Garage doors have an important job – they serve as important barriers to keep everything in your garage safe. They come in all sorts of styles and materials – made of everything from wood, aluminum, steel, and fiberglass. That being said, there are certain garage door problems you need to steer clear of.
Older garage doors need to be opened manually, and have things like bolt locks to keep them locked down. Newer garages come with doors that solve many of the inconveniences that come with these older ones.
Modern doors come with all sorts of extra safety features, digital locks, and automatic openers. While these do a lot to mitigate much of the intrinsic problems associated with them, it can also create a few more.
Regardless of what brand, model, or how old your garage door is, there are several garage door problems you’re going to want to avoid.
One of the most obvious problems you’ll come across with a garage door is a lack of power. Manual doors, especially those made before the 1990s, won’t have to worry about this. A lack of power getting to your garage door opener and other devices can have a few solutions.
First check out the transmitter batteries for your remote control, making sure they’re aligned in the correct direction and are still fresh. If the batteries are dead, its best to avoid mixing old and new batteries.
From here you need to look to see if the wiring to the garage door opener is still connected correctly. If nothing else works, you might have a problem with the breaker – check the box to see if it is flipped into the on position. If the breaker constantly flips off, you probably have a short somewhere.
A misaligned track can cause all sorts of problems such as slow or partial openings, or not opening at all. Even just a dirty or inhibited track can greatly diminish the opening capabilities of a garage door.
The track is usually located around the perimeter of the garage – if it’s dirty just make sure to clean it off. When checking alignment, a good rule of thumb is to have a ½” to ¾” between the edge of the door and the track – if it is outside of this sweet spot you need to align it properly.
To get it back into place, you need to loosen some screws from the frame and gently bang it into the correct spot using a rubber mallet.
Like anything else mechanical, springs only have so many uses before they finally break. If you’re nearby when the spring breaks, it can sound like a small explosion – this is a result of all the built up energy it’s storing inside of it suddenly releasing.
Even if your garage door has a broken spring it may still open, albeit in a struggling manner. It’s best to look at torsion springs about once a season – any bent, corroded, or rusted features should immediately be noted.
Replacing a broken spring can potentially be dangerous, with some people getting lacerations, losing an eye, or a finger if they don’t follow proper installation and repair procedure. Because of this, it’s highly recommended you get a professional to replace these.
A leaking garage door might only seem like a minor annoyance, but can cause unnecessary energy loss in your home and potentially cause a lot of damage. For instance, if you live in a humid area, this intrusive outside air can create mold, along with rusting and corroding of tools and other metal things.
Cooler climates, especially during the winter months, can result in frost damage occurring inside of your garage. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that the weather seal is properly installed, and replaced in case it starts to erode.
Other intrinsic problems with a garage door, such as warping and misaligned tracks can cause gaps around the door as well.
This is especially relevant to doors that are made out of wood, as even tough and well made wood slowly absorbs the water from the air, causing it to bend and warp.
Others, like fiberglass and aluminum, can bend underneath even a slight bump from a car – if this happens you should try to flatten it out as soon as possible. A warped door can inhibit movement and cause gaps around the perimeter.
A great way to avoid this is to install tension rods, as they force the garage door into a certain form. These rods are best installed on the inside of the door in an “X” pattern. Even an already warped door can benefit from these, as the rods will slowly meld it back into the correct shape.
While following proper maintenance procedures should avoid this problem, a noisy garage door should be mentioned because of how much of an annoyance it is. This can be the result of many different issues, such as misaligned tracks or breaking springs – but basic broken or corroded hardware can cause these weird noises as well.
Make sure to set some time aside and keep all the bolts and screws tight, while keeping the rest of the parts properly lubricated. This lubrication can keep all the parts in working order – mitigating any squeaks or grinding – while also serving as an extra layer of protection against the environment.
This is a problem that often comes from newly installed garage door openers. The limit settings determine how far open or closed the garage door is supposed to go – if isn’t in the correct spot this will result in the garage door that opens or closes at the wrong spots.
To find the limit settings, you can typically find a series of knobs and dials on the side of the motor housing itself. Each model will have a different way of going at it, so when in doubt, check the owner’s manual.
Garage doors are one of those things that most people don’t think of until there’s something wrong with them. In order to avoid many of the pitfalls associated with these machines, try investing just a little bit of time every month making sure everything is in proper working order.
Make an inspection of all the parts of the garage door – paying extra special attention to parts like tension springs, the track, the weather stripping, the tension rods, and the garage door opener itself.
If at any time you feel like your garage door is broken and you feel uncomfortable moving forward, make sure to get a certified professional to have a good look at it. A garage door technician should have knowledge of not only everything related to the garage door, but a good understanding of electrical work.
By being mindful and keeping it up will not only ensure improved safety, but also greatly increase the lifespan of your garage door.
If your garage door has seen better days and is far beyond repair, it’s time for a replacement. In such a case, you can count on Feldco for the best garage door replacement in Chicago. Get a free quote online and see why over 350,000 homeowners have trusted us.