The garage door is the largest door in a house and repairing a broken one can sometimes be a hefty undertaking. The size, weight, and tension from the torsion springs can make extensive home garage door repairs dangerous. However, many small problems with garage doors can be easily fixed without the assistance of a repairman.
With basic tools and a little know-how, some of the most basic garage door problems can be fixed by homeowners on the cheap.
The Thingy Goes Into The Whatchamacallit
The first step in deciding whether or not to do a garage door repair yourself is identifying the different components that make up an overhead garage door and where the problem lies. The main parts that make up a garage door include the door itself, the operator, mounting hardware, support brackets, tracks, belts, the curved door arm, rollers, extension spring or torsion spring, emergency release rope, and safety reversing sensor. The spring is the component of the garage door that does the heavy lifting. The opener allows the motion of the door to be controlled by remote. The tracks, belts, and arms connect the motor of the opener with the spring and door allowing the system to work in unison. The brackets and mounting hardware are what connect the garage door and its operating system to the garage itself. There are two main systems of garage doors based on the spring system. These are the Extension Spring system and the Torsion Spring system. An extension spring system uses two springs that are attached on one end to cables and on the other end to the bottom of the garage door. When the door is closed, the springs are stretched, and when it is opened, the energy from the springs being stretched causes the door to bounce up. Torsion springs are placed horizontally over the garage door and connected to cables which hook on to the bottom of the garage door. When the door is down, the spring winds up and when the door is opened, the spring unwinds.
Quick Fixes For Basic Problems
If your garage door is not working, a quick check of basic components will determine whether or not repairing your door will be a quick fix. The first thing to check is that the power is not out. An automatic garage door opener will not work without electricity. In the event of the power outage, you can pull the red cord hanging from the opener to manually open the door. Freezing temperatures can also have an impact on the pressure held within the springs. If your garage door is not working and you live in a cold climate, it might be worth checking that the pressure settings on the opener are correct. Dirt and moisture in the tracks and rollers can also impact the performance of a garage door. Cleaning the tracks with household cleaner can remove dirt and grime that can prevent a garage door from working properly.
Loose screws are another common culprit when it comes to garage door problems. Tightening loose screws may be the simple fix needed to get your door working again. If you have a roll-up door, don’t forget to check the screws on the hinges. Sagging garage doors can be repaired easily by placing a tension rod diagonally along the back of the door to provide support. These rods are readily available at most hardware stores. The tracks for the garage door must also be in perfect alignment and at exactly the same height in order for the door to function properly. If the tracks appear to be out of alignment, measure them precisely and enlist a helper to assist you by holding the tracks while you re-position them to the correct height.
When To Call A Professional
While many garage door problems are easily fixed at home, there are certain situationsthat require professional assistance. It is advisable to call a repair company if you believe that the problem with your garage door is resulting from issues with the spring. This is true for both garage door systems, but especially for the torsion spring system. Torsion springs operate under a tremendous amount of pressure and can be very dangerous.Fixing minor problems with your garage door can be a quick and effective way to save money on home repairs. Major overhauls, however, should be left in the capable hands of repair professionals.