How To Fix A Garage Door

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Fixing a garage door is a process that can take a little time and less effort when you know what the problem is and how to fix it. Most of the times when your garage door is not working correctly, the torsion springs are most likely at fault.

Most of the times when your garage door is not working correctly, the torsion springs are most likely at fault.
Most of the times when your garage door is not working correctly, the torsion springs are most likely at fault.

However, if you are not sure on how to fix your garage door, consider hiring a professional because one mess can cause the entire door to fall apart hence costing you more money for repair.

How do I adjust the tension on my garage door?

The right amount of tension is required to operate a garage door whether by hand or an automatic opener. Too much tension blocks the entrance from moving flexibly whereas if it is too loose, it can be unsafe as it may fall. Hinge doors and sectional doors both require different procedures to adjust.

It is advisable to hire a professional to adjust the tension on your garage door, especially if it has torsion springs crossing the inside of the opening. The tools you will need are; a Stepladder, Work gloves, Open-end wrench, Handsaw, and a Two-by-four

For Extension Springs

  • Close the garage door
  • Test whether the tension is correct or not
  • Fully open the door
  • Slacken the lock nut on the threaded adjuster stem of the pulley’s and spring assembly’s exterior end
  • Loosen or tighten the adjuster three turns anticlockwise or clockwise respectively depending on whether the tension was too loose or too much. Ensure to do the same for the pulley and spring adjuster on the opposite track.
  • Hold the outer edge of the door open with one hand and remove the two-by-four brace. Lower the door halfway and test the tension. Repeat these steps, as necessary, until the door remains open halfway.
  • Lower the door, re-engage the connection cord and plug in the power cord to the automatic opener.
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For Hinge Springs

  • Disengage the door from the automatic opener, then go to the outside of the garage.
  • Lift the door by the handle on the outside to test whether the tension is too loose or tight.
  • Fully open the door to relieve tension on the hinge spring on both sides of the door opening, then mount a vertical two-by-four brace at the external end of the door to prevent the door from closing when springs are adjusted. (seek for assistance)
  • Start with the hinge and spring on one side, gripping the spring with both hands and pulling it down to allow your assistant to disconnect the anchor chain from the hook at the lower end of the spring.
  • Pull down or reattach on the spring and hook accordingly to increase or release tension. Do this for both sides of the door.
  • Keeping the door open, remove the brace and reattach it at the opener track using the disconnect cord.

What does it cost to replace a garage door?

Garage door replacements comprise of more than just the door itself; it also includes the metal parts in which the rollers move up and down among others.

The style, size, and quality of your garage door determine the cost of its replacement. Below is how much you can spend for replacing your garage door.

  • Low cost – $100
  • Average cost – $200
  • High cost – $300

How much does it cost to replace a garage door torsion spring?

Sometimes, repairing garage door springs is impossible, and the only alternative is to replace them. The cost of replacing a garage door varies depending on the type and number of springs to replace, hiring a professional, or doing the replacement by yourself.

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The average cost if you do the work yourself ranges $50 to $250 whereas if you hire a professional, it will cost you a range of $100 to $500. These prices are inclusive of installation and purchase of the required springs.

Is garage door repair covered by homeowners insurance?

It is easy to assume that, your garage door repair is covered automatically by homeowners’ insurance policy. You should understand that your homeowners’ insurance policy could only cover the perils listed in the policy contract.

Below are normal circumstances your homeowners’ insurance policy may or may not cover.

  • Garage Door Damage from Vehicles – most homeowners’ insurance cover Garage door repairs of damages caused by you or your family member driving into the door and damaging it. However, if a non-family member is responsible, his/her insurance will cover the repairs.
  • Damage from Natural Disasters – you should read your policy to confirm which natural disasters are covered because there are some which the homeowners’ insurance does not cover. Most times, they cover part of the repairs.
  • Vandalism or Break-In – your homeowners’ insurance policy should cover mischievous damages caused by graffiti drawn by strangers, and windows broken by unknown people. If the garage door is damaged, the repair expenses will be catered for.
  • Damage from Wear and Tear – homeowners insurance do not cover damages caused by wear and tear; the best thing to do to avoid such damages is to have your garage door occasionally checked by technicians for purposes of maintenance.

What causes a garage door to not close?

Sometimes the garage door opens and refuses to close. In other cases, it closes but not entirely and leaves a space at the bottom or winds back open. When any of these happens to your garage door, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to fix the problem.

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Knowing what is wrong with your garage door may help know if it is something, you can handle by yourself easily or hire professionals. Below are possible reasons why your garage door will not close fully or leave a gap at the bottom;

  1. Something is blocking the door path
  2. The photo-eye is not in line
  3. Improper alignment of the track
  4. Improper settings of the garage door limit settings
  5. The disconnect switch was enabled
  6. A crack on the garage floor
  7. The improper arrangement of garage door sensors
  8. Damaged garage door seal
  9. Malfunction of the garage door opener or the door has shifted

What does it mean when garage door light flashes?

A constantly blinking garage door is not only irritating but also a signal that something is wrong with its mechanism. The garage door opener is automated with self -analytical capabilities, which, makes it possible to count the number of flashes and help in identifying your prospective problem.

The most common reasons for a blinking garage door are hitches with lock buttons or faulty safety reversing sensors. Some other reasons include;

  • A single flash – shows your safety sensor wire could be open, damaged, or disconnected. The safety eyes do not, however, glow steadily for a single flash or two flash scenario.
  • Two flashes – means your sensor wire is shorted or the black and white wires are reversed.
  • Three flashes – may show because of the door control or wire being shorted.
  • Four flashes – may be caused by misalignment of your sensor eyes. When an object miss-aligns your sensor eyes and breaks the electronic beam, it also prevents the door from closing appropriately.
  • Five flashes – show that your motor may probably be overheated or there might be revolutions per minute sensor failure.
  • Six flashes – represent a motor circuit failure, meaning the motor unit is completely dysfunctional. The remedy requires replacing the receiver logic board.
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Obstruction in the way of the lights is another reason your electronic beam can be broken. It may be a broom blocking the path, your foot, cobweb, or even dust. If these are the cause of your garage problem, remove the object obstructing to fix the problem.

Do garage door sensors go bad?

Garage door sensors go bad just like any other electronic device. Many things can happen to the garage door, for example;

  • Being hit by a trashcan
  • Water damage
  • Knocked down by someone
  • Spoilt wiring of the sensor eyes
  • Bent or lose sensor eye shifting out of place, so the eyes don not face each other

Garage door sensors are electronic components, meaning they do not wear out and any failure will come as a surprise because it does not show any drop in performance to show an emerging problem. Therefore it is either they are working or not.

How do I get my garage door back on track?

The most common problem with garage doors is the issue of jumping off track occasionally, which is not only infuriating but also poses a danger to the security of your home. Garage doors are used daily, and this is the more reason they require periodic maintenance.

It is possible to repair your garage door alone within the shortest time possible, as most times it does not comprise the door’s tension spring.

  1. Identify the cause of the problem. This is important because it is only after knowing what caused the problem that you can be able to fix it.
  2. Check the situation of the springs. The tension in the spring system determines the opening and closing of the garage door, confirming whether the springs can rust, break, and finally become loose helps with job repairs.
  3. Trace where the roller popped off the track. Most of the time, where the roller is nearest the track is possibly where it jumped out of the track
  4. Check everything twice to ensure all loose parts are tightened paying attention to hinges and screws. Also, focus on the spring tension.
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How do you open an electric garage door with no power?

Knowing how to open an electric garage door manually during a power outage is essential for all homeowners.

This helps avoid inconveniences and saves the costs of having to call professional garage technicians. Every automatic garage door is equipped with a bypass that turns off the automatic opener allowing you to open the door manually.

Below are steps to opening an electric garage door manually.

Opening from Inside:

  • Check the garage door hardware to confirm every spring is intact, and the garage door system is undamaged
  • Yank on the emergency cord to disengage the opener from the automatic system.
  • Lift the garage door opening it to the top until it stops moving.
  • Drive out and close the garage door.

Can electric garage doors be opened manually from the outside?

Opening from Outside:

In case you do not have a man door to your garage, ensure you have an emergency release kit installed to help you open your door manually from the outside. If you have the kit, opening the door from outside will be simple following the steps below:

  • Insert the proper key into the lock socket of the emergency release kit
  • Engage the release mechanism on the garage door’s opener carriage by turning the key and pulling the lock tumbler out of the lock
  • Lift the garage door open till it comes to a stop
  • Drive your vehicle in and put the garage door down
  • Push upwards on the lever to re-engage the release mechanism or pull up the release cord toward the door until you hear a click.
  • Ensure you have a different access point to your house before leaving the garage.
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How do you reattach an emergency pull on a garage door?

  1. Check the release handle to ensure it is still on the door track; adjust it accordingly if it is not.
  2. Pull back on the cord to activate the lever that will move up and down. Continue moving the cord until the lever re-attaches to the electric door opener. (If you cannot see it, you should be able to hear it click.)
  3. Push the opener button to test the door
  4. If the door fails to work, try relocating the liver pushing it to the opposite direction then recheck it. The problem should then be fixed.

How long do garage door springs last?

When talking about garage door spring, it is usually the torsion and extension springs. These are among the most critical components of your garage door because they are responsible for opening and closing of the door. Therefore, if the springs break, the garage door may stop functioning.

The garage door spring has an overall life expectancy of approximately ten years.

Moreover, the frequency at which you use the door also determines how fast it will wear out. The spring may malfunction after around 10,000 to 20,000 cycles, equating to 8 to 12 years or so.

You should thus, carry out garage door maintenance occasionally to prevent safety threats that may accrue.

What causes garage door spring to break?

When your garage door stops working, it may be caused by springs breaking; the door stops working. The springs can break for some of the following reasons:

  • Poor maintenance
  • Rust buildup
  • Tear and wear
  • Incorrect spring length or wire size used
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How long do garage door cables last?

The garage door cables work with the spring(s) and drums in lifting the garage door. The cables do the actual lifting of the door. It is essential to maintain the cables in good condition because they not only lift the garage door but also support it.

The cables move each time the door is operated thus prone to wear and tear over time. The cables may also fail due to rust and faulty bearing of the pulley. The life expectancy of garage door cables depends on how frequent you use the garage.

They can, however, serve for around 8 to 12 years. Visual inspection on whether the cables have rust, fraying or corrosion signs is essential to avoid total garage door failure.


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Lori Ballen, REALTOR®

Lori Ballen, Realtor

Hi! I’m Lori Ballen REALTOR®. My team serves the Greater Las Vegas area from Summerlin to Boulder City, and everything in between. You can reach us at 702-604-7739.

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Home Repair and Maintenace
Lori Ballen

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