In 2018, $6 billion worth of damages from motor thefts were reported. This is why more than 80% of American homes have a garage or carport. These keep your car safe when it’s not on the road.
However, your garage is only an effective form of security if it works properly. A poorly maintained garage with garage door problems can become a target for a thief to access your vehicle or even your home. Approximately three home burglaries take place every minute in the US and weak external doors play a huge role in these.
Because of this, you should always look out for garage door issues and knowing what to look out for is vital. So how can you spot when your garage door is not working properly?
Beyond the door refusing to work completely, there are several things that indicate you may need garage door repair. Read on to find out more about these and about what to do if you spot them!
Common Garage Door Problems
When it comes to garage door troubleshooting, a number of things can go wrong with your door. A problem may be the result of a fault in the mechanism of the door or in the technology it uses.
For example, something blocking the running tracks of your garage door will stop it from opening or closing properly. Trapped debris in the mechanism can also lead to roller door problems.
With automated or electronic doors, these problems can also be caused by something getting in the way of the door’s photo-eye. In an automatic door, the photo-eye is responsible for identifying when the door is in the correct position and stopping it in place.
However, if something blocks the photo-eye, the door will not stay in one position for long. It may open randomly or refuse to stay shut.
Other common garage door problems, such as broken seals or rust, can be caused by natural wear and tear. This is why it is a good idea to maintain your door regularly to avoid problems from developing.
To help you spot when a problem is beginning, let’s take a look at some of the common signs of garage door malfunctions.
The Door Won’t Open or Close
This is the most obvious sign that something is wrong with your garage door.
You may find that your door refuses to open or shut completely. However, in some cases, the door will open partway and then close again for no apparent reason.
This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you are about to leave your home and need your vehicle. However, you must not try to force the door open or shut yourself. Doing this could mean you do even more damage to the door itself.
There are multiple reasons why your door may not be closing.
It could be that something is stuck in the tracks or that they are not lubricated properly. If your garage door is automatic, you should also check to see if anything is in the way of the door’s photo-eye. If this isn’t clear then your door may refuse to open or stay fully shut.
It Moves More Slowly Than Normal
Your door may open and shut properly but if this starts to slow down, it could be a sign that you have a problem.
Rust or poorly lubricated tracks could mean it takes longer for your door to open and shut. In that case, you should make sure they are clean and well-oiled before trying to open or close your door again.
However, you may also notice that there is a delay in how long it takes for your garage door to respond to electronic requests. In this case, you may have a problem with your remote control.
Make sure that it is fully-charged and consult the instruction manual if the problems continue. If you have had the garage door for some time, it may be that your remote control unit needs replacing.
It Makes a Lot of Noise
When your garage door is not properly lubricated it will start to make more noise than normal.
This is because the hardware of your door will be rubbing together in a way that it should not. This can result in a range of different sounds, including grinding or squeaking.
Fortunately, there is an upside to all this racket because it can help you to identify the problem. Try opening your garage door a little and listen out for where the noise is coming from. When you have found the noise, generously apply a silicone-based lubricant to the area.
Try opening and closing the door a few times to allow the lubricant to get into all of the hardware. After a few runs, you should get a lot less noise coming from your garage door.
The Door is Off its Tracks
If your garage door comes off its tracks you should notice this almost immediately. This will affect how your garage door moves completely. It may refuse to shut or get stuck in one position.
In this case, you will need professional help to fix the problem without causing much damage. Trying to fix the problem yourself could make it worse or may mean that the door is unsafe to use.
An Increase in Your Energy Bills
Automatic and electronic garage doors all use electricity, which means they add to your energy bills.
When your garage door is working normally this amount should remain relatively the same from month to month. A spike in your energy bills could indicate that something is going wrong with your door. This is because a malfunctioning door uses more energy than normal.
For example, if you have a problem with your garage door tracks it will take more effort for the mechanism to open and shut the door. Because of this, your door will use a lot more energy than usual.
If possible, try to get a break down of your energy bills from your supplier. This can help you to identify where the spike is coming from so that you know what to repair. If it is coming from your garage door, keep an eye out from some of the other signs to help you identify what the problem is.
Water in Your Garage
Your garage door is not just there to keep your car safe from thieves. It can also protect them from external elements, such as heavy rain.
Your garage door should keep water and mud out in order to keep everything inside safe. So if you start to notice that you have water inside your garage then it could indicate that something is going wrong with the door.
Check for damp patches around the wall of your garage to make sure the water is not coming in from there. Then have a look at the sealant around the bottom and sides of your garage door. This is in place to stopper the tiny gaps around your door and stop things from getting in.
Over time, your garage sealant can dry out and become cracked or damaged. When this happens it will no longer keep moisture out properly.
Fortunately, replacing the sealant around your garage door is quite easy and should not cost you the earth. The earlier you take care of this problem, the easier it will be. This will minimize the internal damage to your garage door.
Wear and Tear
A broken sealant is not the only kind of wear and tear your garage door will see that can cause problems. Keeping an eye out for any small problems could stop them from developing into bigger ones.
For example, if you have a wooden garage door then a small crack can quickly become a bigger one. If you do not seal this up quickly then damp can get into the door and weaken it. If things escalate like this then you will end up having to replace the whole door rather than just fixing up a crack in it.
Wooden garage doors look lovely but they are more susceptible to natural wear and tear than plastic or metal ones. If you are getting a metal door fitted, opt for a metal that is resistant to rust, such as aluminum or galvanized steel.
If anyone does try to break into your garage then you should always check to see if they have done any damage to the structure of your door. Dents or bends may not seem like the biggest issue after a break-in. However, they can throw off the balance of your door completely.
How to Maintain Your Garage Door
Regular maintenance on and inspections of your garage door will help you to prevent the majority of common garage door problems. Doing this can save you a lot of money and hassle in the future. It will also mean that your property remains secure inside your garage.
Regular maintenance involves checking your garage door for natural wear and tear. You should also clean the runner track regularly to stop dirt from building up in them. When you do this, take a moment to oil the hardware of your door to ensure it keeps running smoothly.
You should test the balance of your garage door at least once a year. This will reveal if you have any sagging problems that could stop your door from working properly.
To do this, open your door to the midway point and let it hang there for a few minutes. The door should remain in the midway position without rising or falling.
If it does drop down or swing up this could indicate that there is a problem with the tension spring in your door. In that case, you will need to get an expert out to take a look at the problem.
What Should You Do Next?
If you are experiencing problems with your garage door, the first thing you should do is try to identify the cause of them.
You can take steps to resolve the problems yourself before you get an engineer out. These will help you to eliminate the obvious causes of garage door problems.
Give the hardware of your door a thorough clean and lubricate it using a silicone-based oil or specialist spray. If you have a remote control garage door, try replacing the batteries in the handset before you phone an engineer. The last thing you want is to have to pay someone to do something you could have done yourself!
If the problem continues and you are not sure what to do then it is probably time to find an expert to help you. Look for a local company with experience in garage door repairs to help you out. Ideally, try to find a company that offers a warranty on their work so you can get them out again if the problem continues.
Before you get in touch, make sure you have as much information about the problem. This will make it much quicker for a repair company to diagnose the problem and resolve it.
If you can see the issues, take photos of them to send over to the repair company.
It is also a good idea to dig out any paperwork that you have on the door. Knowing the make and model will help the repair company source any parts of your door quickly.
They will also want to know when the garage door was fitted. If your garage door is quite old then they may suggest replacing it completely.
Get Help With Your Garage Door Problems Today!
Maintaining your garage door properly will help you to avoid a lot of common garage door problems. However, if you do run into trouble make sure you get expert help so you don’t make the problem worse!
To fix your garage door, get in touch to speak to one of our team today. We’re here to help!