It's essential that you recognize the role your garage door plays in your home security, particularly when your garage is attached to your house. If you don't deal with malfunctions and garage door damage right away, you're jeopardizing the security of the garage and potentially your home. Here are a few of the potential issues that you should watch for and what to do if they happen.
If the door sticks when it's partway closed and doesn't close the rest of the way, you're not only leaving your garage vulnerable, but you may have damage in the track. Luckily, there are a few things you can check if you're having trouble with the door. The best place to start, if you have a garage door opener, is the batteries. Make sure your opener has functional batteries, because a weak battery can cause this.
Once you've ruled out the door opener, start checking the track condition. Open the door as far as you can get it to go, then inspect the entire visible length of the track for any signs of damage, including warping or obstructions. If there's something in the track, clear it away.
Sometimes, these quick fixes won't get the job done. If the problem persists, it could be the door springs. Check the springs on each side of the garage door. The springs and cables should be even on each side. If not, you'll need a repair technician to adjust them for you. Don't try to do it yourself – those springs are under pressure and could cause a serious injury if you aren't careful.
Shaking or Wobbling
When the door is in motion, any shaking or wobbling that happens is a clear indication that the door isn't properly balanced. Examine the springs on each side of the door. They should be stretched evenly when compared to the one on the opposite side. If either one is stretched too far, it will cause the door to be unbalanced. Over time, this can lead to wear and tear on the track, the door and the springs. Have the springs adjusted if necessary to be sure that they are even. If one of the springs is showing signs of damage, like cracking or corrosion, you'll need to have it replaced.
When the shaking and wobbling happens with an automatic garage door opener, it could be a problem with the motor. If the motor on either side of the door is malfunctioning, it can affect the balance of the door, too. If the springs aren't the problem, you might want to have your door opener serviced.
No Closing Resistance
Garage doors should naturally have some resistance in the track when closing. To test it, close the door halfway, then let go of it. If your garage door doesn't have enough tension and resistance in the system to hold it in place when you let go, you'll need to replace the springs. A garage door maintenance technician can examine both the torsion and extension springs to see which ones are worn. If the problem is only with one type of spring, you may not have to replace both. But, it may be in your best interest to install all new springs so that they wear at the same rate.
Now that you know a few of the common problems that your garage door could have and what you can do about them, you can be more confident about tackling whatever comes your way. Talk with a reputable garage door maintenance technician about any routine maintenance or inspections that can help you catch these problems early.