and remodeling. Here are some steps you should follow:
- Inspect the garage door tracks and hinges. Make use of a screwdriver and socket wrench to tighten and fasten loose bolts and moving parts.
- Take a closer look at garage door rollers that are not attached to the life cable system to find signs of wear and tear. Your steel rollers may start looking worn out and lopsided, whereas nylon rollers will begin cracking. Install replacement rollers according to need.
- Look for signs of wear and tear in the life cables and search for rust, broken strands, and deterioration. If it looks worn out, you should contact a technician.
Replace the Weatherstripping
If the rubber weather seal strip located at the bottom of your garage door is cracked, you should replace it instantly. Weatherstrippings are vital to reduce the effects of the elements on your property. Thus, you need to ensure that it is of high-quality and well-sealed.
If you need a replacement, you can go to your nearest home improvement or hardware store and purchase one. Simply cut the strip to your required size and insert it into the grooves.
Replace Battery and Bulbs
Start by unplugging your garage door opener and then switching on the door using the wall button. If it fails to open, you should replace the backup battery. For this, you need to follow the steps given below:
- Use a screwdriver to remove the cover on the garage door opener. Take out the spent battery and replace it with a brand new one.
- Insert new batteries in your garage door’s remote.
- Remove your garage door’s old opener light bulbs and install a new one featuring the recommended size and wattage.
Clear the Tracks off of Dirt and Grime
Clean your garage door every once in a while. Also, schedule regular maintenance to ensure an aesthetic look:
- If you own a vintage wooden garage door, consider wiping it clean with a dry cloth.
Carefully inspect the surface of the door to find out if the door requires painting or staining. Look for signs of insect damage as well.
- If you locate any small holes, patch them up with wood filler and follow it by lightly sanding them. Next, paint or stain the affected area.
- If your garage door is manufactured from vinyl or other synthetic products, grab a mild cleaner and a soft cloth to start cleaning.
- Begin by rinsing your door properly with a water hose. Next, dry it with the help of a microfiber cloth.
- Use a high-quality brush to remove any cobwebs present on the inside of the garage door. Follow it by wiping the areas with a dry microfiber cloth. Brush down any cobwebs on the inside of the garage doors and wipe with a soft dry cloth.
- Follow the same steps for other areas according to need.
Lubricate all the Moving Parts
As is the case with most machinery and mechanical devices, the biggest problem for you is friction.
However, lubricating your garage door is both easy and quick. Plus, it helps enhance the lifespan of your garage door’s system. Start by lubricating the opener’s screws, chain, and overhead springs. You may do this once a year with specialized products, including white lithium grease.
Groom Your Garage Door
Groom your garage door periodically, so it looks new and beautiful. Wash your garage door regularly and examine it to find areas of improvement.
Keep in mind that your garage door makes up at least one-third of the exterior. Make sure your house looks fresh and clean. If you’re unable to sleep, you should contact a garage door professional to schedule a check-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is An Estimated Cost For Garage Door Repairs?
Typically, garage door repair is around $223, with prices ranging from $147 to $341 for the U.S.
Is It Safe To Repair Your Garage Yourself?
One of the top reasons you shouldn’t attempt a DIY repair is that it’s dangerous. Plus, garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds and could cause severe injuries.
How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
Typically garage doors last between 15 to 30 years. However, the lifespan of your garage door depends on different factors like the type of spring, usage, and environmental factors.
How Frequently Should You Lubricate a Garage Door?
Your garage door tracks, hinges, roller, and springs undergo a substantial amount of stress that requires lubrication. These areas will require lubrication every three months.
How Much Can a Garage Door Withstand Strong Winds?
If your home boasts a wind-resistant garage door, it will likely last for more than 50 pounds per square inch of negative or positive pressure.
Are There Hurricane-Proof Garage Doors?
Hurricane-proof garage doors will prove effective if your region is prone to strong winds.
According to in-depth research, the average garage door shuts and opens at least three to five times on a day-to-day basis, i.e., 1500 times annually.
The day-to-day wear and tear, paired with weather damage, can lead to the early aging of your garage door. Over time, the different parts of your door will suffer from damage, become brittle, and start cracking. You may even have to deal with sensor issues, among others.
Following preventive measures and following regular garage door maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your garage door. Ensure your garage door runs smoothly by finding the right tools and materials for regular garage door maintenance.
You should conduct an in-depth inspection of your garage once or twice a year. Ensure your garage door is in proper condition and that everything is clean and in good shape. In case your garage door is in severe condition, you should contact a professional.