Garage doors are typically the largest moving objects in the home, weighing up to 1,000 pounds. That means they can lead to serious — even fatal — injuries if they aren’t properly cared for and maintained.
What types of problems should you be looking out for? Here are five common garage door problems you should know how to recognize, as well as some tips on repairs or replacement:
One extremely common class of garage door problems is spring adjustments. There are two basic types of springs you might be dealing with: torsion and extension. Torsion springs are typically mounted above doors, while extension springs are found to either side. The former are generally used for heavier doors, and the latter are generally used for lighter-weight doors.
If your door stops in the middle of opening, descends too quickly or hangs crookedly, those are all signs that garage door spring adjustments or replacements are needed. You should inspect the springs themselves on a regular basis, looking for irregular elongation or visible wearing on the springs.
Rollers help your garage door to glide on its tracks; when they become bent or broken, they no longer fulfill that function. One sign that your rollers are in need of replacement is a noisy garage door, but manual inspections can also reveal problems.
It’s important to replace rollers before they cause damage to the tracks, as the latter is a much more expensive problem to fix.
Garage door cables work as part of a pulley system to raise the door. Sometimes, these cables can wear or snap suddenly. The cables themselves are not very expensive, but it can be dangerous to attempt to replace them on your own due to the weight of most garage doors. This is one time it’s smarter to just call the garage door repair company.
Garage doors are typically comprised of multiple panels, and these can often be switched out without replacing the entire door. It’s important, however, to get a professional assessment from one or two garage door companies on why damage to a panel has occurred. Sometimes what looks like cosmetic damage is actually indicative of an underlying structural problem that needs to be addressed.
Automatic garage doors are raised and lowered by electric openers—and considering that these openers raise a 150- or 250-pound door (on the light end) more than a thousand times a year—it’s no wonder they wear out or malfunction sometimes.
Since fixing a broken opener takes electrical training, this is another kind of repair that’s often better left to the professionals.