5 garage door repairs that you should leave to the professionals

Broken Door Maybe you’ve noticed your garage door is a little slow and is making some weird noises at times. You want to know what’s causing the problem and are all ready to go and investigate the situation. Before doing that, read the following. There are five situations where you should not try to repair a part on your own as you could be seriously injured or otherwise put yourself at risk.

Stretched out or otherwise broken springs

The basics:

  • The spring system of a garage door serves as a counterbalance to the weight, no matter how big the door or what materials it has been manufactured from.
  • A door that is balanced correctly by the spring system will weigh very little, between 8 and 10 lbs. (3.5 and 4.5 kilos). This is why opening the door is so effortless, even when using a single hand.

Reasons springs malfunction:

  • Torsion or extension springs last an average of five to seven years, or about 10,000 to 12,000 cycles (which is one open and close).
  • A typical torsion spring will lose anywhere from 10% to 15% of its tension in an average year. Cranking the spring tighter will not result in added tension. In fact, a spring will just break when it is near the end of its life cycle. If you have heard a loud sound that resembles a gun shot, this is often the result of a spring breaking.
  • If you have extension springs, malfunctions are typically based on the springs stretching. A spring that is stretched will not work as well as normal. However, because there are two springs on the horizontal track, the door will still move up and down, but there will be shaking that causes If a break happens, it is typically in the loop at the end of the string.

Broken Torsion Spring
A broken TORSION spring

Stretched Extension Spring
A stretched EXTENSION spring

Frayed, broken, or slack lifting cables

Broken Lifting Cable
Broken lifting cable

The basics:

  • The link between the spring system and the bottom of the door are the lifting cables. These wind around a drum shaped object with grooves that hold the cables in place.
  • Due to being attached to the bottom of the spring system, the cables are under a high amount of tension. This tension is the same as the weight of the entire door. Because of that, attempting to remove the lifting cable on the bottom of the door can put you in a precarious

Reasons lifting cables malfunction:

  • Cables can fray if the drum is misaligned or positioned incorrectly as the cables will not be in the proper place on the grooves
  • Lifting cables may break if they are not the right size in diameter for the weight and size of the garage door.

Worn out rollers

Worn Out Roller
Worn-out roller

The basics:

  • It’s hard to say how long a roller will work as the quality can vary to a great extent. If you are using rollers with ball bearings, more ball bearings will lead to a roller that lasts longer than one with fewer ball bearings.
  • Black nylon rollers are a type of roller that has no ball bearings. The rollers are held by a cylinder that is corrosion resistance and galvanized.
  • For those with double garage doors, it is best to have long-stem rollers that are installed in double hinges.

Reasons rollers malfunction:

  • Rollers should roll on the track, not slide, which is something people forget.
  • When using double doors, breakage often happens as a result of not using long-stem rollers and double hinges on the ends of doors.
  • If the door has single rollers and stays open for longer periods than typical, the weight on the rollers will make them prone to wearing out faster than they would otherwise.

Misaligned horizontal tracks

The basics:

  • These parallel tracks use right-angle brackets made of metal to attach to the ceiling.
  • Horizontal tracks need to be screwed into a piece of wood, such as a rafter, and attached well.

Reasons tracks malfunction:

  • Vibrations from closing and opening the door could cause the double tracks to become misaligned if the triangle attachment point wasn’t placed This can lead to a garage door failing.
  • This is a dangerous situation, and you should never try to lift the door on your own. Instead, leave things as they are and get in touch with a technician who is an expert with garage doors as soon as you can.

Broken or stripped door opener gear and sprocket

Worn Out Gear
A door opener gear that needs to be replaced

The basics:

  • The motor gear in the garage door opener is often made of plastic, as are other parts. The gear is made from a durable plastic, but if the drive chain puts too much pressure on it, it can break.

Reasons gear and sprockets malfunction:

  • As mentioned above, a properly balanced door should weigh between 8 and 10 lb (3.5 and 4.5 kilos). However, a broken spring will make the weight of the door unbalanced.
  • Inexpensive low-quality door openers may not be capable of lifting heavy weights. If you are hearing a grinding sound coming from the opener and get the feeling that it seems to be working harder than normal, consider looking for a broken spring.
  • If it does seem that the above is occurring, use the emergency cord to shut off the door opener so you can manually open it.

Extra advice for your door needs…

It is the best plan to allow a garage door professional to take care of any repairs such as the above. You will be risking your safety by doing so on your own, and it is not worth it. If you need to speak to us, contact us anytime at 207-784-0622.

If you would prefer to change out your garage door, we can also come to your home to explain the full range of garage door products that are available today. We can also provide you with a quotation by email. You can also consider what your next garage door will look like by using our design center or by perusing our image gallery.

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