Garage doors have become an essential convenience in most American homes. In fact, according to a recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development survey, 80 percent of American homes have either a garage or a carport. Additionally, as materials and mechanics improve, garage doors have become more durable. However, even the most durable and well-installed garage door will occasionally require either maintenance or repair.
It’s important you get any garage door issues repaired as soon as possible. While malfunctioning doors may be costly to repair, leaving them in disrepair not only risks further and more expensive damage, but they can also become dangerous to you and your family.
Keep in mind, a survey conducted by National Electronic Injury Surveillance System revealed in one year, over 13,000 people visited hospitals with injuries caused by garage doors. While most of these injuries were caused by malfunctioning doors, others were caused by ill-advised DIYers trying to save money on professional garage door repair service provider, yet another reason to always turn to a certified service person for all of your garage service needs.
That’s why we decided to outline some of the most common signals your garage door is in need of service. Whether you need a garage door alignment, require broken spring service or need some form of garage door opener repair, routine maintenance and service is one of the best ways to extend the life of your garage door while maintaining value in your home. Here are some problems to keep an eye for.
Your Door Is Making a Lot of Noise
One of the first and most obvious signs something is wrong with your garage door is heard, not seen. Although your garage door motor will always make some sound, this sound should be smooth and regular. If your opening or closing door is making a new sound or the sound is growing more wrenching and aggressive, you likely need to have your garage door serviced.
There are a couple of issues that might cause this new sound:
The most severe issue is a damaged motor. Unfortunately, every once in a while, a garage door opener motor will fail. While a service person may be able to make a small adjustment in order to repair it, the most likely fix is a complete motor replacement. Luckily, while a motor replacement isn’t the cheapest repair, it will give you an opportunity to upgrade your motor, perhaps replacing your old model with a quieter, smoother operation.
If a service person determines your motor is in fact running fine, then you may simply need to have your springs lubricated. However, while some basic lubrication can be done by amateurs, keep in mind springs are under immense tension. You should never try to fix garage door springs or replace garage door springs on your own. Call a professional in order to avoid serious injury.
You Cannot Lift Your Door Manually
The most important feature of an automatic garage door is the fact that it lifts itself. However, it is also important you are able to lift your garage door manually.
First and foremost, in the event of a power outage, you need to be able to lift your door in order to get your car out. While no one anticipates an emergency, there are moments when getting your car and family out of your garage is a life-or-death situation. But the ability to lift your door is also an important indicator of the quality of your garage door spring balance. The springs in your garage door are designed to make lifting your door manually easier and decrease the amount of power needed to lift your door automatically. These springs are extremely heavy duty, and they can hold a large amount of tension. That’s why a garage door, despite being upwards of 200 pounds, should be able to be easily lifted by any grown adult.
If your door is difficult or impossible to lift, that means that the springs are no longer capable of holding a portion of the weight, meaning you are in fact trying to lift the entire weight of the door. Because springs can degrade over time, this is especially common in older doors. Even the highest-quality springs will eventually begin to lose tension and thus start to fail.
Luckily, if your door is beginning to experience spring failure, a basic garage door spring replacement is all that is needed to return your door to its proper balance. However, as we mentioned before, it is extremely important that you leave any garage door spring replacement work to professionals.