Most of the time, we take our garage doors for granted. Yet, as soon as they start malfunctioning, we realize the importance of having functional doors. In fact, broken garage doors can be dangerous for you and for your loved ones. For that reason, it is important to know how to fix garage door off track. With the help of our in-depth guide, you will have an understanding of the steps you need to take. After that, your doors should stay in good working order for years to come.
Why do garage doors get off track?
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So, before we get down to the tips and tricks for fixing the broken door, it is important to learn why they become unhinged in the first place. In essence, there are several factors that can cause damage to your door. By eliminating them, you will prolong the life of your garage door, saving a lot of money in the process as well.
To cut to the chase, here are the possible reasons why your garage door came off track:
- Improper installation: If the doors are not aligned during installation, they will get detached sooner rather than later.
- Impact: In most cases, homeowners are causing damage to the doors by bumping into them with the car. Although these touches are unintentional, they can bend the tracks and cause problems for the garage door opener system.
- Broken parts: If the quality of the components is not on a proper level, all sorts of parts can break and cause the door to go off track. In most cases, rollers and springs are the ones that are worn out or damaged.
- Weight: On average, garage doors weigh in the range of 200-400lbs. Clearly, this is a lot of weight and sometimes the entire system can collapse due to wear and tear.
How to maintain garage doors?
As we all know, preventive care is the best medicine. Well, the same goes for garage doors. To clarify, it is imperative that you perform certain steps to protect your doors from malfunctioning.
Needless to say, we all want to avoid the nightmare of having to deal with unhinged garage doors. So, before you learn how to put the garage door back on track, here are some things that could prevent unwanted events altogether.
- Regular inspection and checkups
Visual inspection is a must when it comes to the maintenance of your garage door. According to experts, you should perform a quick checkup of the parts every month or so. On top of that, yearly servicing of the garage door opener is also an integral element of garage door maintenance.
- Cleaning the tracks
Depending on your residential area, different things can get into the tracks and cause problems. For instance, small branches or stones are the most common type of debris. Either way, it is crucial that you remove the buildup every once in a while. By unclogging the tracks, you will reduce the risk of having detached garage doors on your home.
- Lubricate the moving parts
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that metal parts need to be lubricated in order for them to work in a smooth manner. So, homeowners should grease up the rollers and other parts from time to time. However, remember to wipe the tracks clean after you put a solution on them. Too much grease can cause debris to stick to the tracks, creating unnecessary problems in the future.
How to get garage door back on track
In a way, the importance of maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Unfortunately, not all homeowners are willing to invest a couple of hours per year in this activity. As a result, these homeowners are often forced to learn the hard way.
In other words, they have to learn how to repair garage doors on their own. Even though we recommend calling a trained technician to repair the doors, there are some steps you can take to prevent further damage. In some cases, you may even fix the problem in a do-it-yourself manner. With that being said, here is a short checklist of the steps you should follow when you notice that the doors are stuck or unhinged. By following these guidelines, you will learn how to fix garage door off track in the safest and most effective way.
Step 1: Cease all operations
As soon as the doors start malfunctioning, you should stop with the opening process. Never force the door to go further because you could cause even more damage. Instead, disengage the garage door opener by pulling on a rope in the center of the door.
Step 2: Identify the cause of the problem
The next step in the process of fixing the garage door off track is to find the cause of the problem. In most cases, loose or dented tracks are responsible for the issue. Or, the tracks may be out of alignment. Either way, it is crucial that you check the system and identify what is causing the door to get off track.
Step 3: Try solving the issue on your own
As we said earlier, you could try to repair the doors without calling the professionals. But, if you don’t have experience with replacing garage door rollers, we suggest you wait for a repairman. Nonetheless, if you insist, you could try connecting the tracks to the wall or checking if the nuts and bolts are loose.
Step 4: Call a pro
To be honest, calling a professional is the safest thing you could do when you notice that your garage door is detached. Nothing beats the expert eye in those situations. Most importantly, trained technicians know how to deal with the high-tension springs. Believe it or not, these springs are capable of causing grave injuries, sometimes even with fatal consequences. For that reason, professional repair service is the best option. In most cases, their teams are available 24/7, which means that your car will not be trapped inside or outside of the garage for long.
- What are the main causes of garage doors getting off the track?
A wide array of factors can play a role in causing your garage doors to become broken or unhinged. In most cases, improper maintenance or direct impact are the ones that are causing the most issues with the functionality of the doors.
- Should you repair the doors on your own?
Unless you are an expert in dealing with high-tension springs, you should never attempt to fix the doors on your own. According to statistics, garage doors cause more than 30.000 injuries per year in the United States. Thus, it is best to call a professional service to repair the problems with your garage doors.
- How can you prevent garage doors from getting off track?
In short, regular servicing is the key to preventing unwanted issues with your garage door systems. So, perform visual inspection and lubrication of moving components on a regular basis. Also, protect the door from bumping into cars, or vice versa.
- What should you do when garage doors are off track?
As soon as you notice that something is wrong with the doors, perform a detailed inspection of the system. After that, dismantle the door opener and try solving the problem on your own, if you believe that you have the necessary skills. If not, call a trained technician as soon as possible.
- Should you clean the tracks manually?
If the tracks are full of debris, there is a great risk that your doors will get unhinged. So, it is important to keep the tracks free of any buildup that may disrupt the opening or closing of the door. Yes, you should clean the tracks manually. Do it every month or so, if need be.
The bottom line
Even if you do not know how to replace garage door rollers yourself, there are certain things you can do to extend the life of your doors. After all, garage doors are an integral element of our home, and we use them several times during the day. As soon as the doors are broken – we find ourselves in a frustrating nightmare. For that reason, make sure to perform regular maintenance of the garage door opener system. By doing so, your doors will stay reliable and functional for years to come.