What To Do If You Have A Broken Garage Door

Your garage door wont open, or won’t close—now what? Since garage doors are heavy pieces of equipment with lots of moving parts, we recommend calling in an expert instead of attempting a DIY fix. That way, you can ensure the repair is done correctly and safely and can extend the life of your garage door. Here are six common garage door problems along with the garage door repairs that the experts at Thompson can perform to fix the issue.

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typical garage door issues how to fix

1. Repairing a broken spring

Fortunately, a whole new garage door typically isn’t necessary when you realize that a spring has broken. It’s one of the most common issues that can arise regarding your door, and a technician will usually be able to fix it without doing a complete replacement.

Garage door springs help to lift the heavy door, which means they’re constantly under tremendous tension. The springs apply a twisting force to the torsion tube while the drums at the ends of the tube act as reels, winding up the cables connected to the door. That’s why spring replacement is a task you should leave to the experts, since it can be dangerous to you and damaging to your door if attempted without the proper tools and training.

Garage door springs come in all different sizes and lengths, so the first step a trained technician will take after assessing which springs need to be replaced is to measure and make sure that the new springs will match the existing lengths and diameters. Next, your garage door repair expert will remove the broken springs and replace them with the new ones. Depending on the kind of springs installed (standard torsion springs vs. double life torsion springs), you can get between 7,000-25,000 open/close cycles out of them. In other words, spring repair shouldn’t be necessary very often.

2. Repairing a broken cable

The cable is another crucial part of the mechanism of opening and closing a garage door. The cables attach to the bottom of the door as well as to the drums. The torsion spring will turn the drums, causing the cables to unwrap from them as the door closes or wrap around them as it opens. In other words, they’re a key component in the process of raising and lowering a commercial garage door or a home garage door. When a cable breaks, the door won’t lift evenly. Continuing to operate it in this state can also put stress on other parts of the system (the tracks, the rollers, and the other cable), which is why it’s important to get it replaced right away.

If you realize your cable is broken, call a service technician. To complete the repair, they’ll start by opening the door and using vice grips or another object to prevent the door from falling closed during the replacement process. They’ll remove the old cable and install the new one, which includes affixing it into place at both ends.

3. Repairing bent or broken tracks

To prolong the life of your garage door and avoid costly repairs, it pays to keep an eye on the functioning of your door. If you notice that it’s shaky or uneven when it opens or closes or that your rails have dents, chips, or other issues, you may want to call your local garage door repair company. They can determine whether the tracks of your door may be bent, broken, or otherwise need repair to avoid bigger problems with your garage door openers down the road. Since the track is what the door itself moves along as it opens and closes, it’s another important piece of equipment in an existing or new garage door.

When you contact someone from one of your local garage door repair services, they’ll spend some time inspecting the track. If they notice a portion that needs repair, they may be able to simply loosen the bolts and move it back into place. They may also add lubrication to the tracks and wheels to keep this part of your home or commercial garage door functioning smoothly.

broken garage door track

4. Repairing damaged sections

There are all kinds of ways that a section of your garage door can get damaged. If a car backed into it, there was hail or extreme winds in your area, or it became rusted (for steel garage doors), for example, parts of your door could end up dented. As a result, you could require service or even emergency service to replace the panels so your door will open and close properly again.

As with many other garage door problems, solving this one is dangerous for homeowners without proper training to attempt since garage doors are so heavy and under so much tension. A trained service technician can perform panel replacement relatively quickly and easily. They’ll start by raising the door, undoing the springs, then lowering it most of the way. From there, they’ll loosen the bolts that hold the panel in place, affix the new panel, and secure the bolts. However, note that it may not be possible to get a matching panel or one that fits correctly for older doors; it depends on the type of garage door you have and its age. In this case, new garage door installation may be necessary.

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broken garage door common fixes

5. Troubleshooting electronic and opener failure

If your garage door opener isn’t working, there are several different things that may be going on. Whether it’s your opener, keypad, or remote that isn’t functioning properly, you can make a service call to get a technician to troubleshoot it. It’s possible that the cause is as simple as dead batteries or an unplugged motor. Or, a fuse could have tripped or burned out, the motor may need replacement, or the keypad could need reprogramming. It’s rare that new opener installation or a new door will be required in this case, but since there are many possible underlying causes of a problem like this, contacting a service technician who can do garage door opener repair is usually best.

homeowner repairing garage door opener spring cable

6. Dealing with dried-up grease

Dried-up grease is the root of some garage door problems. It can build up over time with regular use, eventually causing improper garage door functioning. Places that provide garage door repair services can help if you’re facing this issue. It depends on the type of garage door you have and its condition, but a technician might decide to clean the dried-up grease out of the tracks. Then, they can apply lubricant to ensure that the wheels and tracks will run smoothly again. They can also perform a tune-up to make sure all other elements of your door are in tip-top shape.

thompson garage doors heavy duty garage door lubricant with no silicone no rust

Contact your local garage-door experts

If something’s not right with your garage door, the best course of action is to contact your local experts. At Thompson, we’ve been taking care of garage door needs for homeowners in northern Nevada and northern California since 1957. We provide on-time, excellent service you can trust—including emergency service and same-day service—and fair pricing. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, so give us a call today. We want to make sure your garage door is working well so you have one less thing to worry about. Contact us at 775-356-6601 for questions about your door, installation services, or to get a technician to come fix your door.

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