If you’re dealing with a broken garage door, your best chance of having the problem completely fixed and avoiding garage door replacement in the near future is hiring a specialized repair company. But just because you probably shouldn’t strike out on your own in an attempt to diagnose the problem doesn’t mean you should be completely ignorant. Here are the three parts of your garage door setup that are most likely to have problems, as well as brief explanations of what you should and shouldn’t try to handle on your own:
- Garage Torsion Springs
Most modern garage doors use specialized garage torsion springs to evenly distribute the weight of the heavy door and help it ascend and descend smoothly. You’ll know when to replace the garage door springs because the door will descend more quickly than it used to, or shimmy from side to side when raised and lowered. Older garages with lighter doors may use extension springs, instead of torsion springs; in this case, someone with quite a bit of DIY experience may be able to buy the replacement and install it him or herself. But garage torsion springs should always be installed or replaced by a professional.
- Garage Door Tracks
If you hear a screeching noise when raising or lowering your door, the fix may be as simple as lubricating the tracks on which the door rides. But if that doesn’t fix the problem, a track may be bent or misaligned. Because tracks need to be precisely placed for smooth door movement, that’s when it’s time to call a professional.
- Garage Door Openers
On automatic garage doors, the opener is the actual motorized device that lifts and lowers the door. Your ability to actually fix the problem yourself is probably limited to changing the batteries in your remote opener. But you might be able to point a repair technician in the right direction by doing some troubleshooting in advance. Does the opener work with only the remote, only the wall switch or neither? This indicates either a power problem or a complete mechanical breakdown. Does the door reverse after hitting the ground, or fail to close completely? That’s most likely an issue with the close limit switch. Does the garage door reverse before it ever gets to the ground? That indicates the close force needs to be adjusted (or that the safety beam needs a closer look).
What other parts of your garage door assembly are you curious about? Ask questions or share your own thoughts in the comments.