How to Know When It’s Time to Repair or Replace Your Garage Door
Out with the old, in with the new! That’s one way to look at things, but while familiar sayings may ring true, there’s usually more to decision making than that. The important thing to remember is that any time you have to make a choice there are several things to consider, things unique to you and your set of circumstances. Evaluating your wants, needs, and desires, tempered with practical considerations, can help you get the best results. Your garage door is damaged. Sure, you want the door to work properly. You need to be able to live and work as you did before. And like most people you desire the best, newest, safest, quietest garage door available. There are several ways to approach this.
Signs You May Need a Replacement
Example #1: Car versus door leaves you with a dented section.
- Proper, safe, section replacement by homeowners is usually not practical. In many cases a section replacement may be half the price of a new door.
Get a new door. This gives you a chance to have the latest features, perhaps better insulation, new color choices, better weatherstrip, maybe a row of windows. You’ll have a new warranty too.
- What if you have two doors on your garage and the new product won’t match the old? As well, a replacement section may not look exactly the same as the rest of the door due to the natural fading which, depending on the age and location of the door could be very noticeable.
- If the door has had a lot of use, wear parts like rollers and cables may cause trouble and expense in the future.
- Have you had a number of service calls in the past? Springs have a limited life and can fail after a specified number of cycles–maybe not long after you replace the damaged section.
- How old is the door? How old are you? (Sounds funny, but consider this for all major purchases.)
- Do you plan to stay in the house?
- What was the condition of the door before it was hit? Have you already had a service call because of the accident?
Signs You May Only Need a Repair
Example #2: The door does not work properly.
- Inspect the door, inside and out, for obvious defects like broken cables or springs.
- While the door is in the down position, disconnect it from the operator, if applicable. Open the door. If it is heavy, or noisy, return it to the closed position and lock it in place. Have your Garage Door Repair technician check the door.
- If there are major problems, the same principles shown above apply: How old is it, overall condition, how often it’s used, your plans to stay in the house, etc. In many cases a simple repair is the best way to go.
- The door may not be connected to the operator drawbar arm.
Example #3: Your operator is not working.
- There may be loss of power to the unit.
- Photo eyes may be dirty or out of alignment. Note: that service technicians will not repair any operator that does not have external safety devices, such as photo eyes, making total operator replacement the only option available to the homeowner.
- There could be an obstruction in the opening.
- The problem may be with the door, not the operator.
- The low voltage wiring to the wall button may be loose or broken.
- Transmitter batteries may be weak. Light bulb replacement is an easy task.
- With an operator, the age of the unit is a major consideration since there is ongoing improvement in the technology available that gives owners more convenience and security than ever before. Unless there is a very simple fix, operator replacement and the benefits to the homeowner make this an easy choice.
Let Us Help
Decision time. Ask yourself what’ll you have when the job is finished. In summary, because of the tools and techniques needed there’s little a homeowner can safely do to fix a door problem, so whether to fix an existing door/operator, or installing new equipment is a question of value. Calculate this by looking at the facts, list the pros and cons and see what will be the best choice for you. Often one of these–the pros or cons–will far outnumber the other.
At GarageDoorRepair.com, we connect you with local garage door repair experts from around the country. Find a locally licensed company with highly-trained technicians who can provide garage door repair replacement services in both commercial and residential settings.
Is Your Garage Door Not Closing? These 7 Reasons Are to Blame…
One or more of these reasons is likely responsible for your garage door closing partially, but not all the way:
1. Something blocking the door
Though this problem should be obvious, it shouldn’t be overlooked. If there’s something blocking the door from closing all the way, a full close will be impossible. Check your garage floor and the area surrounding it for any objects or debris that might be causing the improper close. You may also want to check the tracks, and the garage door itself, for the culprit.
2. Faulty safety sensors
First, and perhaps most commonly, your safety sensors could be working improperly. These twin sensors usually sit near the bottom of your garage door, less than 6 inches above the ground. They face each other, sending a signal across the length of the doorway to determine whether there is anything in the way of the closing garage door. If one or both of these sensors are not receiving power, or are not emitting the signal properly, your garage door will respond by failing to close all the way. This is a safety feature, but it can be annoying when there isn’t anything actually blocking the door. If the root cause is a sensor failure, you can purchase a new pair of sensors and replace the faulty ones.
3. Safety sensor misalignment
In many cases, the photo eyes are working properly, however, they are sending a perpetual signal to your garage door that something is in the way as a result of misalignment. This can occur if one sensor is struck or moved out of place. Conveniently, most sensors are equipped with a light that informs you whether they’re in alignment or not; when the light is on and solid, both sensors are aligned and functioning properly. When the light is blinking, they’re out of alignment. This problem can usually be corrected by returning the sensors to their proper orientation.
4. Broken springs
Garage doors rely heavily on various springs to open and close with ease. If any of these springs are broken or damaged, it could lead to the door becoming misaligned and not closing properly. Fortunately, it’s easy to tell when one of these springs has been damaged; a brief visual inspection, even from a non-expert, will be able to diagnose the problem almost immediately. We recommend leaving all spring repairs to a professional.
5. Damaged cables
All garage doors depend on some sort of cabling to lower the door properly. If any of these cables are worn or damaged, they may not be able to complete the task properly. In most cases, a thorough visual inspection should be able to spot any damaged cable. We recommend leaving all cable repairs to a professional.
6. Door travel limits
You may also have a problem with the travel distance setting on your door. In most garage door openers, there’s a default setting to tell the garage door how far to close. This can be improperly set upon installation, or slowly drift away from the original setting over time. If the setting is too high, the garage door will stop short of the actual ground. If the setting is too low, the garage door will “think” it’s hit an object when it’s actually hit the floor. Either way, you’ll need to adjust the door travel limit setting. Different models of opener have different means of achieving this, but it’s usually done with knobs on the machine itself.
7. Damage to the tracks
Finally, if the tracks responsible for carrying the garage door down have been bent, warped, or otherwise damaged, it may prevent the door from closing properly. If the tracks are blocked, a simple removal of the blockage should be enough to restore working order. Otherwise, you may need a track replacement.
Fixing Problems on your Own
As you’ve read, some of these problems can be easily fixed on your own. For example, if there’s something blocking the door, you can move the object and hopefully, the door will return to its normal movement.
However, there are some issues that are better left to the professionals—especially if it involves parts of your garage door that you don’t fully understand. Overhead torsion springs, for example, are tightly wound and carry high loads of tension. If improperly handled, they can cause severe lacerations or damage to your house. Plus, if you attempt to fix something on your own without fully understanding your actions, you may end up damaging the garage door even further.
Your best bet is probably to call in a professional, who will be able to diagnose your problem faster, and handle it more safely. If you’re looking for a garage door maintenance and repair specialist in your area, use Garage Door Repair to search by zip code in the footer below. Chances are, you can have a professional out to your home within a day or two, and your door will be working properly in no time.
Changes that you make in your garage can save energy and improve your home’s environmental profile. Attached garages serve as conduits for heating and cooling losses in the home, and fumes can leak from the garage into living areas. Hazardous materials often collect in garages where they get spilled or forgotten, and can harm pets or pose health threats. Many household pests make homes in cluttered garages, and the best way of preventing infestations on your property is to control garage areas with preventive measures, regular cleaning and environmentally safe pest-control products.
Resist turning your garage into a storage facility, because most people accumulate junk that they will never use. Garages become physical hazards to health, and finding useful items becomes nearly impossible when things aren’t labeled and stored properly. Making your garage green is one of the easiest ways to lower energy and utility usage, reduce your carbon footprint and ensure safety in the home. Here are six tips for greener garages:
1. Change Light Bulbs or Fixtures
Incandescent lights consume more energy than most people think, but you can replace traditional bulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting or CFLs. If you use your garage as a workshop, consider installing task lighting to reduce energy costs while providing enough light to work safely.
2. Green the Doors in Your Garage
Most garage doors are relatively flimsy, so garage-door insulation becomes important for conserving energy and preventing outdoor air from leaking into garages and attached homes. Energy Star recommends using well-insulated garage doors with R-values between 13 and 17.5 percent. These types of doors come with built-in insulation while most garage doors use polystyrene materials that only have R-values in the 5 to 7 range. Other energy-saving ideas for your garage doors include the following green practices:
– Seal cracks and install weather-stripping to prevent hot and cool air from getting in or out of your garage.
– Choose doors made from recycled content to promote the responsible use of resources.
– Keep automatic garage doors in good working order to reduce the time that doors remain open, which prevents heat or cool air from escaping.
– Caulk around any doors from the garage to your home or yard, and check for leaks in windows and doors.
3. Install a Ventilation Fan
An exhaust or ventilation fan prevents stale garage interiors, circulates air more efficiently and helps to disperse dangerous fumes in garages caused by petroleum products, cleaners and chemicals.
4. Handle Hazardous Materials Safely
Many people store hazardous materials in their garages that they never use, which pose a risk of spills, off-gassing, and poisoning pets and children. Paints, chemical solvents and petroleum-based products are among the top hazards to healthy living, according to the DIY Network. Pesticides, auto fluids, paints and other chemicals can leak, pose fire hazards, generate toxic fumes, and cause burns and respiratory problems. Eco-friendly chemical storage practices in the garage include the following habits:
– Road salt and ice-melting compounds can cause pets to develop diarrhea and vomiting, so keep these products secure.
– Antifreeze smells sweet, and as little as one tablespoon can kill a cat, so wipe spills immediately.
– Consider transferring chemicals to a shed set aside for that purpose.
– Keep your garage clean and uncluttered by recycling materials, organizing tools and work areas, and making sure that chemicals don’t filter into the ground or air.
5. Building, Decorating and Insulating Materials
Use energy-efficient building materials for garage structures, doors and windows. Learn how to insulate your garage in an eco-friendly way:
– Insulate pipes, water heaters and ductwork to make garages weather-tight.
– Caulk between floors and garage walls.
– Insulate garage walls and ceilings with the right R-value insulation.
– Replace older windows with Energy Star-certified versions.
– Consider installing solar panels to make your garage self-heating.
– Use eco-friendly paint to avoid the volatile organic compounds found in regular paint.
– Hose down garage floors regularly to remove road salt, slip hazards, stains and auto fluids.
– Monitor garage walls and foundations for cracks, moisture, mold and discoloration.
6. Conserve Water for Washing Vehicles
You can collect rainwater from your garage roof to wash vehicles, clean the garage and even water your lawn. Simply channel water from the roof into a rain barrel, and use the water for any number of purposes around the house, such as washing pets and cleaning sidewalks and patios.
You can reduce energy usage, increase comfort, protect your family and prevent environmental damage by making your garage greener. Most people don’t think about the garage when looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, but garages provide many opportunities for practicing green habits.
Spring is finally here, and with it comes the desire to get things clean. Over the winter your garage has taken a beating. The Christmas lights may be piled up in the corner, while leaves and salt have cluttered up the floor. Now that the temperatures are warming, it’s time to start thinking about garage maintenance. Here are the steps to take to get your garage in great shape again and ready for summer cookouts and family fun.
Tackle the Clutter
The garage is a place where things tend to accumulate and stay, unused, for years. On a warm morning, remove everything from the garage. Analyze each item and determine if it has been used in the last three years. If not, toss it or slate it for a garage sale in the future. Keep in mind that toxic items, like old paint or batteries, must be disposed of safely.
Clean the Floor
Proper garage maintenance means you’ll spend some time on your floor, which is likely pretty grimy after winter. While you have the garage empty, sweep and wash the floor. The winter brought in a lot of gunk, and this is the time to get it out.
Check the Door
Before you start reloading the garage, give the door and the opening system a visual inspection. Look for any obvious signs of wear and tear, such as worn springs or rails. Open the garage a couple of times and watch the system work to ensure it is functioning as it should be.
Test the safety features by placing something on the floor, out of the line of the photo eye sensor, to ensure that the door reverses when blocked. Then, place something in the way of the photo eye sensor to ensure that the door will not engage.
Spring cleaning is an excellent time to lubricate the moving parts on the door. Apply a spray lubricant to tracks, rollers and hinges to keep it functioning well. This garage maintenance step should be performed a couple of times per year.
Reload the Garage
When you put your things back in the garage, do it in zones. Put similar items together in logical places. The broom, for example, should be by the kitchen door. Invest in peg boards, shelving and cabinets to keep tools organized. Any items in boxes or tubs that cannot be seen should have labels.
If over the course of your spring cleaning you notice that your garage door needs help, GarageDoorRepair.com is ready to be at your service. Contact us today to find a qualified garage door repair professional in your area who can provide the service you need.
When temperatures start dropping, your garage becomes more than a place to simply store your vehicle; it becomes your first respite from the chill. When a garage door is malfunctioning due to the cold, it is going to keep you from safely pulling your vehicle inside. Unfortunately, cold weather garage door problems are very common. By knowing what problems you may be encountering and how to approach them, you can be back by the fireplace in no time.
Common Garage Door Problems:
Excess grease on your garage door tracks is a problem that can occur any time of the year, but it can really start causing issues in the winter. Too much lubrication can throw your rollers out of alignment, making it difficult for the door to open and close smoothly. Finding the balance between enough lubrication and too much is one of the most important parts of garage door maintenance.
Certain materials contract when temperatures dip below a certain threshold. Metal is one of these materials, meaning that it’s not uncommon for a garage door’s springs, screws and other metallic components to shrink and seize up in the winter months. You can’t keep this phenomenon from happening, but you can mitigate its effects by adding more lubricant. Apply plenty of garage door oil to the springs, the torsion ball bearings and the screw drive. Keep oil away from the tracks to avoid the first problem mentioned.
Most lubricating greases are designed to operate under extremely hot conditions. This is what makes them so effective in the high-power conditions found in engines. Unfortunately, lubricants don’t necessarily work as well when subjected to the cold. Low temperatures can harden grease, thickening it to the point where it makes a very poor lubricant. Make sure this hasn’t happened in your garage door. Remove old, hardened grease with an applicable solvent, and replace it with a silicone-based oil for better winter results.
The best approach to preventing garage door problems in the winter is to stay on top of regular maintenance. Regular lubrication, consistent cleaning and careful usage should keep your garage door functioning until spring arrives.
Cold winter temperatures and snowy weather are tough on your home’s exterior, causing damage to the roof, windows, doors and seals if you’re not partaking in proper preventative maintenance. However, many homeowners don’t realize that these extreme conditions can also wreak havoc on your garage door. There are a few issues that are common in areas that experience harsh winters, but you can avoid expensive garage door repair if you keep your eyes open for the warning signs.
Seals and Weather Stripping
As you drive into your garage, your car tires bring snow and water in with them. In addition, snow piles up outside the garage door during winter storms. In both cases, the moisture adheres to the seal or weather stripping at the bottom of the garage door. Then, when you open the door, the seal may rip and detach from the bottom. To avoid needing weather seal replacement services, sweep the snow away from the area as often as possible.
Frigid temperatures cause metal to become hard and brittle, including the springs. If you have difficulty opening your garage door and it feels heavy, you may have a broken spring. Only a qualified garage door repair expert should replace a broken spring.
Garage Door Drive Track
The drive tracks are the two long strips on each side of your garage door that guide it into place as it raises and lowers. When they become obstructed by debris, the door will jam. Keep them free of obstructions by brushing the drive track frequently, especially during winter when sand and salt are used to remove snow and ice on roads.
Other problems can arise when winter weather strikes, but being aware of the most common issues can help you catch many of these concerns before they become serious. Preventative maintenance and regular inspections should be performed yearly at a minimum. Recognizing these issues will not only save you money, but also can prolong the life of your garage door.