Garage doors are the unsung heroes when it comes to our homes. They keep our vehicles and homes secure, compliment the façade of our house’s architecture, and they ask for so very little in return. A little safe and straightforward maintenance can go a long way, as we’ve written in the past, but some things are a sign that you need to take immediate action. Ask yourself these questions, and if you can answer yes, those are garage door red flags and seek assistance right away to keep your home and family safe.
Do I hear anything strange?
As the weather warms and metals in our garage door systems expand, there’s potential for warping. Grinding, whining, and banging noises are especially bad news – And if you hear anything out of the ordinary, you should start looking for the cause right away. Sometimes you can get away with cleaning out the rails of your garage door opener and applying a little oil; other times, you might have a damaged spring or derailed system or some further unseen damage.
Is there a delay when I push the button?
If your garage door takes a long time to open after you push the button on your opener remote, there might be a problem. Frequently, this can be a simple matter of swapping out some batteries and trying again, but if the problem persists, you might have trouble on your hands. This is especially true if your garage door opening system takes a longer than usual time to open or close your door after responding to the remote. Like any machine, a garage door opener is subject to wear and degradation over time, and even a well-maintained opener will likely need work at some point. If you notice the opener system trying to move your garage door and failing outright, it’s time to call for some help. Just be sure to check for ice and obstructions first, as these can also prevent a door from opening!
Is there a lot of movement?
It’s normal for a garage door to move a little bit while in operation – And over time, your rails will start to drift and shift with repeated use. You should be able to find tips for keeping your rails aligned in the manual for your garage door opener system, but in some cases, problems that are nearly indistinguishable to our eyes can cause tracks to stay misaligned. A slight warp or imperfection in one of the rails is all it takes to put additional stress on your opener… And if you notice your garage door opening easier on one side than the other, it’s probably time to replace your rails.
Even if the rails seem okay, if your garage door isn’t opening evenly, it’s time to call a technician. This could indicate several problems that range from technical fixes to outright replacements, and the odds of an expensive fix being required only increase the longer you ignore an issue like this.
How old is this thing?
On average, your garage door opening system should be a fifteen-year investment. If you purchased your system back in the ’90s and it’s still tugging along, it might be time to change it even if it seems to be in good working order. Features of new systems are numerous, from quieter operation to battery backup and enhanced security. Older systems also have an increased risk of sudden damage and failure, especially in the high tension springs that serve as the counterweight to your garage door. These springs are dangerous, and the older your system is, the more likely your springs are on the way out.
If you notice any of these garage door red flags or feel like this is the year you upgrade and get yourself a better garage door opening system, call Straight Up Garage Doors. Whether it’s a fix-up or a brand new installation, you won’t know how much better it is until you experience it yourself.