Automatic garage door systems are designed to make life easier. They save you the trouble of climbing out of your car to manually unlock and lift heavy doors. Instead, a single click of a button engages a motor that pulls it up for you.
But as with any mechanical system, problems can – and do – arise. Knowing what to do when malfunctions occur will ensure that the problem is fixed promptly so you can continue to enjoy the convenience provided by it.Find Out More Garage Door Pros
Below, we’ll cover the 5 most common problems reported by homeowners. We’ll also explain how to know when it’s time to call a trained expert for garage door repair.
1 – Broken Springs
Your system includes high-tension torsion springs that help the motor contained inside the operator lift the doors upward. Although the springs are strong and durable, they don’t last forever. Repeated use over several years can weaken them to the point that they break. You can expect them to last 5 to 20 years depending on their quality.
If a torsion spring breaks, it is strongly advised that you refrain from manually opening your doors. Doing so can be dangerous. The exception to this rule is if there’s a release lever that completely disconnects the spring from the door.
2 – Damaged Panels
The individual panels of your doors – there are likely more than a dozen of them – will suffer extensive wear and tear over time. Left untended, they can start to warp and develop cracks. Installing replacements is the best solution.
It’s important to realize that the panels provide support for your door’s frame. If one or more become severely compromised, they can adversely affect the alignment. That, in turn, will place the entire system at risk.
3 – Malfunctioning Opener
Problems affecting remote openers are extremely common and sometimes easy to fix. If clicking your opener fails to engage the operator’s motor, try clicking the wall-mounted unit. If the wall-mounted unit works, try changing the batteries in the remote. If installing new batteries fails to resolve the problem, make sure the buttons on the remote haven’t been damaged or become stuck.
It’s also possible that the remote is transmitting a slightly different frequency than it should to your system’s receiver. If you’re uncertain how to check the frequency, it’s worth calling a professional garage door repair service in your area.
4 – Displaced Or Broken Cables
If you look closely at the components that make up your system, you’ll notice a series of pulleys and cables. The doors could not be opened mechanically without those pieces. Although the cables appear strong, they can break. More commonly, they slip off the pulleys due to tension, twisting, or other problems stemming from improper installation. Whether they break or slip, both situations will result in an inert door.
If a cable has slipped from its pulley, you might be tempted to reposition it yourself. It’s a simple operation. The problem is, it’s also dangerous. You’d be better-served calling a technician with experience in automatic garage door repair.
5 – Bent Or Twisted Tracks
You’ll see multiple tracks extending from the left and right sides of your doors. When the operator’s motor is engaged, the cables lift the door on those tracks. As long as the tracks are aligned properly, there should be no problems
Sometimes, however, the tracks fall out of alignment, become twisted, or sustain damage. If any of those situations occur, the entire system will be put at risk. The door can potentially fall off the compromised track.
Fortunately, there is some redundancy built into the design of a quality system. Even if one side of the door slips off a bent or twisted track, it remains connected to multiple other tracks. But that doesn’t mean the problem can be ignored nor its resolution postponed.