The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Modern garage doors, like anything mechanical, are not immune to problems with their operation.
A malfunctioning garage door is one of the more common garage problems that homeowners are likely to face at some point.
Sometimes, the garage door issue is easy enough to deal with via DIY efforts. However, there are times when calling in a garage door professional is the best course of action, mainly for safety reasons.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common garage door problems and see whether you can do the repairs yourself or if you need the help of the pros.
Garage door openers are typically controlled using a remote control.
If the garage door doesn’t open or close, no matter how many times you press its buttons, the remote itself may need fresh batteries.
If the remote control batteries are not the problem, it could be the garage door opener itself.
Check the garage door opener and see if it’s plugged and its lights are on. If you see no lights, you may have a problem with the power source, from a blown fuse to a tripped circuit breaker.
When opening or closing a garage door, the only sound you’re supposed to hear from it is the vibrating hum of the garage door opener and not much else.
However, if you hear strange noises every time you operate the garage door, something is wrong somewhere.
If you hear some rattling, you might want to check if all the door’s screws and bolts are fastened tightly.
When your garage door makes grinding or squeaking noises loud enough to make you cringe, you may need to give the rollers extra lubrication, preferably lithium or silicone-based grease.
A popping sound is an entirely different story. When you hear pops while operating the garage door, it could be a problem with the torsion spring.
If it is the torsion spring, it would be in your best interest to leave it to the professionals. After all, garage door springs can be dangerous, as they could break apart violently and hurt you and anyone near.
“Forever” may be a bit of a stretch, but a garage door that takes a long time to open is having problems.
However, before worrying about it, check the speed setting on the garage door opener first. For all you know, it could be set at the lowest speed, and you didn’t realize it.
If the speed setting is normal but its opening speed—or lack of it—remains the same, you may have to give the rollers more helpings of lubricant.
You might also want to check the tracks, as dirt could mess up and cause all that slow-motion action.
A perfectly-working garage door should open and close evenly at all times.
If one side sags, it’s possible that something is obstructing the tracks. Check the tracks to see if there’s an obstruction and remove it.
It could also be the garage door’s springs, which are supposed to support a garage door’s weight evenly. There may be too little or too much tension in the springs, leading to the lack of balance.
As mentioned above, any garage door issue involving the system’s springs requires a professional’s expertise.
You know there is something wrong with your garage door when it suddenly slams shut.
Considering that a garage door that slams shut without warning poses a danger to your kids and pets, it’s one garage door problem that you should address without delay.
More often than not, a garage door slams down because the springs that are supposed to hold the door up are no longer strong enough to do so and may already need replacing.
Again, only garage door professionals must work on spring issues to be on the safe side.
Your garage door may sustain cracks over time because of impacts, the weather, and wear and tear.
You can deal with tiny cracks using a sealant or a waterproof filler. However, if there are multiple cracks and the damage is severe, you may want to consider replacing your garage door.
As long as your garage door has metallic components, rust will likely set in as time passes.
Always be on the lookout for rust, and if you find any, rub the affected spots with a piece of cloth soaked in vinegar.
Some of the problems above you can fix yourself, but always keep in mind that if the issue involves the springs, getting a garage door repair specialist’s services is your best bet.