How to troubleshoot problems with your Garage Door
Is your garage door noisy or not working properly? Do you have to push the button on your door opener remote control two or three times to get the door to open or close all the way? We at O’Brien Garage Doors would love to come out to your house and fix your problem, but if it’s just a minor adjustment, hopefully we can save you the money for a service call with these helpful tips and you’ll remember us and call us out when it’s something you can’t fix.
Garage door parts can wear out over time causing difficulty when opening or closing the door, but they will normally give some indication there’s a problem before they break. If you keep an eye out for the symptoms, you can keep the time of disturbance to a minimum and avoid major malfunctions and resulting costs and inconveniences. Here are some basic steps you can take to help isolate a garage door problem. The first three you could solve on your own, but after those, you should call a professional garage door service company, like O’Brien Garage Doors, as the repairs can be dangerous.
Starting with the easiest and oftentimes overlooked item, do you have fresh batteries in your hand-held remote control? An intermittent signal can cause you to have to repeatedly press the button before the motor kicks in. Also, if it seems like you have to walk up close to your garage door with the remote to get it to open, it could be a sign that your batteries need replacing.
Does your door open fine but is difficult to get down? Many times this is because your safety sensors are misaligned. Make sure that they’re pointing directly at each other. In addition, if they’re attached to the garage door track only and not screwed to the wall, the moving, shaking, and bumping of the garage door’s movement may be causing loose tracks to shake the sensors out of seeing each other as the door moves. This is often a difficult situation to diagnose as when the door is NOT in motion, everything appears fine. So you may need to take a 7/16 inch wrench and just make sure the tracks are secured tightly to the wall. Other problems include cobwebs or dirt on the sensor lenses, or they may just simply be broken due to constant vibration or something falling on them.
Does it sound like the garage door opener motor is running but the door is not moving? If you can move the door manually by hand, try checking the emergency release. A lot of times, the door can accidentally become disengaged from the opener rail. To fix it, wait until the motor has stopped running and slowly raise then lower the door until you hear the door “click” into place and you can no longer operate it by hand.
Hopefully the first three steps above were enough to fix your solve your issue, but if not, here are the next items to check and what to look for. Problems in this next area should be repaired by a professional garage door service company. We would not recommend any homeowner attempt to fix the issues below, as serious injury can occur – even from just removing one screw. These fixes below usually only cost a service call, and you’ll be safe!
If your cables running up and down or either side of the garage door are frayed or loose, call us immediately. An improperly balanced door, or a door with frayed cables can be very dangerous. It could come off the tracks and damage anything or anyone underneath!
Look at your hinges. If they are cracked or broken, call us. It may seem like it would be an easy fix and 80% of the hinges on your garage door are probably safe and easy to replace, but there are some which are under EXTREME tension and will severely hurt you if you take the bolts out of them. We advise that you call us out to take a look. It will probably only cost you a service call and you will stay safe!
Rollers follow the same mantra as hinges as far as safety. We recommend that you replace the rollers on your garage door every two years to keep your garage door rolling well. Most rollers are either 7 or 10 ball bearing. Some are molded plastic on a stick with NO bearings, and they wear out. Worn out rollers will cause your garage door to drag more and wear out your garage door opener more quickly, especially if it’s a chain or a belt drive, so be sure to replace them! If you buy the rollers from us, be sure to ask about our LIFETIME WARRANTY rollers that have 11 ball bearing support and are nylon coated for a more smoothly operating door!
Is your garage door really heavy to lift by hand? A properly sprung and balanced garage door will sit half way by itself. If you hold the door six inches from completely open, it will GENTLY glide to the fully-open position. If you sit the door six inches above the floor it should, once again, GENTLY, drift to the floor. If a door is not balanced properly, it’s probably a sign that your garage door spring(s) are wearing out and should be replaced. Unfortunately, too many people wait until their spring or springs break to call for service. By this time, in the majority of instances, it’s already done damage to the garage door opener motor as well! Please check your door regularly for signs that the springs are getting worn out. The signs of a broken garage door spring are that the motor sounds like it’s trying very hard to open the door or it can’t open the door by itself at all without a person lifting up to help. It may also look like part of the motor or top of the door is bowing in a way it never has as the motor runs. It will definitely be very, very heavy if you try to lift it by hand, possibly stuck and unable to be opened at all. If the door is in motion or up when the spring breaks, it could come crashing down to the ground. Check also for a separation in the spring coil. If you determine there is a problem with your garage door spring(s), depending on the extent of the damage to the spring, you may need to replace it. If so, you will want to call in a professional garage door service company. The springs are such an important component of the smooth and safe operation of the door that you will want to only have quality springs installed. They’ll need to be manufactured to the highest quality standards of steel and life-cycle retention and then installed by torsion spring experts. There is a wide variety of spring replacement options, including high life cycle springs that are cold-rolled and oil-soaked to help prevent rust and corrosion. You’ll want to also go with a garage door service company that offers a lifetime warranty on the springs.