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Most people definitely take their garage doors for granted, and it’s easy to understand why – they’re simply a fact of life. As long as the door keeps opening and closing when we want it to, why would we pay any attention to it? However, a malfunctioning garage door means that we can’t ignore it anymore. The good news? Most garage door repairs aren’t that hard to identify, since the same few parts routinely break down more often than the others. When this happens, it’s usually up to a garage door repairman to get everything in working order. For faster results, call a top-rated local service. For example, searching for Bloomfield Hills garage door repair will turn up local results for that area, ensuring that your garage door gets repaired as efficiently as possible.

How to tell that your garage door needs some repairs

For a lot of garage doors, the road to a total breakdown is a long one. Before it starts slamming against the ground every time it closes, or completely jams in the tracks, it can display all kinds of signs that something’s off. Here are some things to look out for:

  • The torsion springs become stretched out
  • Some movements produce loud screeches or other unusual sounds
  • One or both rails become bent
  • The cables or chains are broken
  • The door (panels or frame) is warped, so opening and closing is more difficult than it should be

These things might not completely prevent the garage door from working, but they will prevent the door from working correctly.

What about the question of a DIY repair job? This is possible with a few parts, but only a very few. Garage doors are big and unwieldy, and there’s a lot of potential for crushed fingers and other broken bones. If you make a wrong move or lose control of the door, you might find yourself with a hospital bill rather than a repair invoice. One or two of the repairs described below can sometimes be fixed on your own, but if your first attempt doesn’t work, the issue is probably beyond your technical expertise.

  • Problem #1: Blocked or misaligned photo eye sensors

This is a standard safety feature on garage doors these days. Sensors are installed so that if there’s anything blocking the door from closing, it’ll stop automatically. This prevents damage to cars and other objects, and injury to people and pets.

Unfortunately, sometimes one of the sensors malfunctions, registering something that isn’t there and refusing to let the garage door close. Sometimes this is an easy fix, though – before calling the repairman, try wiping off each sensor with a clean cloth. Or, it could be that one of the sensors could also be misaligned, and simply needs to be nudged back into place.

If neither of those things are the issue, though, you’ll probably have to replace one or both sensors due to an internal problem. A repairman will be able to quickly identify the issue, and get everything taken care of before you know it.

  • Problem #2: Tracking or alignment issues

Most garage doors get opened or closed between one and two thousand times each year, which puts significant wear on the tracks, cables, and chains. These components are essential for the raising and lowering of the door, and when they start to show signs of wearing out, it’s likely that their days are numbered. You may see things like jerky movements as the door moves along the tracks, or an off-kilter door having a hard time raising and lowering itself. In many cases, the garage door simply won’t move at all. If this is the problem you’re experiencing, calling a garage door repairman is pretty much the only solution. Even if it’s just a chain that needs to be replaced, the job will involve maneuvering a heavy door, and working among several different moving parts.

  • Problem #3: Garage door opener

The garage door opener – or, as most people call it, the “clicker” – makes our lives so much easier when it’s time to enter or exit the garage. With a simple click of the button, the heavy door smoothly opens or shuts. Until it doesn’t, that is. If there aren’t any other signs of blockage or malfunction, it’s a pretty safe bet that the problem lies with the door opener.

In many cases, the solution is to replace the battery. If that doesn’t work, however, you may need to get a replacement. You can’t just pick another one up at the hardware store, though. Garage door openers are coded to the door, and that has to be done with the new one as well. This is the main reason why you’d need to call a repairman – not just so he can supply a replacement, but also because he needs to link the door opener to the door.

  • Problem #4: Torsion spring

If there’s one part that’s responsible for the smooth movement of a garage door, it’s the torsion spring. Sure, there are other malfunctions that can result in uneven movement. However, the spring is specifically made to help the door raise and lower itself slowly, rather than slamming onto the ground.

Diagnosing this problem is pretty simple – just take a look at the spring. If it’s stretched out even while the door is open, or if it’s actually broken, then that’s the problem. However, attempting garage door spring replacement yourself isn’t recommended, for a few reasons. First, you could have a hard time finding the right spring. Second, it would be too risky to start taking apart your garage door without any training on standard safety precautions.

When should garage doors be replaced?

Whether you’re looking to avoid ever-increasing repairs, you want something more secure, or you just want a door that looks more modern, there are plenty of reasons to replace a garage door. This will involve short-term expenses, but could save you money on repairs over the long term. Plus, you’ll be able to relax knowing that your brand-new garage door gives you better security, consistency, and aesthetics.