In this post, we provide a bunch of quick fixes for common garage door problems plus provide easy maintenance tips. You don’t always need to call in a garage door service for a fix!

Often overlooked, garage doors are eminently functional devices- they offer a convenient way to safeguard your home and possessions from the elements, whilst keeping your nosy neighbors out of your business. Not only will it allow you to maintain a healthy level of security, but it can help you to improve the appearance of your home, raising the value and impressing potential buyers. You’ll also be able to increase the ambient temperature of your garage, making it a more comfortable utility room for your other home improvement and DIY projects.

Maintaining your door so that it remains in good working order requires the additional repair. Over time, and particularly when the weather changes, you may find that the components of your door mechanism can warp or move, leading to excess noise when in use or a restriction of use altogether. Knowing how to fix the most common problems means that you’ll keep your energy costs low whilst saving money by not having to call a repair person. Here, we present a comprehensive guide on how to fix your garage door.

Is Your Door This Broken?

If your door looks like this, you might want a replacement!

Broken garage door from r/brokenstuff

Garge Door Repair Tips

Many times, there’s no need to Google “garage door repair near me” because a lot of fixes are really simple to carry out- including common maintenance.

Your garage door is essential for keeping your cars and storage safe from theft and damage. Having a broken door means that your vehicles and possessions are not only visible for passers-by to see, but they are also left vulnerable to inclement weather, as wind and rain can cause havoc, particularly when things aren’t weather-proofed and fastened down. Keeping your door in proper working order will help you to maintain the value and security of the items you hold dear.

How A Garage Door Works

The Component Parts

In order to perform repairs on your garage door, first you must understand the main components that are responsible for the actions and mechanisms that make it work. Your door mechanism consists of not only the door, but the opener as well, both of which can break down and cause serious problems for you. However, repairing the break doesn’t have to be costly, and there are many things that you can do yourself.

According to How Stuff Works, your door consists of metal tracks on the vertical sides of the entrance, as well as a spring that generates the power to move the door up and down. The opener, on the other hand, consists of a motor that powers the movement, which is connected to a drawbar that provides the physical movement of the door to the open or closed position.

Moving Parts

Given the number of moving parts that make up your door, there are many ways in which the mechanism can break. DDM Garage Doors provide a comprehensive list of all of the problems that can cause your door to stop working, and provide many DIY solutions.

These include:

  1. Rear support for the upper track is broken
  2. Door is cocked
  3. The door won’t open
  4. The door closes only if you hold in the push button
  5. Door is jammed
  6. The door won’t close all the way
  7. Scraping sounds
  8. Bottom of the door is up on one side
  9. Door is uneven
  10. The door closes part way and then reverses
  11. Loud bang before the door quit working
  12. The door won’t close all the way – it is uneven
  13. Popping sound as the door operates
  14. Door opens slowly
  15. Radio controls will open but not close the door
  16. Squeaks
  17. The opener is straining as the door opens
  18. The door won’t stay open

In the next sections, we will describe the most common problems that affect garage doors, and how to go about repairing them.

Common Problems

Opening Partway And Then Closes

One of the most common problems to affect the proper usage of garage doors is a broken torsion spring cable. The cable is responsible for detecting the position of your door through tension, so if pressure is placed on the cable while it is only partway opened or closed, it usually means that the cable is getting caught on something, or that the weather is causing constriction of the tracks.

The easiest way to repair this issue is to use a lubricant to grease up the rollers, cable, tracks and hinges in order to remove this excess pressure and enable the door to move without hindrance.

Fixing Noisy Garage Doors

If you’re often out at night, or you work the graveyard shift, then coming home to a noisy door can mean that you disturb your sleeping family or neighbors with the noise you make. This is not ideal, and finding a way to reduce the noise is will ensure that those around you can enjoy a good night’s rest.

Noise is generated from the moving parts of your garage door rubbing or hitting against each other. Family Handy Man suggests that you start by lubricating all moving parts to reduce friction, and if that doesn’t work, replace the tracks, hinges and rollers.

Crooked And Uneven Doors

Improper Closing Issues

Installing a door to your garage means that you want to protect your garage, but if the door doesn’t close properly, or sits uneven once closed, it means that you’re not protecting your possessions the way you want to. Ensuring that your door fits and closes properly keeps out weather, wild animals and would-be criminals.

DoItYourself suggests that you pay close attention to the tracks that guide your door to the closed position, because any misalignment or movement will result in the door not closing properly.

Fixing Frozen Or Stuck Doors

There are several ways in which your garage door can break down. According to The Spruce, frozen doors are one of the most common problems that homeowners experience, particularly in regions that experience cold, snowy winters. This will cause your door to seal shut due to the ice and moisture, requiring heat to get it open again.

In order to prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to remove snow, ice and water from the area before you leave your garage for the night. If it does happen, use a hair dryer to melt the frozen section so that you can open the door again. Or, you can wait for the warmth of the day to melt the ice for you.

Won’t Open At All

In the video below, the A1 Garage Door Service repair person discusses some common reasons- including a garage door that has been unintentionally set in ‘manual release’ mode. This is a very easy fix- watch the video for more commoon solutions:

Buying guide

  • Sizes: Depending on your requirements, your garage door may be planned to fit a specific size. There are many standard sizes that correspond to vehicle sizes, but, if you have an older-style home, you may find that your garage features a door that is of a different dimension than you expect. By measuring carefully and assessing your requirements, you will be able to find a door that fits perfectly.
  • Single Or Double? The most common choice that you’ll be required to make in terms of door size is whether you have a single or a double garage. These terms correspond to how many cars can fit in your garage, and HouseLogic has a helpful infographic that helps you to visualize the spacing and dimensions of your garage. Your door will likely be either 8-9 feet wide, or, for a double garage, 16 feet.
  • Parts: Your garage door mechanism features a particular set of moving parts to open and close the door, combined with the motor that powers the whole apparatus. If any one of these parts breaks, you’ll find that you can’t open your garage door, or that it may be stuck open, leaving your garage open to the elements.
  • Do It Yourself? (https://www.doityourself.com/stry/garage-door-parts-explained) explains the main function of the parts that comprise your door. The main components include the stationary parts, such as the tracks that guide your door into place, as well as the springs, which boosts strength so that you can lift the door, and the motor, which powers your door open and closed automatically when you approach or trigger it using a sensor.

Installation Advice

If you don’t have a door for your garage, it’s not too late to get one installed. Installing a garage door is easy to do yourself, as long as you have a person to help you. WikiHow has a great step-by-step guide that will assist you in performing this task, regardless of your level of home improvement skills.

This Old House also has a great video if you’re looking to install a garage door:

To begin, you need to carefully measure the entrance to your garage, and buy panels that are sized one-quarter of an inch smaller in width. After fitting hinges, rollers and tracks, you must fit the springs, which provide torsion to the door. After the door is fitted and adjusted, you may wish to install an opener, which will allow you to motorize the door, so that you can conveniently use it with little effort.

Insulation

Insulating your garage door is essential, especially if you plan to be working in there often. Maintaining a moisture-free environment also ensures that your stored possessions aren’t affected by the damp conditions that promote mold growth. Insulation will also help to cut your heating costs by reducing the amount of lost heat from the walls and ceiling of your garage, and it will also help to reduce noise transfer both in and out of your garage.

While having insulation placed during construction of your home is the best way to plan your new garage, but adding insulation to your door after the fact is actually an easy task that can be done at any time. House Logic describes the different kinds of garage door insulation available, as well as costs, thickness requirements and efficacy. Matching your insulation to the type of garage door you have is essential, and there are many kits that cater to every style possible.

Seal

Insulating your garage door is one important part of weatherproofing your garage, but without a seal, you’ll find that the cold, wet weather can still find its way inside. Rather than half-finish the job, you should invest in the materials necessary to seal your garage properly so that you can rest easy in the knowledge that your garage is dry and protected.

Sealing your garage is also known as weatherstripping, and Garaga offers a guide on how to properly install and maintain this useful feature. Fitting and installing your weatherstripping is a very easy task that requires few tools and only about an hour of your time. Once you’ve got your seal in place, you’ll be offering the best protection for your vehicles and stored items.

Remotes

If you knew how often you’d be opening your garage throughout the year, then you’d jump at the chance to install an opener that can work automatically. An automatic door means that your garage is open and ready as you pull near, allowing you to get inside without exiting your car. Similarly, the door will close automatically behind you, so that you don’t have to stop as you’re leaving.

There are many styles of door openers that range from chain, belt and screw drives, to the styles that use the motor to automatically open the door, all explained at Custom Door and Gate. You may also wish to install a remote system which allows you to signal the door to open or close using a remote control or sensor that detects when you are nearby.

Screen

We’ve spoken a lot about what to do if you live in colder climates. However, for those that reside in areas that reach high temperatures, keeping your garage door closed during the day as you work can lead to stuffy, humid conditions that make it uncomfortable. Leaving the door open as you work is an easy way to relieve this discomfort, but can lead to an unwanted infestation of flying insects.

In order to protect yourself when working during the heat, it’s best to install a screen door across your garage. Not only will this remove the risk of your unwanted flying guests, but certain types of screens can prevent nosy neighbors and passers-by from looking at you and your possessions. Screens are very easy to put in place, and can often be removed when not in use. Not only does this offer a convenient way to maintain your privacy, but you’ll be more comfortable and get more use out of your garage.

Location Guides

15 Minute Maintenance Guide

In this video, the YouTuber shows you how to do routine maintenance on your garage door to prolong its operational lifetime and to help you save money. Now, this maintenance typically takes only about 15 minutes, which is a shorter period than you’ll spend calling one of those professionals and meeting them at your house.

It is easy: you’re going to need a wrench or a socket. A lubricant such as this pro 44 you’re also going to need some scrap cardboard.

Two Objectives: Lubrication / Spot-Check Parts

You’ve got two primary objectives. When you carry out this sort of work, the very first is to lubricate all the moving parts, and the second objective is to ensure that all parts are functioning as they ought to be.

Now today, they are just planning to cover the routine maintenance and they are not going to cover repairs. They first start by releasing the garage from the opener- they are going to start by checking to make sure that all the hinges are tight. They are mounted with bolts or lag screws. It’s not necessary to really torque these down.

You just want to go through and examine each one. If you’re able to turn it a little bit go on and do it, but don’t don’t use a lot of force to it.

You just need to make sure that they’re nice and tight. Once you are done tightening the hinges, the next thing is to lubricate and they are going to use a multi-purpose lubricant.

To do that now you’ll want to lubricate the hinges including the roller pin and perhaps the roller bearings.

So he recommends first doing the hinges. You want to do the outsides of the hinges along with the inside. You’ll want to do the roller pins on both sides and it helps to kind of spin that roller to get that lubricated.

Roller Bearings

Now, they discuss the roller bearings. If you have a nylon roller, it really does not even have a bearing- it just spins on the pin.

You can now go on and lubricate in there so that moves more freely. You may even have older metal rollers, and you may see the ball bearings inside here.

For those who have those go on and lubricate those ball bearings. Now, they strongly suggest modernizing up to sealed bearing nylon rollers- they are, incredibly simple to change, they will keep going longer and they are a lot smoother and less noisy.

They chose to replace all the rollers with the sealed bearing nylon rollers.

Open And Close The Door

Now you’ll notice in the video the lubricant is accumulating at the very end- he opens and closes the garage door several times to get the lubrication disseminated a bit and then he’ll wipe off the excess.

Now he shows you how to lubricate the springs- there is a bearing on the inside of this bracket, in the video. Here you need to be sure to get that that’s extremely important then you can also choose to lubricate the spring.

Now They like to take a piece of cardboard- this way, they do not get lubricant all over a painted wall and they just apply it generously over the spring after you’re done with the springs now you’re going to hit the pulleys on each end of this bar, as you can see in the video.

For the pulleys, you’ll want to proceed to apply lubricant around the pulley, especially where the cable is going to go.

If you would like, you may also take a rag put some lubricant on there and lubricate this tension wire. It isn’t crucial, but it simply reduces friction and, theoretically, will lengthen the life of this cable.

More to the point, there is a bearing on the end. In the video, you can’t see it and regrettably They can’t get the camera around there to show it, but there’s a bearing.

You want to make certain that you lubricate it as well. To finish things off, he recommends lubricating the rail.

The top end of the rail is what the traveler actually progresses on. That is what requires probably the most lubrication. This is really pretty dry, so They are going to go on and just run lubrication along the length of the track for both sides. Now, with regards to the chain or the belt, these usually come lubricated from the factory and in all likelihood should not have to be lubricated.

But if yours is bone-dry, then They would certainly advise examining the manufacturer’s instructions to determine what they recommend for lubricating. ,

Now that you’ve got everything lubricated, you’ll want to open and close the door to get that lubrication spread all through every one of the moving parts. This can be a great time to evaluate your door balance, so try to lift it up halfway as well as the way to make sure that the door stays in place.

In case your door does not remain in this position, it in all probability implies you will need to adjust your springs.

Now, this is a task that can be done yourself, however, it can be a little bit risky, therefore make sure to do your research or employ a professional repairman for this part.

In the video, he demonstrates that while the door is up, that’s additionally a great time to evaluate seals to make certain it does not have rips or tears you might like to replace. If it does, it’s super easy to replace. Now, should you decide you would like to adjust your springs yourself, you will need to have a set of winding bars.

When it comes to garage door maintenance, do this annually, ideally twice a year, to make certain that your door is in good working order, and it’ll serve you for a long time.