9 Steps to Find What’s Wrong with Your Garage Door
Troubleshooting garage door problems is a pain. For homeowners, it’s easy to get frustrated when your garage door makes a ton of noise or won’t work as it should.
Thankfully, modern garage doors are durable and built to last. They’re a fantastic home feature that offers a great mix of security and convenience. However, garages are expensive and heavy, so when problems arise, it’s normal to feel stressed.
However, an early and fast diagnosis of what’s wrong with your garage door will help you understand whether you need professional repairs. Too often, homeowners wait longer than they should, and minor problems become expensive repairs.
Of course, it’s challenging for typical homeowners to know what’s going on with their garage doors when they’re squealing or stuck in place. As a result, we’ve put together a list of some of the common issues with garage doors and what you can do to find what’s wrong.
Here are nine easy steps to troubleshoot your garage door issues.
Step 1 – Is it the batteries?
Garage door repair companies make home visits regularly to fix unresponsive garage doors. When they arrive, however, they discover that a remote or keypad simply ran out of juice.
Before you call a garage door repair technician, check to ensure your batteries in remotes or any other electrical component have power. Then, if necessary, switch some new batteries in and see if that fixes the issue.
You’d be surprised how many people could save time and money by replacing old batteries.
Step 2 – Check Your Fuse Box
Sometimes, the circuit your garage door is on gets overloaded, and the fuse trips. When this happens, it interrupts the power supply to the garage, so your remotes won’t work because the opener is unresponsive.
Like replacing dead batteries, switching the fuse back on is a simple repair that spares you a visit from a garage door technician.
If your garage door isn’t moving, check your fuse box. Make sure the fuse for the door is switched on. Should the issue keep happening, you may have an electrical load concern.
Step 3 – Check for Rust
Rust is a recurring culprit when it comes to garage door problems. Depending on the age of your garage door and where you live, rust can build up quickly.
Enough rust on your springs or inside your roller tracks will affect the door’s movement. You’ll likely hear a lot of squeaking at first. In addition, at some point, rust can make it harder for your rollers to move along the door track, and your door will jerk and halt as it moves.
Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to check for rust. A quick visual inspection of your garage door will determine whether it’s a big problem. If you see significant rust buildup, you probably need professional service to get your garage door back in shape.
Step 4 – Is It Your Springs?
Extension or torsion springs are essential in any garage. They balance the weight of the heavy door as it opens and closes.
These springs are very strong and durable, but they don’t last forever. Eventually, enough use will loosen the coils. Left without maintenance for too long, torsion springs can snap, and your garage door will be stuck in place.
How can you get in front of a spring break? We always recommend that garage door owners visually inspect their springs every few months. Look for signs of heavy rust or loose coils. These are both signs that your garage door springs are coming to the end of their lifespan.
Replacing garage door springs requires professional service. Call your local garage door company to schedule an appointment if you’re worried about your springs.
Step 5 – Check the Alignment
Alignment issues are a major concern because a slight imbalance in your garage door can quickly become a significant problem.
If your door opens or closes unevenly, you must take action early to avoid an emergency. The weight isn’t even across your tracks and springs when your garage door is leaning to one side.
All that weight can eventually snap a spring, break a rail, or cause other damage. Owners should regularly check to see whether one side of their door is higher than the other. If so, call a technician and schedule an appointment.
Some causes of misalignment include:
● Debris in the tracks
● Worn rollers
● Warped tracks
● Loose spring coils
● Frame damage
Step 6 – Checking on Your Sensors
Modern garage doors work on a system of sensors around your garage. If something breaks the sensor’s field or gets too close, it triggers the garage door to stop or return to an open position.
Sensors are a safety feature that prevents garage doors from coming down on people and vehicles. The idea is that it’s safer to have the door stop and go up versus continuing downward.
Sometimes, however, sensors go bad and need to be replaced.
In addition, check to ensure nothing is blocking your sensors. The culprit may be leaving a bike or a pile of cardboard boxes in front of your sensors or too close to them.
If you must replace the sensors, you’re likely better off getting help from a professional garage door repair company. They will know where to put the sensors and which models you’ll need for the best long-term performance.
Step 7 – Check the Manual
Once you check that the batteries are still good and the circuit fuse is on, it’s time to break out the manual.
Whether your keypad stops working or your garage door opener, you’ll need to look up common issues and how to fix them.
If you can’t remember where the manuals are, you can search for them online. In addition, most garage door parts companies have digital copies that are easy to access from your phone or computer.
The manual will walk you through, step by step, how to reprogram or troubleshoot your keypad. If that doesn’t work, call your local garage door technician.
Step 8 – Check the Garage Door Belts
Sometimes, garage door belts or chains break. The motor will keep moving when that happens, but your garage door won’t budge.
This can, of course, feel stressful to property owners because everything sounds like it should be working, but nothing moves.
You can check the belts, but if your motor is moving but the door is stationary, it’s probably a belt issue. An experienced technician can reattach or replace the belt to restore function.
Step 9 – Check How Much Lubrication You Have Left
Lubricant keeps your rollers moving smoothly along your tracks. It also keeps your belts softer and stops chains from catching.
If your garage door is making loud squeaking noises, take a look at whether there is any lubrication left. Without the oil or grease, the rollers tend to squeak, and they can also jump on the track, which makes the door move haltingly.
Reapplying lubricant isn’t hard. However, if you find that your garage door is still squeaky after you put more on, give a technician a call. There are likely some unseen or hard-to-reach spots they’ll need to hit.
When to Call for Professional Garage Door Repair
What should you do after you’ve gone through these nine steps? If the repair seems easy enough, give DIY repairs a try. Here are some you can take on:
● Spray the chains and rollers with WD-40 or some other lubricant to see whether it stops the noise.
● Replace the batteries in your remote, keypad, or anything else that has batteries.
● Check that nothing’s blocking the sensors.
● Make sure the fuse is turned on.
These are about as far as you want to go with DIY repairs. Many garage door fixes require specialized tools and training. Remember, the doors are hefty; the wrong move can injure someone or damage cars and other property.
It’s better to play it safe and, once you rule out those simple repairs, call for professional service.
The good news is most garage door repairs aren’t that serious if you get to them soon enough.
The main issue property owners face is when they ignore signs of trouble, thinking noise or rattling will disappear in time. However, that usually makes things worse.
Pay attention to what your garage door is telling you. If something sounds or looks weird, it probably is! Go through the steps to try and spot the problem. When in doubt, call for professional garage door repair.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving noises, halting movements, or unresponsive openers alone for long. That will likely on exacerbate the problem, and you’ll wish you had called for help sooner than you did.
Getting regular maintenance on your door is the best way to save money by avoiding costly repairs. It will also keep your garage door in better condition for longer. You’ll also skip any type of emergency where you can’t open or close the door.