How to Repair a Garage Door

A problem with a garage door can come from either the door itself or the opener. Depending on the nature of the problem and your level of experience with DIY projects, you may opt to perform the repairs yourself instead of hiring a garage door repair company.

Before You Start

If you have a roll-up door that only comes with a single torsion spring mounted at the center of the door, you shouldn’t attempt to make any repairs to the door yourself.

This type of spring has a very high amount of tension and can cause serious injury if not handled the right way. You should contact a professional garage door repair company to perform the work, as they have the tools and experience to do so in a safe manner.

What to Look For When You Repair Your Garage Door

Every overhead garage door, whether it’s made to swing up in one piece or is divided into sections held together by hinges, goes up and down due to spring tension. The door travels along metal tracks attached to the wall of your garage, with heavy springs doing the work of lifting the door or lowering it and keeping it closed.

Inspect the Metal Tracks

The first element to inspect would be the metal tracks attached to the garage walls. Take a look at their mounting brackets. They’re an important part of the system, as they keep the tracks solidly attached to the walls.

If any appear to be loose, simply tighten the bolts or screws. Next, close the garage door and carefully look at the metal tracks.

They should be free of any damage, such as dents or crimps, which can cause the door to malfunction. Damage spots on the tracks can be repaired with a rubber mallet or hammer and block of wood. However, if the damage to the tracks is too severe, they will have to be replaced entirely.

After repeated use, the tracks might get dirty. Take an up-close look at both the tracks and the rollers. If you see any amount of excess dirt or hardened grease, you can use a cloth and heavy duty household cleaner to remove it.

There are also products made specifically to clean garage door components that you can find at your local hardware store.

Check for Loose Hardware

Another common cause of garage door problems is hardware getting loose after the door has been opened and closed thousands of times. If your door is the swing-up type, inspect the plates holding the spring, paying special attention to the screws. If they seem loose, tighten them.

Roll-up doors can have defective hinges. Take a look at each hinge and tighten their screws if needed. If the hinge itself is damaged, it should be replaced. Cracked wood around the hinge can be repaired by removing the hinge and filling in the cracked area with a wood filler product.

Garage Door Opener Problems

In some cases, the problem will be coming from the garage door opener, rather than the door itself. Check to see if your garage door opener is still under warranty. Most brands offer a limited warranty of around 10 years for the motor and 1 to 3 years for other parts.

Check with the manufacturer or vendor for information on how to obtain warranty service if it still applies. If that doesn’t work, try a garage repair service.

If your opener is passed its warranty period, it’s usually a better idea to replace it with a new one. Newer models have better energy efficiency and will last over a decade with minimal maintenance.

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