Whether you have a carload of kids to get to school, or you’ve just arrived home on a rainy night, the last thing anyone needs is for the garage door to suddenly stop working.
Yet the malfunction could be due to one of a few simple mechanical reasons. Here are some repairs you should be able to try yourself before calling for professional help.
Is it the remote?
If the door functions properly with the wall switch, change the batteries in the remote. If that doesn’t get the door moving, make sure that the antenna on the motor unit is hanging down and that the opener is plugged in and switched on.
Is the power off?
When the electricity’s out because of a blackout or general outage, you can still open your garage door. Look for the cord with a red knob that will be affixed to the guide track, the motor unit or hanging from a bracket on the chain; that’s the manual override. Tug on it to release the spring and you’ll be able to open and close the door manually.
Dirt a problem?
Few of us think to clean the rollers and tracks that make the garage door work, so it’s quite possible they could be clogged with dust and old grease.
– Grab a brush and scrub down the rollers, hinges, tracks and latches
– Clean everything with WD-40 or a citrus-based solvent.
– Lubricate the pulleys and bearings as applicable and wipe a little oil on the torsion spring if it’s rusty.
– If any rollers or hinges are stuck, give them a good soaking in kerosene. Remove any rust with steel wool. Wipe all the parts clean, then apply lubricant.
Off the rails?
Misaligned, dirty or loose tracks can be another reason why your garage has a damaged door, so grab a stepladder and take a closer look.
– Are the tracks coming loose? Tighten the screws or bolts on the brackets.
– Can you see dents or crimps in the tracks? Pound them straight with a rubber mallet. If the tracks are bent or badly damaged, however, they should be replaced.
A rubber mallet can also be handy when the garage door is bent out of shape, but if none of these fixes get your broken door working again, call a handyman.