Common Garage Door Problems & Simple Tips to Prevent Them

mikegarage door repair, garage doors

Doors aren’t supposed to be complicated. They open; they close — what else is there to say? Well, when the door in question covers the motor vehicle bay in your garage there’s actually a lot more to consider. Garage doors rely on significantly more intricate mechanical systems than the doors to your bedroom or closet, and when those systems develop problems the solutions usually require you to go beyond replacing a hinge or two. Fortunately, a few tools and a little knowledge can prevent most of those problems from occurring entirely.

We’re here to help. Check out the following list of common garage door problems and simple ways to prevent them so that you can keep the use of your garage as easy as open-and-shut.

Avoid These Easily Preventable Garage Door Problems

Here are some of the most common complaints about garage doors that we’ve encountered during our time in the industry. Don’t be worried though; once you’ve finished reading this quick guide, you’ll be able to keep most of these issues at bay — pun intended.

  • Faulty Manual Garage Door Openers

If you open your garage door with a chain or drive-screw, you need to grease it up on a regular basis. Too much friction between the moving parts in these mechanisms will cause them to stick and grind, eventually making the door opener impossible to use. Remember: whenever things are rubbing together, lube is your best friend (seriously, guys). For best results, we recommend using a liberal amount of garage door spray or your favourite silicone-based lubricant.

  • Unresponsive Remote Openers

Remote openers are supposed to make it even easier to access your garage, so we appreciate how frustrating it is when they don’t work as intended. We’ve all been there — you press the button, but nothing happens! What gives? Normally, it’s one of two things: either the batteries are dead, or the remote needs to be reprogrammed. Avoid this all-too-common annoyance by keeping fresh batteries on hand and checking your remote regularly to make sure its settings haven’t been altered.

  • Doors Start to Open, Then Close

The first time this happens to you, it might be confusing. Why is your door suddenly doing the opposite of what it just did? Usually, a door that opens a little and then abruptly shuts does so because of worn-out springs near the top of the apparatus. Replacing your springs at least once every three years will generally prevent this from happening.

  • Doors Close, Then Open Unexpectedly

Just as confusing as a door that closes without warning is a door that opens when you want it to stay sealed. In many cases, this happens when the photo-eyes designed to keep your door from closing on people or objects become misaligned. Finding your photo-eyes and keeping debris away from them is one of the easiest ways to make sure this doesn’t take place, but you’ll also want to occasionally measure the distance between your photo eyes and the floor or walls around them to make sure that it’s always even on both sides.

  • Rust

Rust can do more than just make your garage door unsightly. It can also prevent your door from effectively keeping dirt and other elements out of your garage’s interior. It’s irritating that rust is usually caused by exposure to air and water, which are likely to come in contact with your garage door pretty frequently. Fortunately, preventing rust isn’t that difficult — cleaning your door regularly will help, and adding a coat of wax will add even more protection. You can also arrange for preventative maintenance on the door each year (ideally in the spring or fall, when you won’t have to worry about the moisture caused by snow or summer rainstorms).

  • Cracks, Gaps, and Broken Sealant

A lot of garage doors are still made from wood — which is unfortunate, since wood is prone to cracking over time. Applying waterproof sealant when the cracks are small is the best way to keep them from becoming large enough to let in water, dirt, and street noise. Sealant can break eventually too though, so make sure to remove and replace it if it’s no longer functioning. Most home hardware stores have appropriate weather sealants available for purchase.

See a Problem in the Works? Close It Down Early

As with most mechanical malfunctions, garage door problems should be fixed as soon as possible. The longer you leave them, the worse they’re likely to become. Replacing faulty springs or cracking material sooner rather than later can prevent major accidents and severe damage, which will generally cost much more to fix.

An even better approach is to keep your door in excellent condition throughout the year so that these issues are less likely to present in the first place. All of the problems mentioned above can be kept in check or prevented completely by investing in a few tools and following one or two simple steps. Keep the contact info for a trusted contractor handy, but take responsibility for maintaining your own garage door with the information we’ve provided — you’ll find that the little bit of extra time and attention required will pay off with a smoother and more seamless experience for as long as you own your garage.

By Garage Door Repair Pros Calgary