Have you gone to use your garage door and discovered that it wouldn’t open? Maybe the door has started sticking as it moves, making it harder to open or close. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, you’ll need to look at your garage door alignment. Here’s what you need to know if you’re having these issues and how to fix them.
Diagnosing Garage Door Alignment Issues
There are lots of different signs that you may need to check on that garage door alignment needs fixing. Look out for any of the following issues:
- The door appears to be crooked in the frame.
- There’s a gap under the door.
- The door is making squeaking, squealing, or grinding sounds when you use it.
- The door won’t open when you try and use it.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you’ll need to investigate for garage door misalignments. The quickest way to do that manually is to raise the door and see whether it sticks when you do so. You should also see where it can be let go of without falling back down. You know you need to realign your door if it’s above four or below three feet. Other issues can lead to these things happening, but you’ll see that misalignment is the most common issue that needs to be addressed.
Addressing Garage Door Misalignment Early on Is Key to Longevity
If you see that your garage door is a little crooked, you may feel that you don’t have to fix it immediately. After all, if the problem is only minor, do you need to handle it right away? It is essential to fix misalignment as soon as you notice it’s becoming a problem. That’s because garage door problems are always easier and cheaper to fix when you deal with them early.
If you let a problem continue, it will get worse over time. It can also lead to damage to other parts of the door, and you don’t want to allow that to happen. That will lead to a more lengthy and costly fix or even needing to replace the garage door altogether. Also, you want to be sure you can open that garage door in an emergency.
You don’t want to jump into the car and open the door, only to fail because it’s stuck. It’s important from a security standpoint. If your garage door is misaligned, then it’s very easy for a thief to pry the door open and get inside. It makes your home a more tempting target, which you want to avoid.
Finally, if you have a misaligned door with a gap at the bottom, that provides entry to all kinds of pests. Your garage is perfect for them as it provides shelter, but you don’t want them making their home in there if you can help it. As such, you’ll want to ensure that you’re keeping them out by keeping the garage door in good condition.
Basics of Fixing Garage Door Alignment Issues
If you’ve determined that garage door alignment issues are present, you’ll want to fix them as soon as possible. How you fix it will depend on exactly what’s causing the problem for you.
Broken or Slipped Cables
These are what help your garage door open and close. If one cable has slipped or broken, it will need to be corrected as soon as possible. This is a repair that you’ll need an expert to handle, as the cables are an essential part of the door. You want to ensure the job is done correctly and safely, so you won’t have to worry about them until they reach the end of their lifespan.
Tracks Need Readjustment
Sometimes, the garage door tracks are slightly out of place, and that will be what’s causing the door to be misaligned. In less severe cases, you can adjust them yourself. Find the bend in the tracks you want to correct, and then use a piece of wood and a mallet to tap them back into place. This can be enough to stop the garage door from sticking and get it working again. If you find the bend in the track too severe for you to handle on your own, then again, this will be the time to call on an expert to help you out.
Gap Under the Door
If there’s a gap under your garage door, you can fix this by adjusting the lower garage door track. Use a wrench to loosen the bolts on the track, then move it back and forth slightly to get the garage door to settle. Once you’ve got the garage door into place, tighten the bolts back up and give them a tug to ensure they’re well secured. Sometimes, you may find there is still a very small gap under the door once you’ve done this. It’s ok to leave the gap if it’s a quarter of an inch or less.
Damaged Garage Door Hardware
In some cases, the culprit for garage door alignment issues will be broken or damaged hardware. There are all kinds of reasons why this may have happened, but most of the time, it’s typically down to wear and tear.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve determined that something like your springs, or the door itself, is at fault, you’ll need to call a garage door repair specialist. These are often potentially dangerous to replace, so you’ll need a professional experienced in garage door repairs. If you are experiencing misalignment with your garage door, it’s always better to fix it sooner rather than later. Now, you know what to be looking out for and how to fix it when you do come across the problem. Keep these tips in mind when you maintain your garage door.