Among the many home features, garage doors suffer wear and tear the most.  It can be a great source of frustration and inconvenience when your garage door needs repair work.  But it is always best to take note of anything out of the ordinary like noise, jams and like, before it gets worse and it really breaks down.

Before you call in the professional, which you still might need to do for serious repairs and replacements, you might find it worthwhile to have a check to see what’s wrong or do small repairs yourself.

There are two things you need to consider: the door itself, and the opener.

For this article, we will work on the garage door itself.

Now, let’s try and have a look at it with this simple checklist.

  • Some safety precautions first.
  • Remember to always work with the doors closed, for safety reasons. Otherwise, if the problem is a broken spring, the door could come crashing down.
  • If you do need to work with the doors open, use a locking pliers onto the track to keep it from dropping.
  • Unplug the opener as well, to avoid accidents.
  • With doors closed, check if the door opens and closes smoothly by pulling on the emergency release cord, not the opener. If it does not, then the problem is not with the opener, it might be the tracks, rollers or springs.
  • Check the metal tracks from inside the garage.
    • Examine the mounting bracket on the wall for any loose bolts or screws.
    • With the garage closed, inspect the tracks for any dents or flat spots. If there is any damage, see if you can carefully straighten it out with a rubber mallet.
    • If the tracks are badly damaged, have them replaced.
  • Check the tracks with a level if they are aligned.
  • Horizontal tracks should be slanting slightly backward, while a vertical track should be the same height on the wall.
  • If it’s not aligned, loosen the mounting brackets and tap it back in place. Recheck the alignment and tighten the screws and bolts back.
  • Clean the tracks and rollers thoroughly with a household cleaner. Use a lubricant or silicone spray on the rail.  For colder climates, use lithium grease.
  • Check and tighten any loose bolts, screws, spring plates and replace or repair any damaged hinges.
  • If the trolley carriage moves but the door won’t open, you’ll have to replace it. Before you pull it out, clamp down and mark the chain on the sprocket for easy reassembly.
  • Check and adjust the travel of the door so that it doesn’t go too far down the rail to damage it, and not to far up to crash into the opener.
  • Do not attempt to repair, adjust or release a single overhead torsion spring, call a professional service, for your own safety.

Once you’ve made sure that everything is in good working condition, remember to have an annual garage door tune-up to keep it in good working condition and give you peace of mind.

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