It’s been said here before, but it bears repeating: garage doors are the largest moving appliance in your home. They’re used just about every day of the year–and more often than not, multiple times a day!
With something so vital to the functionality of your home, it’s a good idea to have some general knowledge about how to maintain it and common things that can break on it–and what to do when it does (you’ll see a running theme in our advice.)
All residential garage doors have some type of spring system to counterbalance the door’s weight. Most doors have a spring on either side that expand and contract as the door lifts and lowers. When everything is working as it’s supposed to, it’s a pretty great system.
These springs are wrapped around tempered steel and, with average use, will last between 8 and 10 years. As with anything, eventually they’ll slowly wear out and break.
Even if you don’t know what to look for, it’s actually a pretty easy thing to spot. The most common sign of a broken spring is the door only opening a few inches and stopping. Not what you want to see on your way out the door for work in the morning.
If you’re home at the time of it breaking, you may hear the sound of a loud bang or crack. And I do mean LOUD. People often confuse it for a blown fuse or even a broken window. We see broken springs more commonly in the wintertime and colder weather because lower temperatures cause the metal to tighten up (even in our “cold” weather here in AZ.) So if you hear something like that, don’t panic.
What should you do to fix it? Call us.
Springs come in different sizes and are used in accordance with the weight of your garage door. Putting the wrong size spring on a garage door is a common error in the garage door industry (and a pretty dangerous one at that.
To prevent this, all of Gecko Garage Door’s technicians carry scales on their trucks and weigh the door to calculate the proper springs. We’ve got your back.
#2 Door Off Track
This is another pretty easy one to spot. When a door comes off track, it’s usually very obvious. All you’ve gotta do is give a quick visual inspection and you can see the door sitting crooked in the square opening.
A super common way for garage doors to go off track is by the door closing on an item–but don’t start throwing away your kids’ bikes just yet. Things can get caught on the track or can even get caught on a car bumper that’s not pulled in all the way. Or it could be a simple failed component like the rails, rollers, and cables. All of these could cause a door to go off track.
Now this part is super important: if you notice your door is not level when opening or closing, STOP, DROP the remote, and CALL Gecko immediately for assistance. It’s a repair you don’t want to mess with on your own and Gecko Garage Door customers are amazed at how quickly and affordably we can repair this type of problem.
#3 Remote Issues
If your garage door stops working, it doesn’t automatically point to an issue with the actual opener or door itself. It could be as simple as an issue with the remote to the opener.
We’ve saved our customers thousands of dollars by suggesting that they replace their remote battery before jumping to door or opener replacement when their garage door stops opening. It’s a pretty easy fix and most hardware or battery supply stores will sell you the proper battery and install it for you.
The tougher thing to diagnose on a remote issue is a problem with radio interference. Remotes communicate on a radio frequency that is subject to outside interference. If anything near the garage is emitting a similar frequency, it can interfere with the communication of the remote to the garage door opener.
Here’s a big ol’ hefty list of things from Angie’s List that COULD be interfering with your garage remote: nearby airports, television or radio transmission towers, power lines, cell phone towers, appliances within 10 to 15 feet of the receiver (whether they are running or not), plug-in transformers used for things like security systems, sprinkler controls, and cordless power tool chargers, wireless doorbells, computers, wireless networks, fax machines, copiers, cordless phones, yard light timers and motion detectors, Christmas tree lights, especially LED (Light Emitting Diode), small appliances like a clock radio, air conditioning or heating system thermostats, fluorescent lighting fixtures, halogen lighting fixtures, ham radio transmitters, car battery chargers, and motor homes.
As you can see, it’s a pretty small list 😬😬
If you’ve changed the batteries and checked for outside interference and you’re STILL having issues, you should (you guessed it!) give us a call.
Remote issues can be tricky, but with the years of experience of Gecko Garage, we have the solutions for any remote issues that might be giving you grief.
#4 Eye Beams
Eye beams are a UL Required safety device that indicates if something is in the opening, therefore the garage door will reverse if the beam is obstructed. If you’re having issues with the garage door starting to close but then coming back up, you might have an issue with your eye beams.
First, check to see if there are any items obstructing the infrared beam between the two sensors. Second, make sure your sensor lenses are clean of debris, dust, and cobwebs. Third, make sure the sensors are pointed in the right direction.
Still won’t close? Give Gecko a call.
Just as often as we’re on a call to repair the door itself, we’re repairing the garage door opener. Commonly, we’re replacing worn out or broken gears, replacing the control board, or swapping out a failed capacitor or travel module. Gecko Garage Door technicians do their very best to stock these needed parts on their trucks to make the repair needed for your opener so you’re not waiting around for a part to come in before you can get your car out of your garage.
The average life-span of a garage door opener is 12-15 years. So, if your opener is not functioning and it’s older than 12 years, we’re probably going to recommend replacing it.