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Signs Your Garage Door Is Broken
Since your garage door may serve as a second entrance into your home, you might open it several times a day. Without proper maintenance, over time, it could become damaged and need repairs. Use this guide to explore how to know if your garage door is broken so you can call a specialist to inspect it.
Does Your Garage Door Need to Be Repaired?
Your garage door needs some repairs if you notice the following signs that it’s broken:
- It won’t open or close: The garage door might not be operating correctly because of a broken cable or opener. Make sure the opener is plugged in before calling a professional to inspect your system.
- It sounds noisy: Older doors that make noise as they operate could have underlying issues. If your unit makes a popping sound, it may be misaligned, and it might produce a grinding noise if it’s dragging against the track. To avoid further damage to your property, have a specialist diagnose the issue and repair it.
- It has come off its rail: A garage door out of alignment is dangerous and challenging to operate. The rollers could come off the track if they wear out, a vehicle drives into the door or one of the lift cables breaks. If you try to open it manually, you could get seriously hurt. A professional would need to inspect and align the track system.
- It’s out of balance: You would know if your garage door is uneven if it’s sagging or doesn’t close properly. Check this system at least once a month to make sure nothing is out of line and call a technician if you need to replace the springs.
- It has a slow response time: If the door takes longer than a few seconds to open, you can try lubricating the metal parts, such as the tracks, rollers and hinges, to make sure everything moves smoothly. You may have a more serious issue if your garage door still responds slowly.
Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Work
The purpose of a garage door is to give you access to your property and park your car, but when it doesn’t, you may need to try a few different methods to figure out the problem. Here are some possible reasons why it doesn’t open or close:
- The photo-eye is dirty or blocked: The photo-eye is a safety feature that sends a laser beam to either side of the opening to make sure the pathway is clear. If even a piece of dust is in the way, the garage door won’t close. Clean the photo-eye with a microfiber cloth and check for objects that could’ve obstructed its view.
- The power is disconnected: The power cord to the opener may have accidentally gotten unplugged, or the fuse could’ve blown. Check the plug and your electrical connections to make sure you have energy powering the system.
- The remote batteries are dead: If the garage door doesn’t open when you try using the remote, you may need to replace its batteries.
- The torsion or extension springs broke: If the motor is running, but the door won’t open, the spring assembly might have snapped. You need to call a professional to replace broken springs because you could get injured if they break suddenly.
- The cables have snapped: The wires that align with the tension spring pull the door up or down. If they break, you’ll have to call a professional to replace them. A broken cable is just as dangerous to inspect and repair as a snapped spring.
- The sensitivity is incorrect: When you first get your garage door installed, the opener might be on a default setting that doesn’t accommodate your product. Adjust the settings and try operating the unit again.
- The remote is out of range: If the batteries aren’t dead, but the remote doesn’t activate the door, you might be out of range. Try moving closer to the door to see if it opens or closes.
- The garage door is locked: You might be able to lock it from the remote or manually inside your house. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to find out if you accidentally locked the door.
- The keypad needs a new code: Besides using a remote, you could also use a wall-mounted pad to open the door. Reset the passcode if you can’t operate the garage door with the keypad.
Garage Door Repairs You Can Do Yourself
- Clean the photo-eye: If your garage door doesn’t close all the way, or goes in reverse before closing, use a microfiber cloth to remove dust, debris or moisture from the photo-eye. You should also adjust the pivot bracket so that the two sensors are parallel.
- Lubricate moving parts: To prevent excessive noise, spray the springs, rollers, hinges and lift cable with a garage door lubricant every few months. Only use this product on metal, because it could damage nylon components. You should also tighten any loose hardware on the door or track, and replace worn rollers and hinges.
- Clean the garage door: Dirty panels ruin the curb appeal of your home but can also damage the moving parts. Wash the surface with mild detergent and a wet cloth, rinsing it with clean water from a hose.
When to Call a Garage Door Repair Technician
Since your garage door is a complex system with dangerous components, you should call a repair technician in the following situations:
- It’s making a lot of noise: After lubricating the metal parts of the door, if it’s still producing a loud noise, you may have a loose spring or another serious issue. Call a professional to check the door and get any replacement parts it needs.
- Its photo-eyes don’t work: If you tried cleaning the photo-eyes and your door still doesn’t open, you may need to have them repaired or replaced. Contact an expert technician to inspect the photo-eyes and get them replaced as needed.
- It has dents or cracks on the panels: Wood can rot, and steel can dent, so you should call a specialist to replace the broken panels after you’ve cleaned and inspected them.
- It moves unevenly: If your door lurches abruptly, the spring assembly may have broken. This component is dangerous and could cause injury if you try to fix it yourself, so you should consult a technician.
- Its remote control is lost or broken: A garage door technician can provide you with a brand-new remote and help you set it up so that you can have a secure system.
Why Should You Maintain Your Garage Door?
Of course, you wouldn’t want to have your garage door break and would rather keep it running like it was when it was initially installed. That’s where ongoing garage door maintenance comes into play. There’s nothing more frustrating than a malfunctioning garage door when you’re late for work. To prevent a full-blown garage door fiasco, it’s important that you keep a close eye on your garage door to catch any warning signs that it might be in need of minor repair.
Preventative Garage Door Maintenance Tips
If you spot any signs of garage door trouble on the horizon, here are our top five maintenance tips to help you avert a crisis:
- Schedule check-ups: Routine maintenance work can help prevent rust build-up and any major garage door issues.
- Get greasy: Lubricating the moving parts of your garage door can keep it running smoothly for years.
- Replace rollers: You should inspect your garage door’s rollers at least twice a year and replace any cracked or chipped rollers immediately.
- Check cables: Like rollers, the cables should be inspected regularly — but never try to replace them on your own. Doing so can be extremely dangerous. Instead, call a professional garage door technician.
- Test your garage door: Test both the auto-reverse safety feature and balance of your garage door periodically. An imbalanced garage door and one that does not automatically reverse when it senses an object is hazardous.
How to Know Your Garage Door Needs Maintenance
Does your garage door need maintenance? Even after going over basic garage door problem prevention and DIY fixes, it can be hard to tell when it’s time to call in a professional.
Here are the five clearest signs that your garage door needs maintenance immediately:
- The garage door stays shut or open: The most obvious indication that your garage door is broken is when it won’t move up or down. This means the cables, gears, springs or opener is damaged, and you need to call a garage door service to repair or replace the defective parts.
- The garage door is responding slowly: A slow garage door doesn’t always mean it needs professional help, but if lubricating the rollers doesn’t do the trick, you might want to get a garage door technician to work on it.
- The garage door is making strange noises: Depending on what part of your garage door is broken, it will make a different noise, such as a rumbling sound if the torsion springs are the issue. Regardless of which part is causing the noise, call a garage door service to locate the sound’s source and take care of it.
- The garage door is off its tracks: A garage door comes off of the tracks when its rollers jump the track. This makes the garage door a danger to anyone who tries to get it open or shut it on their own, so it’s important that you call to have it fixed as quickly as possible.
- The garage door is off-balance: If an off-balance garage door isn’t immediately repaired, its springs could continue to wear down unevenly, and, eventually, the over-worked spring will snap. Make sure your garage door closes evenly and doesn’t sag, so bigger problems don’t arise from overly stressing the springs.
Benefits of Garage Door Maintenance
These are the five significant advantages to getting a garage door technician to regularly check up on your garage door and make minor repairs:
- Save money: Larger repairs are more costly than smaller ones, so routinely keeping up with your garage door’s maintenance will ultimately save you from paying more to fix a major breakdown.
- Improve safety: During regular garage door catch-ups, you may discover and repair problems that otherwise could have put your home or business in danger.
- Extend the life of your garage door: A well-maintained garage door can last for decades, but a garage door that never receives the necessary repairs or part replacements is less likely to remain functioning for as long.
- Add home value: If you have a well-maintained garage door in no need of replacing, your property value increases, and your house will become instantly more appealing to potential buyers.
- Learn more: You can learn a lot from observing a professional work, and most garage door technicians will be happy to show you the basics of garage door maintenance, so you’ll be able to take proper care of your garage door in between scheduled maintenance appointments.
Maintain Your Garage Door With R&R Doors
If your garage door needs any repairs or replacements, contact R&R Doors today. At R&R Doors, we carry a large inventory of replacement parts and garage door accessories. Our staff specializes in garage door maintenance and is more than willing to answer any garage door maintenance questions and do whatever it takes to get your garage door running smoothly as soon as possible. Contact us online to schedule service or call (608) 798-3581 for more information.