If the garage door suddenly starts to make noise and behave oddly, it’s likely that you’ll wonder just what’s going on. You may even try to investigate the issue on your own. However, the experts say that this is NOT the thing to do. There are times when a repair is something best left to the professionals. Let’s take the time to identify five times when garage door repairs are most definitely not DIY matters.
- When Springs Break or Stretch
You may not know that the system of springs in the garage door acts as a counterbalance to the overall weight of the door. This is true whether you have a relatively new or very old system in place. However, the standard garage door should weigh in somewhere between eight and ten pounds or 3.5 to 4.5 kilos, and be easily lifted with a single hand.
The spring system may malfunction for a few reasons, with one of the most common having to do with the torsion or extension springs. These are meant to last around five to seven years (which translates to 10k to 12k open and close cycles.
The average torsion spring will lose 10% to 15% of its original tension every year it is in use. You cannot tighten the spring and get more use or tension, and it is very common for the spring to break once it has ended its lifecycle. It is usually easy to know when that occurs because it sounds a lot like a gun shot as it snaps.
When it is the extension springs, the trouble is usually linked to stretching rather than breaking. Breaks typically occur at the end, while stretching occurs anywhere. The over stretched extension spring cannot perform properly. There are two springs, and if one is failing it will cause the familiar shaking and noise that alerts owners to trouble.
- When It Is Worn Rollers
Rollers are difficult to predict simply because the quality of those on the market vary widely. When they are of the ball bearing design, they will usually be one of the longer lasting models. However, the black nylon rollers (which are without ball bearings)feature galvanized and corrosion resistant cylinders that make them fairly durable.
There are also long-stem rollers that feature in most double garage door installations, and these are installed within the double hinges. Breakage can actually occur with double doors NOT fitted with long stem rollers, and which use double hinges at the ends of the doors.
The rollers can wear for a few reasons, and yet many owners are unaware of the early signs of trouble. For instance, rollers are meant to turn or roll in their tracks, not slide. When this happens it is a clear sign of trouble. Also, owners who leave their doors open for longer periods of time (and particularly those with single rollers) may find problems with wearing as it puts too much weight on the rollers.
- When Lifting Cables Are Broken, Slack or Frayed
Serving as the link between the bottom of the garage door and the spring system, the lifting cables must wind themselves around a drum. This features special grooves that hold the cable properly. There is high tension on the cables because of the way they are arranged, and this tension is often matched to the total weight of the door. This is why you are always warned away from tampering with the lifting cable as any tampering of such a high tension line is very dangerous.
The lifting cables will malfunction for a few reasons, with the drum being a more common problem. If it is out of alignment or positioned incorrectly, the cable starts to fray because it cannot line up with the grooves. Also, improperly sized cables (meaning those not the right size for the weight and size of the door(s)), are always at risk for breakage.
- When Horizontal Tracks Are Misaligned
If you look at the garage ceiling, you see that the horizontal tracks are affixed to it using brackets that form right angles. These must be properly secured to the ceiling, often by being screwed firmly to rafters.
Horizontal tracks malfunction due to misalignment in a few ways. One of them occurs when the triangle forming the point where the tracks are attached is not properly sized or installed. This causes vibrations whenever the door is in use, and can lead to track misalignment. A door may even fall off the track when this occurs.
Should your garage door fall off the tracks, never try to lift it or move it. Simple leave everything “as is” and get in touch with a garage door technician at once.
- When It Is a Broken or Stripped Door Opener Gear and Sprocket
Though most garage door opener parts are meant to be durable, some are made of low quality plastic (such as gear inside of the motor). Rigid plastics can easily wear or break if a drive chain uses too much pressure.
However, it is not the cheapness alone that can cause a malfunction. Broken springs can upset the balance of a garage door, even though it should weight only eight to ten pounds or 3.5 to 4.5 kilos.
Some openers are not designed to actually handle heavier doors, and should a system consistently make grinding sounds or struggle to open and close the door, it is best to be sure that the springs are intact as this helps to avoid wear and tear on the gears or sprockets.
If you are concerned that this is the issue, use the emergency cord to disengage your door and open or close it manually.
Some Final Thoughts
Very little of your garage door upkeep and repair is DIY. This is why you should have contact details for a garage door professional on hand at all times. When you know it is NOT a DIY issue, just contact us, anytime, at (613) 546 – 4566.
If the problems are severe enough, and you wish to replace door or opener, we are glad to pay a visit and help you determine the ideal doors for your needs. We’ll send you an email quotation, or you can pay a visit to our online design center to try out some styles or take inspiration from our image gallery.