Garage Door Maintenance
Broken Garage Door Repairs
Having a garage door, even if it is one that has the highest kind of quality, requires proper care and maintenance.A routine checkup is necessary to ensure that the door is kept in top working condition. While most problems and troubleshooting should be done by a professional, routine checkup is something that you can perform with little difficulty. Here are some of the things you need to check occasionally.
Most of us never think of the work our garage door does - lifting and closing a large door every day, over and over again.. The truth is, your garage door opener really doesn't do much work, because of a physics helper, the spring! Springs are used as the door is lowered, and the springs are stretched out (the motor literally pushes the garage door down). When it is time to lift the door, the springs do 95% of the work as they recoil and pull the door back up, leaving the garage door motor to do little more than wind up the loose cable or chain. This is why most garage door openers are rated at only 1/2 to 1 horse power - it doesn't take much power to lift up a garage door that is being pulled up by stretched springs.
Examine the springs
Many of the garage doors used in homes in Lilburn, Oakwood, Roswell, Chamblee and Clarkston, GA today rely on big and thick springs for closing and opening. These springs can be mounted either above the opening or beside the roller tracks. Inspect this part of the garage door and see if there is any evident sign of wear and tear. There are two main types of garage doors - those that operate by extension springs, and those that operate by torsion springs. Extension springs look like normal king-size springs and are located on the left and right sides of the garage door - you will see them stretch out and expand as the garage door lowers, and contract as the garage door opens. Torsion springs are the second type of garage springs -- they look like tighly coiled springs above the garage door, and as the door lowers or raises, they twist to contract or expand.
Most garage door repairs fall into two categories - broken springs, or a broken motor. Broken springs can be difficult to replace for laymen, requiring you to remove and replace high tension springs under significant compression. You can also examine if the springs are making squeaking noises by trying to open and close the door. If they give off a squeaking sound, you can apply a lubricant to alleviate this problem. But if this does not solve the problem, it means that old springs already want to retire and are looking for a replacement. Have a professional repair or replace the worn-out springs. Doing this yourself is not safe. Check for worn-out cables A garage door may have metal cables connecting the springs to the bottom of the door on each side. Examine if the cables are already frayed. If they are, have a professional repair this as soon as possible. Do not procrastinate on calling up a repairperson because if the cables eventually break (and they surely will), this can cause serious injuries.
Find if there are any loose brackets
The brackets are connected to the cables on both sides of the door. These brackets endure a lot of pressure when opening and closing the door. Make it a habit to examine these brackets to ensure that they are still firmly attached to the door. If not, call up the repairperson immediately. Never attempt to tighten or adjust the brackets yourself as this can be dangerous. Not to mention, most modern garage doors today come with tamper-resistant brackets to prevent unauthorized adjustments from non-professionals.
Replacing torsion springs on a broken garage door
Torsion springs generally require professional replacement. Torsion springs are designed to last for about 10,000 cycles, or about 10-12 years of normal use. After that, you are just waiting for an accident to happen. When a torsion spring breaks, you will often hear a loud cracking or pinging sound, but you may not notice it at all - - you may simply notice that your garage door opens and closed much more slowly than before (assuming it is a double garage door with 2 springs - if it is a single door with one spring, the door will not open or close at all). When we had torsion springs that broke, we looked in the yellow pages under garage doors and called a few local repair companies. A number of new channels have recently run stories on garage repair scams, showing contractors offering to fix broken garage doors for $200-$800. Keep in mind that normally all these people are doing is replacing $50 springs, and it will take them less than 1 hour to do it. Anyone asking for $300 or more is ripping you off.
Keep in mind that a garage door is pretty simple - an electric motor connected to the chain that pulls the door up (aided by the springs), and the same motor than eases the door down (stretching out the springs). There are no other working parts, so unless you run into the tracks that align the garage door or something, no repair should be more than $150-$350. If your power goes out, remember you can easily open and close your garage door manually by pulling the cord and disconnecting it from its track - with the help of the springs, it is a pretty easy job. When replacing torsion springs, you do have to replace both springs if you have a double garage door, or a single spring if you have a single door.
Garage Door Maintenance
One way to avoid garage door repairs is via regular maintenance. A garage door is a mechanical beast, rolling up and down fixed guide tracks, being pulled and pushed by a chain run by an electric motor. If you bang into the tracks, your garage door can easily get out of alignment. You can sometimes bend and twist tracks back into place if you see they have been knocked into or dislodged. Lubricating the tracks and wheels also helps to alleviate binding and sticking
1. Repairing Track Damage If your garage door jumps and jolts during its motion then the problem could very well be with the metal tracks responsible for moving the garage door. This is the most common of all garage door repairs. Check the metal track thoroughly from both sides for any sign of damage. Any obstacles simply grab a hammer and straighten out the metal track.
2. Aligning Metal Tracks If there aren't any dents in the metal tracks then chances are that the tracks are not properly aligned causing the garage door to go off track. Properly aligned tracks are essential for the garage door to function smoothly. Simply loosen the bolts and gently tap the tracks into position. Carefully inspect the tracks to ensure they are in alignment and then screw the bolts back in.
3. Eliminating that Squeaky Sound Aside from the normal clattering of the garage door, any other audible signs should be immediately addressed. A common problem with garage doors in Doraville, Chamblee, Snellville, Loganville and Winder is the squeaky sound that is heard when a door opens or closes. This is a sign of lack of lubrication. Apply a lubricant material such as WD-40 to the wheels and the metal track. Let it soak in for a few minutes and then operate the garage door a few times to let the lubrication spread nicely across the entire track.