Common Garage Door Malfunctions and How to Spot Them

The secret to avoiding malfunctions on the largest moving part in your home (garage door) is undertaking preventative maintenance. Your garage door is bound to malfunction every once in a while, but taking preventative care and knowing what to do to avoid these malfunctions can save you big on repair costs.

Here are important tips to guide you:

  • Always observe your door’s operation

This is arguably the most important step you can take in preventing your door from malfunctioning. Every time you use your door, look and listen to its operating mechanism to check for abnormalities. If the door is not moving as smoothly as usual, or if it is starting to make some weird sounds like grinding or squealing noises, some serious problem may be on the way. If you also spot loose bolts and nuts or notice that both sides of the system don’t look symmetrical, your garage door may soon malfunction.

Small issues such as loose bolts and nuts are easy to handle by yourself. For other anomalies, it’s best to call a professional for a detailed inspection to prevent future malfunctions.

  • Test your garage door’s balance

If your garage door is out of balance, the garage door opener will be forced to work harder than it is supposed to, causing it to malfunction within a short time. To avoid this, make sure you test your garage door’s balance once in a while. You can do this by disconnecting the opener with the release handle and moving the door halfway up. If the door doesn’t stay put when you release it at this position, the springs are improperly balanced and need professional repair to balance them as soon as possible.

Remember, spring adjustments and repair should always be left to professionals.

  • Lubricate your door’s moving parts

One of the best ways to avoid common garage door malfunctions is by ensuring all moving parts are moving seamlessly. Lubrication reduces friction in the rollers, hinges, bearings and pulleys, keeping the system operating smoothly without noises or drag. You should also check your tracks during lubrication to ensure that they are not bent, loose or full of debris. The rollers should equally be free of cracks, chippings and wear and tear.

  • Test your auto-reverse safety mechanism

Most doors have either a mechanical or photo-eye safety mechanism. If your door has a mechanical system, simply place an object such as a brick on the ground exactly in the door’s path. Close your door and note whether it automatically reverses direction after touching the brick. If it doesn’t, the safety mechanism is signaling a malfunction and a professional should inspect it as soon as possible.

If your door features the photo-eye safety mechanism, simply activate it to close. Then pass an object under the door in line of sight of the photo eye. If the safety mechanism is working well, the door should automatically change direction and open instead of dropping on the object. If the test fails, you can try to clean the photo eyes or align them such that they face each other directly and at the same angle. If this also fails, contact a professional for repairs.

These are some of the best tips on how to avoid common garage door malfunctions. Preventative maintenance not only helps you save big on costly repairs, but also prolongs the life of your garage door. It’s advisable to have your door inspected once in a while by a professional to avoid small and catastrophic malfunctions alike.