Garage doors are one of those oft-used items that we rarely think about until something goes wrong. But when something does go wrong, a garage door that won’t open or close properly becomes an instant major headache.
Just like any other piece of equipment, though, something will eventually go wrong with your garage door. Below is a listing of some of the most common garage door problems, what causes them and what to do about them.
• The Door Won’t Move At All (open or close). If your garage door won’t budge at all when you’re trying to open or close it, there are a number of potential defects that could lie at the root of the problem. These are the most common:
- Remote control isn’t working. That’s easily verified, of course, by manually pressing the open or close button on the control panel.
- If the problem doesn’t lie with the remote control, there’s a myriad of potential problems that could be causing the malfunction. You may need to call upon a professional for help, but if you have some knowledge of your system, here are a few items to check:
- The safety beam sensor
- A problem with the opener gearing or drive chain (stripped
- A short in the wall switch circuitry or a damaged circuit board
- A broken spring gear or broken chain, for example)
• Uneven Movement or Shimmying as Door Opens or Closes. The most common cause of this problem is debris lodged in the wheel tracks. Clear out any debris from the tracks and see if that solves the problem. If not, the problem may lie in the condition of the springs.
• Loud Squealing or Grinding Noises. Most likely caused by debris in the wheel tracks, or lack of lubrication within the tracks. Clean the tracks and lubricate with a standard lubricant.
• Door Falls Too Fast When Closing. This problem is most likely caused by springs that no longer provide adequate tension, or by broken cables. In either case, repair of this problem is a job that’s probably best left to a professional garage door repair service. Garage doors are extremely heavy, and cable or spring replacement can be a hazardous job for the unknowledgeable.
Preventative Maintenance Will Help
Keeping your garage door well-maintained will help to reduce the likelihood of sudden service issues. Whether you perform the chore yourself or enlist the services of a professional, plan on servicing your door once every year.
This should include cleaning and lubricating all moving parts, checking and adjusting the tension of the springs, and assuring that all fasteners (bolts and screws) are secure and tight. Be sure to also inspect the cables, rollers and hinges for excessive wear.