Garage door repairs you SHOULD NOT attempt yourself

If you’re worried that something’s not working properly with your garage, investigate it, sure, but don’t try and repair any of the following problems yourself! Remember, the garage door is the largest moving component of your home, it can be very dangerous and cause serious injury!

Broken Garage Door

Broken or stretched out springs

Why do you need springs?

  • The spring system works as a counterbalance to the door’s weight.
  • A properly balanced door should have a perceived weight of no more than 10 lb and you should be able to open it with one hand.

Why do they malfunction?

  • Torsion and extension springs have a lifetime of around five to seven years (that’s between 10,000 and 12,000 open/close cycles)
  • Torsion springs lose 10‑15% of their tension every year, and springs do break at the end of their life. If you hear a loud bang, like a gunshot, it’s likely a spring has broken.
  • Extension springs generally break at the end of the spring, in a loop. Extension springs stretch out over time and stretched springs do not work as well. If your extension springs are stretched out, you’ll likely notice the door shaking a little bit when it opens and closes, and probably making a strange noise.
Broken Torsion Spring

A broken TORSION spring

Stretched Extension Spring

A stretched EXTENSION spring

Worn rollers

Important facts:

  • Not all rollers on the market have the same levels of quality. For instance, rollers with ball bearings will last longer than rollers without, and the more ball bearings, the longer it lasts.
  • For double garage doors, garage door specialists recommend installing long‑stem rollers in double hinges.

Why do they malfunction?

  • Rollers should roll in tracks, not slide.
  • Rollers often break on double garage doors that don’t have long‑stem rollers and double hinges.
  • If you leave your garage door open for a long time and you only have single rollers, the weight could cause them to wear out quicker.
Worn Out Roller

Worn‑out roller

Broken, slack or frayed lifting cables

What you need to know:

  • Lifting cables link the bottom of the garage door to the spring system. They are wound around a grooved drum so that the cable can be placed properly.
  • They are firmly attached to the bottom section of the spring system and thus under high tension. The tension corresponds to the garage door’s actual (not perceived) weight, therefore trying to remove the lifting cable will put your safety at a significant risk.

Why do they malfunction?

  • If the drum is misaligned, the cables will fray because they’ll be rubbing on the drum grooves.
  • Cables also break when they’re not the right size for the weight of the door.
Broken Lifting Cable

Broken lifting cable

Misaligned horizontal tracks

Important information:

  • Horizontal tracks are attached to the ceiling using right‑angle metal brackets.
  • They should be screwed into a piece of wood.

Why do they malfunction?

  • If the door has been poorly installed and the triangle forming the attachment point for the tracks wasn’t done properly, vibrations from the door will cause the tracks to become misaligned and the door could fall off. If this happens to you: DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING AND CALL A TECHNICIAN RIGHT AWAY!
Broken Garage Door

Misaligned horizontal tracks

Broken or stripped door opener gear and sprocket

The basics:

  • Some garage door opener parts are made of plastic, take the gear in the motor, for example. Although they tend to be made from very rigid and durable plastic, parts like this can break if the drive chain puts too much pressure on them.

Why do they malfunction?

  • Broken springs will throw the door off balance, increasing its perceived weight and putting pressure on the system.
  • Some lower‑quality door openers are not capable of lifting heavy items, if you hear a loud grinding noise, check you don’t have a broken spring. If you do have a broken spring: Pull the emergency cord to turn off the door opener and manually open the door.
Worn Out Door Opener Gear

A door opener gear that needs to be replaced

If you take anything away from this article…

Please remember that you should always hire a professional for these types of repairs. If you don’t, you risk injury yourself or members of your family.

If you need any repairs, contact us at 905-684-8161 or request a quotation online. We’ll even make a house call to assess the situation and advise you about our entire range of garage doors and parts.

If you’re looking for a new garage door, browse through our image gallery or have a play around with our Design Centre.

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