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5 Garage Door Repair and Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

garage door maintenance

A garage door with mechanical problems is as irritating as a slow internet connection. Perhaps, even more annoying because nobody wants to tussle with a 90lbs garage door that won’t budge. Imagine if you have to manually open your garage door every time you need to access your garage! You would likely get so frustrated that you order a new garage door altogether.

But don't worry! You don’t have to replace your garage door unless it has outlived its service life or substantial, sustained damage. For the most part, basic garage door repair is enough to solve your garage door problems. You can trust Legacy Door Co to handle your basic and more complex garage door issues.

There are some basic garage door problems you can comfortably DIY if you know your way around your tools and know where and what to check for. In that case, these five garage door repair tips will come in handy when your garage door is on the fritz and you want to fix it yourself.

Check the Sensor if Your Garage Door Won’t Go Down

If your garage door cannot close, you’ll want to check the photo eye sensors first. Your garage door has two photo eye sensors on either side installed about six inches off the ground. The two safety sensors communicate via an invisible beam that signals the door system to close when you press the remote.

When something obstructs the invisible beam, the sensors signal the door system to break the circuit so the garage door won’t go down even when you press the door remote. Or the door may come down momentarily and then go up.

So, when your garage door doesn’t go down, first check if there’s an object obstructing the sensors. It could be a toy, a box, or any of the tools you have in your garage. If there’s no object blocking the sensor directly, check if dirt, grime, dust, or oil has accumulated on the lenses and wipe it off with a soft microfiber cloth.

Also, check if the sensors are misaligned. The obvious giveaway that the sensors are not aligned is when you see one of the sensors blinking red or you observe 10 red flashes on your garage door opener when you press the remote to close the door. You’ll want to adjust the photo eye sensors until a green light comes on in such a case. A green light indicates that the safety sensors are working perfectly.

Check That it isn’t Your Garage Door Opener

In most cases, your garage door won’t open or close because the opener is not receiving a signal from the remote. This is usually caused by dead batteries in the remote. You should first change your remote batteries and see if the garage door will start opening and closing. If the problem persists even after a battery change, consider replacing the remote.

If your remote is old or has taken significant damage from accidental falls, the radio transmitter and other internal components may stop functioning optimally. Often, a new remote solves this problem. But if the garage door continues to malfunction even after a remote replacement, it’s time to call Legacy Door Co technicians to check the opener. The opener’s receiver could have an issue that requires an experienced technician to sort it out.

Make Sure Nuts and Bolts are in Place

garage door maintenance tips

Naturally, you expect some noise from your garage door as it closes and opens, which you soon get used to. But when you start hearing odd noises, it may mean some of the door hardware, especially the nuts and bolts, are loose. The type of noise your garage door makes will often tell you what parts of the garage door need fixing.

Here’s what different noises mean:

  • Rattling: A rattling sound indicates that the nuts and bolts are loose and you need to tighten them up. If the nuts and bolts are also old, a rattling sound tells you it’s time to replace them.

  • Grinding: A grinding sound indicates that the opener’s chain or belt is loose and you need to adjust or tighten it.

  • Squeaking: When you hear squeaking noises when the garage door is opening and closing, it tells you that the weatherstripping on each door panel needs lubricating. It may also indicate that you need to lubricate the rollers. For both parts, a silicone-based lubricant is ideal.

  • Vibrating: A vibrating sound may also indicate loose nuts and bolts. You should tighten them and also lubricate the rollers.

Check Out The Springs

Garage door springs are subject to wear and tear, and they often become loose or break after some time. With a broken spring, your garage door will not open or shut smoothly unless you replace it.

However, you should know beforehand that replacing a garage door spring by yourself is risky. And if you don’t have the right tools like a winding bar, cordless drill, and an adjustable wrench, you can easily harm yourself or the entire door system.

Replacing a broken spring without the right tools and technique can cause the spring to snap and cause you physical harm. And if your door is a big two-car garage door with torsion springs, the injuries can be severe. Torsion springs are usually under enormous tension and pressure, making them difficult and risky to replace.

If a torsion spring snaps and hits you accidentally, you can sustain serious injuries. That’s why it’s best to have a professional replace your garage door springs. But if you’re mechanically inclined and have the right tools for the job, you can safely replace your garage door springs and get your door working optimally again.

Wipe Out the Tracks

garage door maintenance with garage tracks

With time, the garage door tracks accumulate debris from dust and oil. If you don’t clean up the debris regularly, your garage door won’t operate smoothly and may even get stuck as more debris piles up. It’s advisable to clean the tracks monthly to keep your garage door working smoothly and in tip-top condition. You can utilize automotive brake cleaners to clean the tracks or simply use a wet rag to wipe out the debris.

Need a Professional? Give Us a Ring!

Ideally, these five repair and maintenance tips should help you DIY basic garage door issues like tightening loose door hardware, lubricating squeaky moving parts, fixing misaligned photo-eye sensors, and wiping out dirty tracks. But complex garage door jobs like replacing broken torsion springs, aligning an off-track door, and replacing the garage door system should be left to the pros.

If you’re in South Central Pennsylvania, Legacy Door Co. is at your beck and call for all your garage door issues. From the complex ones like replacing cables and springs to the routine repairs like fixing garage door remote problems, we've got your back.

Even when you attempt a DIY and run into hurdles, we’ll be happy to come in and give you a hand. And when you decide it’s time to replace your entire garage door system, Legacy Door Co will supply and install the best-in-class garage doors, openers, and remote systems. Contact Legacy Door Co today, and let us take care of your residential or commercial garage door issues.

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