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Garage Door Maintenance And Common Problems: DIY Vs. When To Call A Pro

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Unlike a torsion spring, you do not have to bear the entire load.

If you’re reading this right now, it’s probably because your garage door is starting to act up. Whether it’s making loud squealing noises each time you open and close the garage as you go to work, or perhaps it doesn’t even respond every time you press the remote.

The question is what can you DIY and when should you call a pro?

The garage door is a complex mechanism that contains a lot of smaller moving parts, such as springs, cables, rollers and drums. In addition, you’ve got the garage door opener as a separate electrical component.

With frequent daily use, your garage door will need some general maintenance and care to keep them operating smoothly. This is typically when you start to hear squealing noises, it’s an indication that you may need to apply lubrication. Ignoring the fact will eventually cause your garage door to break down.

If this happens, you’ll need to figure out if repairing a garage door is something you can handle on your own, or if you need to call in a pro.

Let’s take a look at common garage door repairs/maintenance you can do on your own.


Common DIY Garage door maintenance

  • Inspect the door. Before you start tinkering away, inspect the door for any dents, cracks or scratches. This includes checking the weather seals and making sure you can’t see any light coming through.
  • Inspect hardware. Make sure the mechanical components used to open and close the door are in good working condition. This includes inspecting the hinges, springs, lift arm and other parts for any signs or corrosion or damage.
  • Inspect the tracks. Check the tracks and make sure nothing is caught in the tracks or blocking the sensors. Dust, leaves and other debris can prevent the door from opening or closing the whole way.
  • Replace remote batteries. One of the first things you can do if your garage door does not respond when you press the remote is to replace the batteries.
  • Check the sensors. Garage doors operate using a number of infrared sensors. Ensure that all beam lenses are clean, aligned and nothing is obstructing its path.
  • Apply lubrication. Damaged or corroded rollers may cause friction resulting in your garage door opener to stop early. Inspect rollers for any damage or rust and apply lubrication if necessary.
  • Replace weather seals. You can tell if the weather seals need replacing if you notice sunlight coming from under the door, or started to notice rodents, insects or pests creeping in.
  • Tighten up hardware. The garage door is subjected to significant vibrations with frequent daily use, loosening bolts and brackets and resulting in the garage door shaking and rattling. Tighten up and loose bolts and brackets.


When to call in a professional for garage door repairs

  • Broken springs, cables, rollers and drums. You’ll know for sure if a spring, cable or roller is broken as it makes a huge banging sound. Of course, your door will also no longer operate. These components of your garage door should always be replaced by a professional to ensure they are safely removed and new ones are correctly installed.
  • Damaged door panels/inserts. This definitely is not an easy DIY repair and should ALWAYS be left to the professionals. It requires at least 2 people who know how to safely remove and replace panels.
  • Worn out/damaged hardware. Anything from worn out pivot points and snapped hinges should all be taken care of by a qualified technician.
  • Dents or damaged beyond repair. In some cases, you may be able to remove a dent yourself, but if a panel is damaged beyond repair, it may be time to replace it or upgrade to a new sectional garage door.


Bottom line: You can always rely on the professionals

As with any complex device or hardware, it is essential to know when things are simply out of your hands. Attempting to repair your garage door without the correct safety training and knowledge can put your family and yourself at risk. Not to mention, you may cause irreversible damage to your home that could’ve been easily repaired by a licensed professional. What was once an easy and cost-effective solution has now resulted in thousands of dollars, possibly a new door.


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