Garage Door Repair

There are basically only two areas that necessitate garage door repair, the door itself, and the opener. While a broken garage door spring or a broken garage door opener are most often the common repairs needed, sometimes small things can be done to repair an overhead door that is not broken, but whose function is somewhat impaired or irregular, and if left alone could become an expensive repair.

This article will focus on the overhead door itself, and not the opener. Doors generally come in two types, a roll up, which contains several sections that together make up the door, or a swing up, which is a solid piece unit. There are metal tracks inside the garage that run high along the wall near the ceiling on a roll up door, and then down the wall, at the side of the door.

Check the garage door tracks and mounting brackets with the door in the closed position. If the brackets are loose, tighten the bolts or screws. While you’re at it, check the hinges to make sure they’re tight, and replace them if damaged. Look at the tracks for any dents, flat spots or crimps. If the damage is minimal, you may be able to pound out the damaged areas with a hammer and a block of wood, or a rubber mallet if you have one. If a track is too badly damaged, it should be replaced.

Next, check to see that the tracks are properly aligned. Improperly aligned tracks will cause problems over time. The vertical section of track that runs along the door should be plumb, and the horizontal section that runs along the ceiling should slant slightly away from the door, toward the back wall of the garage. Both tracks should be the same distance from the ceiling and the wall for the door to roll smoothly. If you find the tracks are not aligned, loosen the screws on the mounting brackets, but do not remove them, and gently tap the track into the desired position. Use a level for accuracy, and once you have them in the proper position, tighten the screws again. Caution: Roll up doors have a torsion spring which can be very dangerous, do not try to adjust the spring on your own, they can be dangerous even for professionals.

On a swing up door, check to see if there is any loose hardware and tighten as needed. Be sure the plate with the spring mounting is tightly secured. Some of these doors also have a track that runs parallel to the ceiling and can be examined similar to the roll up door track. For any attachment point on wood, if a screw hole has become larger, replace the screw or bolt with a larger size, and it’s a good idea to use carpenters glue on a hollow fiber plug with the new screw. If there is a split in the wood where a hinge attaches, you will want to remove the hinge and address the wood, filling the holes and crack with a wood filler, and it’s even better to see if you can find new place to mount the hinge on solid wood.

Lastly, while you’re looking at the tracks, it’s a good idea to clean them to remove dirt and grease. Using a degreaser is best, especially if you can see or know that it hasn’t been cleaned in years. Grease hardens over time and can be difficult to clean, so using a solution targeted at grease can help remove the hardened grease. This is not a repair, but could help prevent one in the future.

For all your garage door servicing needs, you are always welcome to call The Doorologist at 916-628-6526.

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