Fixing the Garage Door Yourself

The tools required for fixing a garage door are usually those that the average homeowner already possesses. Basically, if you have a screwdriver (phillips and flathead), pliers, adjustable wrench, and a couple of C-clamps, you should be all set.

The most common problems with garage doors usually involve the rollers, the track or the lift springs. In many cases, a lack of lubrication can be the culprit. If the door begins to open, but only to a point -- like it is jammed, then the problem could be with the rollers or the track. Ensure that the rollers are able to spin freely. If there is a buildup of dirt in the track, it could lead to the door sticking in places. Inspect the track to see if there are any sections that are bent or out of shape. You may need to use a mallet to return it to its original position. If there are any obstructions in the track, remove them. Over time, the fasteners that hold the track in place can become loose and take the track out of alignment. Using a screwdriver or wrench, tighten all of the fasters, returning the track to alignment. If you are certain that the rollers and the track are aligned, clean, and free of obstructions, then remove as much of the residual lubricant as possible and re-lubricate with either grease or powdered graphite.

Inspect the lift springs to see if they are the problem. A lift spring is a long spring that run along the upper garage door track (parallel to the ceiling) and extends to the back, helping to lift the garage door. Another type of garage door spring is the torsion spring, which is a long cylindrical spring that is attached to a metal shaft which runs along the wall above your garage door opening. Both types of springs, especially the torsion spring, can be dangerous to replace. If you choose to replace the springs on your own, be sure that you follow the package’s safety precautions to avoid injury. Both of the lift springs should be replaced at the same time, even if only one has broken.

For folks with automatic garage door openers, the problem could be as simple as a dead battery in the remote, electrical issues with the opener, a jammed control arm, or stripped plastic gears within the box itself. These issues can usually be fixed by simply replacing a part.

Always remember, that when fixing your garage door, to keep safety in mind. When replacing your rollers, make sure that the springs are disconnected. Also, ensure that the door is propped up so that it won’t drop while you’re working. Lastly, if there is an automatic garage door opener, make sure it is disconnected, so that nobody accidentally activates it while you are working.