The Dangers of Off-Track Garage Doors

garage doors repair tips

When garage doors go off track, they can be a danger to you and your family. If the garage door is not supported adequately, it can cause damage to both personal property and persons residing in the home. That’s because garage doors are designed to carry an immense weight – up to two tons! This blog post will discuss what causes garage doors to go off track and how your local Raynor Authorized Dealer can help.

Why is a Garage Door Off Track a Serious Issue?

Garage doors are hefty. If they aren’t working properly, they can accidentally fall on cars and people, which can cause serious injuries and even death.

An off-track garage door may also cause structural damage to your home. If your garage track system isn’t working correctly, it can affect the rest of your garage.

Off-track garage doors also prevent you from moving cars in and out of your garage. If bad weather strikes and your garage door is stuck, you won’t be able to move your vehicles inside to protect them from the elements. As a result, they could suffer damage from high winds, falling trees, or hail.

Common Causes of a Garage Door Being Off Track

Broken or Bent Hardware

Garage doors require certain pieces to work effectively. If you notice loose bolts near your garage door, chances are you have a broken or loose component on your garage door. This may have caused your garage door to go off track.

If one part is broken, it causes the rest of the system to fail.

Bent Rails

Garage doors rest on rollers that move along rails or tracks to open and close the door. Sometimes, these rails become bent out of shape. These problems usually occur due to poor installation, low-quality rails, or an impact that knocks the track out of shape.

Debris and Obstructions

Sometimes, garage doors go off track because of outside interference. Check your garage door tracks for any debris, such as garbage, ice, snow, or mud. If you use your garage as a storage space, one of your items might have gotten stuck and knocked your door off track.

Old or Broken Garage Door Rollers

Garage doors rely on rollers to move up and down their tracks. Sometimes, these rollers break, especially if they are old.

The door was hit by a car

Damaged garage doors are typically caused by moving a vehicle in or out of the garage before the door is completely open. Door panels or even the entire door may be damaged and need a replacement.

Also, a vehicle may scrape or bump one of the tracks, creating a point of damage that causes the door to jam or, even worse, fall out of the track!

A spring broke

The springs on garage doors do wear out over time. Many doors have two springs. If one spring breaks, the door may become lopsided and jam up. If both springs were to break, the door could be stuck entirely or fall out of the tracks.

A cable supporting the door snapped

Cables on the door connect to the springs that support the weight of the garage door. As with springs breaking, if one cable breaks, the door may be lopsided and jam or may not fully open and close. If the weight causes the second cable to fail, the whole door will become inoperable.

How to Fix a Garage Door Off Track

If your garage door is off track, fixing it as soon as possible is important. However, fixing garage doors can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why knowing the right way to fix a garage door off-track is so important. The safest option is to contact a garage door repair company with the tools and skills to fix your off-track door.

8 Steps to Fix Garage Door Off Track

Where to begin when fixing your garage door? Follow these steps:

  • Gather tools: You’ll need a set of regular pliers, locking pliers, and a rubber mallet. Make sure that you have everything you need before beginning your repair project.
  • Disconnect the garage door opener: Turn off any portable garage door openers to prevent accidents. Then, look for the rope that connects the opener component to the door. Pull this rope downwards to free the door from the opener.
  • Open the door: To open the door, lift it using the handles. Ideally, you’ll want extra help to open the door. Make sure that it is secure and not going to fall before proceeding.
  • Locate the wheels: A garage door off the track has off-track wheels. Use a flashlight to find where your unit’s wheels are.
  • Stop the tracks: Use your pair of locking pliers to place a stop on the tracks. You’ll be able to adjust the system’s wheels without putting yourself in harm’s way.
  • Place the wheels on the track: After placing the lock pliers on the track, use your pair of regular pliers to pull on the track’s outer edges. Then, adjust the wheels so they’re back on track. Use your rubber mallet to restore the track after adjusting it.
  • Manual testing: Next, carefully remove the pair of lock pliers from the door, then try to move it up and down using your hands. If possible, you should ask a friend or family member to help you move the door.
  • Automatic testing: After confirming manually that your door is functioning, try using your electronic opener. Ensure that your door goes through both the opening and closing cycles properly. Listen for any screeching or banging noises, and make sure the door rolls smoothly.

If you don’t have the tools or don’t feel comfortable following these steps, contact a garage door professional to repair your garage door track.

How to Choose a Garage Door Repair Company

Fixing a garage door off-track on your own takes a lot of work. You might struggle to place the wheels in their proper alignment, or you could have issues stopping the horizontal tracks. In these situations, it’s best to call a garage door expert. For service, you can trust a trained and accredited garage door technician; contact a Raynor Authorized Dealer near you.

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