Over time, your garage door may become somewhat off balance. It might open or close too quickly, be extremely difficult to open or simply become less smooth in its movement. These are not usually signs that the door needs to be replaced though. Often it just requires a small adjustment to get the mechanisms working properly.
WARNING: Repairing springs and tracks is a DANGEROUS PROCEDURE and may cause physical injury if improperly performed, and should be performed ONLY by qualified door service personnel.
Here are the two most common adjustments that will help you maintain your garage door:
Adjusting the spring
The mechanism that opens and closes a garage door includes what is called a torsion spring. Usually these will be mounted in the centre of the door, on the shaft that the door rides along as it opens and closes. These springs will generally maintain a high level of tension. Here are the steps to adjust common torsion spring mechanisms:
- Close the garage door and disconnect your garage door opener.
- Clamp the garage door in place with a C-clamp above the bottom roller.
- Find the two springs and corresponding adjustment screws/collars – these should be along the shaft.
- Hold the collar of the first screw in place with a metal rod through one of the holes in the side.
- Loosen the screw that holds the collar of the spring in place.
- Use the metal rod to adjust the collar either to the left to loosen, or to the right to tighten the spring.
- Tighten the screw back in place.
- Follow the same procedure with the second spring on the other side of the shaft – this spring often has two screws to loosen.
- Always make sure to tighten or loosen both of the springs equally.
- Secure the screws back in place and release the C-clamp holding the door.
- Lubricate the springs, if necessary.
Adjusting the track
The garage door track attaches to the frame of your garage door and guides the rollers that open and close the mechanism. Sometimes this may come out of alignment and require adjusting. Here are the steps to adjust your garage door track:
- Close the garage door.
- Make sure to loosen only a single track with each adjustment and never completely remove the lag bolts.
- Unscrew the lag bolts partially and adjust the bracket until it is aligned correctly.
- Completely re-tighten the lag bolts.
- Sometimes you will need to tighten bolts to adjust the garage door track to fit snugly against any weatherstripping. This should be a simple process of tightening the bolts until the door is completely touching the weatherstripping when closed.
If you have other problems that require adjusting, you should first refer to the instruction manual that came with your garage door. If the opener requires fixing, it should have its own manual that includes common issues and instructions for making adjustments. Otherwise, always contact a professional for help.