Did you know that the average homeowner opens and closes their garage approximately 1,500 times per year?
There are more than 70 million single-family garage doors in the US. Add to that, millions of multi-family dwellings, and that’s A LOT of garage door opening and closing every day.
For many households, garage doors are, for all intents and purposes, the front door. After all, there’s nothing more convenient than driving directly into your attached garage and then entering your house through the service door.
So, when you suddenly experience trouble when you try to open the garage door, it can bring your daily life to a screeching halt. What’s more, it could impact your security.
Keep reading for 12 red flags that let you know it’s time to either repair or replace your current garage door setup.
1. The Noisy Garage Door
When you press the button to open your garage, does it sound like a freight train is passing by? Don’t ignore that telltale noisiness. It means trouble is brewing.
For example, if your door makes a popping sound, then it could mean the sections aren’t moving together correctly.
If your door makes a grinding noise, however, it may indicate issues with the torsion springs. Or, it might suggest that the door drags against the track.
Of course, the potential noises associated with trouble don’t stop there. In other words, if you hear anything unusual, it’s time to get that door checked out. A professional can often make a diagnosis simply by listening to the noise.
2. The Door That Comes Off Its Tracks
If you take a look at your garage door, you’ll notice rollers. These rollers allow the door to open and close smoothly.
Sometimes, however, these rollers jump the track. When this happens, it can make your garage door difficult or even downright dangerous to use. There are a variety of ways that a garage door can come off its track.
These ways include:
- One of the life cables breaks
- The horizontal tracks misalign with the vertical rails
- A vehicle runs into the door
- One (or both) of the rollers wears out or breaks
Each of the scenarios listed above requires immediate consultation with a garage repair service. Otherwise, serious injuries could occur.
3. The Garage Door That Refuses to Open or Close
What if your garage door refuses to open or close? This problem can be among the most frustrating on this list. Often, it won’t open or close as the result of a faulty part.
Parts that often contribute to a non-functioning garage door include:
- The opener has a stripped gear
- The garage door opener is malfunctioning
- The cables are broken or worn
If the three problems listed above are ruled out, then it may be a problem with your garage door springs. Garage doors contain two types of springs extension springs and torsion springs.
How do you know if it’s the springs? Besides ruling out the causes mentioned in the list above, you’ll notice a couple of other symptoms.
For example, the door will only open halfway each time you press the remote or wall button. At others, it won’t open at all.
What to do? Consult experienced professionals who can offer a solution before the door leaves you in the lurch, refusing to open or close at all.
4. The Garage Door That Opens Slowly
Does your garage take more than a handful of seconds to open? If so, then you need to try one thing before calling in a service team.
Lubricate the hinges, rollers, and tracks of your garage door. By doing this, you ensure that the door isn’t sticking when you try to open it.
What if the door’s still opening slowly after this? You most likely have a bigger problem and should call in the experts.
5. The Off-Balance Garage Door
Many things can go wrong with a garage door. An off-balance one poses a serious risk.
Why? Because it can lead to one spring being more worn than the other.
This situation, in turn, can contribute to the over-stressed spring snapping. The compromised spring increases the workload of your garage door each time it opens. This stress can add up to premature failure.
How do you know if your door is out of balance? A quick once-over offers the answer. As you visually inspect your door, ask these questions:
- Does your garage door look as if it’s sagging?
- Does your garage door close unevenly?
If you answer “yes” to one or both of these questions, then you need to call a reputable garage door repair company for immediate assistance.
What if you’re not sure? You can use the following test. Turn off your automatic opener and manually open or close your garage door halfway.
Does it move up or down after you let it go? If so, then you can be sure something’s out of alignment.
You can use this method to check the balance of your door once a month. If you notice a problem, then it’s time to call in a reputable garage door repair company for an inspection and alignment.
6. The Door That Shakes Excessively
Although it’s normal for a garage door to exhibit some extra movement, if you notice excessive shaking or vibration, it’s time to figure out what’s going on.
Shuddering and shaking are indicative of a variety of different problems. These potential issues include:
- Rollers coming off the track
- Loose hinges
- Loose screws
- Other loose parts
No matter the reason, if your garage door starts rocking and shaking, it’s time to get an inspection and repairs. Otherwise, this problem will get worse over time.
7. The Outdated Door That’s a Danger
Do you have a garage door that’s as old as the original Star Wars trilogy? If so, it’s time to replace it.
Why? Because you need to put safety first. An outdated garage door means obsolete safety features, and this can spell trouble for your kids, your pets, and others.
What are some of the safety features that should be updated? They include auto-reverse, manual controls, and motion detection, among others. These features are critical when it comes to ensuring the safety of yourself and those you love.
Don’t skimp or put off getting your garage door assessed by a professional who’s knowledgeable about the latest safety criteria.
8. The Door That Lacks Modern Convenience
Besides safety features, old technology comes with many disadvantages. Technology has come a long way when it comes to today’s garage doors. They come with amazing features such as:
- Ultra-quiet operation
- Security enhancement
- Back-up batteries
- Remote operation
- Outdoor keypads
Trust us, from ultra-quiet to remote operation, you want these features. Not only are they convenient, but they’ll also leave you feeling more secure.
There is a wealth of excellent garage door models on the market today. So, don’t settle for anything less than the perfect one for your unique lifestyle and household.
9. The Door That Contributes to a Sudden Uptick in Your Power Bill
Have your power bills started skyrocketing lately? If so, your garage door could be to blame.
When a garage door wears out, it no longer does a thorough job of holding in heat and keeping out cold. Or, visa versa during the summer. The inability to properly regulate the temperature can lead to expensive power bills.
New garage doors prove more energy-efficient. They require less energy to operate, and they also seal properly.
The result? Save money and enjoy a home with superior climate control. What’s more, ensuring you’ve got a well-sealed, properly functioning door also provides your house with enhanced security.
10. The Door That Appears Worn or Broken
When you take a look at your garage door, what do you see? Perhaps you notice brittle weatherstripping at the bottom of the door? Or weather damage in specific areas?
Do the rollers look chipped, worn down, or cracked? What about loose screws, wires, or bolts?
If anything looks out of place with your garage door, then you need to address it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could be facing much bigger problems in the immediate future.
For one, brittle or broken weatherstripping can lead to additional weather damage. This vulnerability could shorten the length of your garage door’s life while allowing temperature variations to spike your electrical bill.
As for cracked, chipped, or worn down rollers? These could lead to serious safety issues. When the rollers don’t work as smoothly as possible, you’ve got the perfect recipe for early failure.
Finally, loose wires, bolts, and screws mean one thing. Your garage door is going to fail. What’s more, wiring issues could lead to shorts or other dangerous scenarios. You owe it to yourself to get in touch with a reputable garage door repair service.
11. The Garage Door That Could Compromise Your House Sale
Do you want to put your house on the market? If so, then an outdated garage door system won’t allow you to put your best foot forward.
Don’t let your sale fall through (or never get an offer in the first place) because of a shoddy-looking garage door. After all, its aesthetic appearance has significant implications for your home’s overall curb appeal.
What to do? Make sure that your garage meets the latest safety standards and is in good working order. Once you’ve got functionality and safety figured out, consider ways to improve the door cosmetically.
This improvement might mean a fresh paint job or replacing worn-out parts. If you’re not sure where to start or lacking in overall inspiration, talk to garage door specialists for their ideas on how to spiff it up.
12. The Unreliable Garage Door
What if you’ve got a garage door that just won’t make up its mind? Sometimes it functions beautifully for days, weeks, or even months. Then, out of the blue, you find yourself begging and pleading with it to open.
If your door quits working at seemingly random times, it may indicate that the opener is overheating. What causes this? An aging or underpowered motor.
Fortunately, replacing the opener will remedy the situation. Like the other repairs listed above, you don’t want to procrastinate when it comes to replacing the opener, however.
When ignored, a malfunctioning or faulty garage door opener can lead to total failure. It can also create a dangerous situation each time it malfunctions. Especially if you’ve got a heavy garage door.
It could come crashing down on any person, belonging, or pet, causing significant injury or damage. What’s more, a dead garage door opener could leave you either stuck in the garage or unable to pull your car into it.
Make Sure You Can Always Open the Garage Door
Whether you can’t open the garage door or you have one that works sporadically, putting off necessary repairs will only make the problem worse. What’s more, a neglected garage door could lead to much larger problems and even safety hazards.
Each year, garage door malfunction leads to 13,325 injuries, with many resulting in hospitalization. A handful of fatalities happen each year, too. Young children prove most vulnerable to these risks.
What’s more, the cables and springs in your garage door are under extreme pressure. Repairing a garage door yourself could lead to severe injuries. You owe it to yourself to call in professionals with plenty of experience in garage door repair.