Do You Know These Telltale Signs That Your Garage Door Needs Service?

While we definitely recommend a thorough service inspection by a certified Raynor dealer every 1 to 2 years, there are a few things you can check yourself to prevent problems from escalating. These visual checks should become a routine for you every month, especially if the garage door experiences hard use in your home.

Knowing what to look for will help you save on repair costs and, just as important, ensure the door is working safely.

Caution: The garage door is probably the heaviest moving object in your home. We strongly advise that you not attempt to repair anything that involves cables, springs, the garage door opener or other mechanisms that raise and lower the door. All of those components are under high tension! Severe injuries can result. Also keep others away from the door opening when you are testing it.

Important: Arrange for professional service if you notice any of the problems marked with an asterisk (*) below.


1. How does the door look and sound?

Problems to notice:

* Door is hard to open.

* Noisy, jerky motion

* Door is bowed or dented.

* Uneven seal at the floor (door sits crooked in the opening).

Causes: There are several potential reasons why your door no longer works as smoothly as it once did. The door tracks may be loose or bent. One or more rollers are failing. The springs might also be broken or not evenly adjusted for tension on each side of the door. And particularly if the door is binding as it travels up and down or it looks bowed, it may have been hit by a vehicle (not to accuse anyone, of course).

If springs are squeaky, it doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be replaced. Try a good quality spray lubricant (rated for garage doors) and see if that does the trick. Lubrication can help whether you have extension springs that run parallel to your tracks or torsion springs that mount on a shaft above the door. If the noise persists, call your Raynor technician for a recommended course of action.

2. Are the cables tight and secure?

Problems to notice:

* Cables are frayed or not securely attached at the end brackets.

Causes: The cable may be rubbing on a bolt or other protrusion. The ends may not have been wrapped and fastened correctly when the door was installed. Or the cables are simply getting old and need to be replaced.

* Cables are unraveling and slipping off the drums.

Causes: This can happen when the door has been slammed too forcibly. Or one of the springs is broken or slipping on the shaft.

3. Are the rollers engaged in the track and turning smoothly?

Problems to notice:

* Rollers are slipping off the stem.

* Rollers are locked up, not rotating.

Causes: Roller problems can occur if the internal bearings have become worn over time. Because they are supporting the door in the tracks, rollers as well as roller brackets are also vulnerable if the door has been hit.  

4. Is the bottom weather seal still “sealing?”

Problems to check:

Seal is ripped or loose.

Seal is crumbling.

Causes: A certain amount of wear on the weather seal (also called the astragal seal) is common as the door ages. After all, this is the part that spends a good share of its life pressed against the garage floor. In some climates, it can actually freeze to the floor, resulting in further abrasion and tearing. In addition, the weather seal as well as the metal retainer that holds it in place can be harmed if they encounter an obstruction when closing. 

5. Are all screws and hardware in place and tight?

Problems to check:

* Broken track brackets

* Track brackets are beginning to separate from the wall

Broken hinges

Missing or loose fasteners

Causes: These components literally hold everything together and should be replaced or at least retightened as needed. Fasteners can easily become loose over time due to friction, vibration and general wear. If you decide to replace any screws that are missing, be sure to use the same size and type. Caution: Once again a safety reminder: Do not attempt to repair brackets that are attached to the cables. They are under high spring tension.

6. How Does The Garage Door Opener Sound?

Problems to check

* Opener or the drive rail are vibrating excessively when operating.

* Missing or loose fasteners (check all attachment points).

As the workhorse of your garage door system, the opener and its drive rail experience a lot of wear and tear. Fasteners can become loose due to vibration. The drive rail may also need lubrication or adjustment as it cycles to open and close the door.

Note: There are a few simple safety tests you can do that relate specifically to the garage door opener and photoelectric safety eyes. Be familiar with those tests — they are done while operating the door. Learn more here.

Be Aware Of How Well Your Garage Door Is Working

Remember to look “up” occasionally when you are inside the garage and close the door. The garage door and opener obviously have many moving parts. Keeping an eye on all of those parts isn’t realistic for most homeowners. Still, noticing a few things about the door’s appearance and sound will go a long way toward keeping it working safely for years to come.

For peace of mind, be sure to connect with a local Raynor dealer if you suspect something is not working correctly. Search for a dealer in your area.

ANOTHER TIP: When doing your visual inspection, it’s also a good time to lubricate the hinges and rollers to keep them working smoothly. Consider doing this at least once a year. It is easy to do! Download this free guide that will show you all of the important points that should be lubricated and the surfaces that should not be lubricated.

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