You know how the brakes on your car might start making grinding or squeaking sounds to indicate trouble? Just as your car or truck often gives off clues that something might be amiss, your garage door does the same. And just as getting to the root of the problem at the first sign of automotive trouble often ends up costing you far less money in the long run, again – the same can be said for your garage door. You know how the brakes on your car might start making grinding or squeaking sounds to indicate trouble? Just as your car or truck often gives off clues that something might be amiss, your garage door does the same. And just as getting to the root of the problem at the first sign of automotive trouble often ends up costing you far less money in the long run, again – the same can be said for your garage door.
So, what types of clues is your garage door likely to give you, and what can you do to remedy the problem before it becomes major? Common indications that something might be wrong with your garage door include:
• Unusual or excessive noise
• Slow movement or difficulty opening
• Failure to close
Unusual or excessive noise
If your door has become uncharacteristically loud, it may be due to something simple, such as loose parts. Check all components and tighten any as needed, but be careful not to over-tighten, as doing so can cause new problems. Your door might also be overly noisy because some of its components simply need lubrication, so give them a quick dose of WD40 and see if the noise disappears.
Slow movement or difficulty opening
If your door has begun moving slower than is typical, or if it is struggling to open at all, your garage door springs might be on their way out. Give the door a little test to check the strength and condition of your springs. First, disconnect your garage door opener so that you can lift it by hand. Next, lift the door up about halfway between the ground and the top of the door frame, and let it go. If it stays put, your springs are probably still in good shape. If it lowers itself, it’s time to replace those springs. Replacing springs is dangerous, so it’s generally best left to a professional.
Failure to close
If your door won’t close, again, it might be something quite simple. Make sure there are no obstructions that might be blocking its sensors, and make sure the little “eyes” on either side of your garage still line up and have not been bumped or jostled out of position. If everything looks good to go, you’ll next want to see if something is up with the door’s cables or the garage door track. Is anything frayed, bent or otherwise damaged? Tighten anything that appears loose and remove any possible obstructions from the track to see if these actions remedy your problem.
If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned above and your problem persists after trying these possible solutions, it might be time to request the aid of a professional. Seemingly minor issues can affect other areas and components of your garage door, causing premature wear, so it’s wise to address any issues promptly.
NOTE: We’ve updated a previous version of this article that was published in September 2013.