Automatic garage door openers are one of life’s greatest conveniences that we take for granted. Imagine having to get out of your car to open and close your garage door. And now imagine having to do that in the winter when it’s 40F!
However, this convenience comes with its own set of costs. Did you know that homeowners in the US spend between one to four percent of their home’s value on maintenance every year?
This means that on a $250,000 home, you’re looking at between $2,500 and $10,000 per year in general maintenance and repairs costs. Furthermore, these costs increase as the house gets older.
The next time your garage door starts acting up, see if any of these quick fixes help before you call a handyman.
Potential Problems with Your Garage Door
It makes sense that you want your garage door to be in good working order.
Many families leave the door from the garage to the home unlocked to make it easier for kids to get into the house without needing keys. On top of that, you want to protect the items that you have stored in your garage.
No matter your goal, watch out or these signs of damage and take the steps needed to fix them.
1. Check If the Light Sensor Is Blocked
Garage doors have a photo eye and laser safety system. This may sound super high tech, but it’s actually a really simple system to make sure that your garage door doesn’t accidentally close on someone and injure them.
The photo eye is located about half a foot off the ground at the end of your garage. Whenever your garage door is activated, it shoots a laser across the opening of your garage. If this laser is disrupted, then the door will pause halfway between opening and closing.
This is one of the most common issues with garage doors due to the sensor being so close to the exit.
Locate the eye and check it any dirt has caked on to the mechanism. Even dust can prevent it from working properly so wiping it down may just do the trick.
If that doesn’t fix the problem, it’s possible that the sensor has suffered weather damage. In this case, check your local directory for an affordable repair company to come and take a look at the system.
2. You Need to Adjust Your Garage Door Programming
If your garage door is popping back open after it hits the ground, this is most likely a problem with the limit settings in control panel that’s on the ceiling of your garage.
The limit settings control the mechanism that determines when the door stops moving based on reaching the ground. However, if it’ has been set incorrectly, it’ll treat the ground as an obstacle to be avoided (a safety feature similar to the sensor).
This isn’t impossible to fix on your own, but it does require a bit more technical know-how than just wiping down the sensor and also the patience to test it through trial and error.
To fix it, you’ll need your owner’s manual and a ladder. Based on whether your door is stuck up or down, turn the limit switch adjustment knob. Move it in small increments until you find the correct setting.
3. Ensure That the Door Is on Its Track
If the garage door has come off its track, it won’t be able to open and close properly. This can happen quite easily, even just from something large bumping into your garage door.
One sign that your garage door is off its track is if its crooked or not rolling smoothly when you try to open or close it. To check the track for bends or obstacles, ask someone in your family to help you by rolling it open slowly and by hand.
If you hear any grinding sounds or the door gets stuck part way, then you know that there is a problem with the track alignment. In case of a minor misalignment, you may be able to push it back in place with a level and a rubber mallet; otherwise, you’ll need to contact a garage door repair company.
4. Check Your Remote Control
If your garage door is working fine from inside the garage but when you’re in the car, you can be fairly certain that there’s an issue with your remote control. We remember about two decades ago, sometimes neighboring garage doors would get confused and your remote would somehow connect to the neighbor’s system.
When you’re having a problem with the remote, start by changing the batteries. When the batteries are low, the signal gets weaker and loses range.
If that doesn’t work, check the antenna on the motor. Make sure nothing has bumped into it and damaged it and that nothing is in the way and blocking the signal.
If you’re still having a problem with the remote but the switch in the garage is working fine, find your owner’s manual and reprogram your remote.
5. You Need to Call a Garage Door Repair Company
It might not be the solution you were looking for but sometimes the only thing that’s left to do is to call someone to come in a fix your garage. One situation when you need to let a professional step in is if you hear a loud banging sound like a firecracker going off in your garage.
This is most likely the sound of the garage door torsion spring snapping. This can happen from an impact (got any new drivers in the garage?) or just over time when the spring wears out.
If this happens, do not open the garage door until some makes sure that it’s safe.
Garage Maintenance Is a Major Part of Home Ownership
The key to keeping to manage your home maintenance costs is being proactive about potential repairs that your home will need. If you catch a small problem with your garage door early on, you’re more likely to be able to fix it without hiring someone.
Repairing damage when it first starts will always be less costly then if you wait until it becomes more severe. However, there are certain costs that are unavoidable when you own your home.
No matter what work you need done, we can help you find the best local service providers for the task.