It is useful to know how to do repairs to your garage door. If you think of these doors as flexible walls with up to 300 moving parts, it is understandable that they are liable to problems that affect the safety and security of your property. A garage door that does not open properly is an inconvenience. However, a door that does not close completely is a security risk for your family and property.
Lubricate the Mechanical Parts
Lubrication is a preventative step, but if not done regularly, it becomes the first step in fixing a stubborn garage door. It is best if the parts are lubricated every six months to a year. If you do not do regular maintenance, be prepared to follow the same steps just to try to move the door along its tracks when it is stuck.
You should purchase a special heavy duty, garage door lubricant at your local hardware store. This is an industrial strength, greaseless product that is silicone based, not petroleum based. If you want to be more environmentally friendly, you can look for a biodegradable lubricant made from natural vegetable oils and non-toxic additives.
First, lubricate each of the wheels and then move to the track, spraying lubricant carefully along every inch of it. Next, work on the chain. In order to have access to every piece of it, use the garage door opener to move it up a piece, lubricate, then move it up another section. If you do not have an automatic opener, find someone to do the work manually being careful to support the door at all times. Make sure that every piece is wiped dry with a soft cloth so it does not attract and collect dirt.
This lubricant is also effective in loosening any bearing, locks, rusted and frozen bolts and nuts. Use the straw that is usually attached to the nozzle to poke into every crevice you can see. You might have to do it once, wipe it clean, and try again, especially if there is an accumulation of dirt and rust. Lubricating everywhere goes a long way to preventing or fixing rusting, sticking and squeaking of any of the parts.
Replace Torsion Springs
Springs are used on garage door systems in order to counterbalance the weight of the door and make it easy to open and close it. Torsion springs are usually secured to a shaft above the garage door that has a drum at each end with a cable running down to the bottom of the door. The torsion springs winds and unwinds as the cable moves the door up and down, keeping it all in balance.
You can purchase replacement torsion springs with instructions and there are many how-to videos online. However, the springs are under great tension and many serious injuries and deaths have occurred because that force was released accidentally. Even companies that sell the replacement parts are very clear of the risks involved and do not recommend this as a DIY project for an inexperienced handyman.
Whether you are going ahead and buying new springs or are consulting with a professional service person, there is information you need. After unplugging the garage door opener, measure the width and the height of the door. Note the construction material and the configuration of the door. For example, the door is wood with eight panels and a row of glass.
Then, take three measurements, starting with the length of the broken spring, not including any of the pieces attached to it, just the spring. Next, measure the inside diameter of the spring. The last measurement is the taken across the top of ten coils in the spring. You need to be very accurate with these measurements whether you are using them to buy parts for yourself or to tell a service company.
Align the Locking Bars
You want to make sure that your garage door locks properly when it is closed. The horizontal locking bars usually move out from the center of the door into slots in the door tracks, preventing the door from opening. With normal wear and tear, these bars often shift just enough that they do not line up with the slots. Fix them by loosening the brackets that guide the bars into the slots. Reposition them so everything is lined up again, screw tightly, and lubricate.
These are all common problems with garage doors. You should be able to at least identify what the problems are, fix most of them, and perhaps call in a Garage Door Repair Cincinnati Ohio professional for replacing torsion springs. If you do regular maintenance and make repairs at the first sign of trouble, your garage door should remain operational for years.