Garage Door Problems: Learn to Recognize ThemGarage Door Problems: Learn to Recognize Them

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Garage Door Problems: Learn to Recognize Them

If your garage door squeaks, you might think it's nothing to worry about. However, a squeaky garage door can be dangerous, especially if it falls. A year ago, my garage door began to squeak whenever I opened and closed it. I ignored the problem and continued to use the door. One day, the door collapsed on my car as I backed out of my garage. Although my car sustained a lot of damage, I was very thankful to be alive. I contacted a garage door specialist the same day. The contractor informed me that my door's springs had given out. After the repairs, the contractor offered sound advice on how to recognize problems in my garage door and what to do about them. I started this blog to help other homeowners stay safe as well. Please, don't ignore your garage's problem, even if it's small.


What's Causing Your Garage Door To Slip And Move Erratically

When your garage door starts to move erratically, it can be a sign of component failure that may make your door difficult and dangerous to operate. If your door slips too far, it can cause damage and injury. Here's what could be causing the problem.

Spring Failure

Your springs are the primary components responsible for moving the full weight of your door. Garage door openers would struggle to move the weight of doors without assistance, and springs have enough tension and power to make moving them easier. If these springs are starting to fail, this could end up putting more weight on your opener, which may not be equipped to handle it. While an opener can often still move a door at its full weight, it will be much harder to do so, and this can cause your door to occasionally move suddenly and erratically.

This makes your door much more hazardous to operate, as a falling garage door can seriously injure you. Since even broken springs can hold a lot of tension and be dangerous to move, avoid using your garage door and opener as much as possible before it can be worked on by a professional.

Gear and Sprocket Failure

If your opener uses a chain drive system, the problem could be coming from the gear and sprocket assembly inside the opener, especially if the gear is made of plastic rather than metal. This assembly opens and closes the door by moving the chain back and forth. What often happens, especially on older openers, is that the teeth on the gear start to wear down, which means it can start to lose its grip on the chain. If this happens while the door is moving, the door can slip.

If you suspect this may be the issue, you can switch to using the door manually to reduce the possibility of injury. Disconnect your door from the chain and use it manually until the opener has been repaired.

Loose, Damaged, or Broken Cables

Along with your belt or chain drive, cables help leverage the weight of your door and help them move smoothly. Lift cables work with your springs to help move the door, and retaining cables add a layer of security by trying to prevent your door from suddenly falling if another component fails.

These cables can fray, weaken, and snap, especially if they are old. Because these cables are so important to the movement of your door even outside of your garage door opener, they should be replaced by a professional as soon as possible. Without the assistance of these cables your door will be more difficult to move, so avoid doing so until repairs are complete if you can.

For more information on garage doors, contact a company near you.