Garage doors are an integral part of many US homes. And when they function as expected, we don’t pay much attention to their inner workings – at least some of us don’t. But wait until your door is out of whack, especially when you least expect it, and you could have a long day. And while it’s tempting to try repairing it, your safest bet should be to call your residential garage door repair service provider. Why?

The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reports that up to 15,000 people end up in the ER due to injuries caused by garage doors. To avoid being part of that statistic, it might help to keep an eye out for indications that your door needs repairs. But what are these signs? Well, here are a few pointers:

  1. Noisy Operation

Sure, garage doors make some noise as they open or close. The door system is designed that way, as it includes several moving parts. Generally, the sound ought to be smooth or regular.

But, if your garage door is making unusual – and usually unsettling noises – when opening or closing, it’s a sign that it needs to be checked by a professional. Squeaks, scrapes, and thumps are all causes of concern. The problem could be with the tracks, hinges, rollers, or springs, any of which can create a serious safety hazard if not addressed immediately.

Or, the motor may need lubrication, in which case doing the necessary could restore your door. Odds are, though, especially if you’re not handy, you may not tell whether the motor is damaged or not. In that case, it’s advisable to have a professional inspect your door to rule out the possibility of a motor problem. And while at it, you can consider replacing it with a quieter model.

  1. Slow Response

Your garage door could be on its last legs if it responds slowly or becomes difficult to open or close. If you notice that it’s taking more effort and time to move the door, there could be an issue with any of the door’s parts, from the opener chain to the springs.

Typically, a garage door opens within seconds after you activate the opener. If it doesn’t, then it’s a cause for alarm. But let’s not jump to a conclusion – you could be dealing with a minor fix.

In the best-case scenario, some adjustments could do the trick. That said, if you’re unsure which part of the door’s system to tinker with, it’s best to leave the job to a pro. In that case, a professional can diagnose and fix the problem quickly and efficiently.

  1. Uneven Movement

Your garage door should move evenly and smoothly along its tracks when opening or closing. If it doesn’t, something could be amiss. Hence, you may need to call a technician for repairs before the problem escalates.

For instance, if any part of the door’s system fails, the door may stall. Often, this is usually due to a severe issue, such as a broken hinge or worn tension springs.

If you know a thing about door repair, you could check to see if the tracks are blocked or misaligned. But whether you make the repairs yourself or not, it’s always best to have a professional conduct regular maintenance checks on your door to avoid such issues.

  1. Broken Parts

This one’s a no-brainer. If any of your door’s parts are visibly damaged or broken, you have little choice but to repair or replace the door. While some repairs are easy enough for a DIYer, dealing with more serious damage is best left to a pro. This is especially true for springs and cables, which require special tools and expertise to fix.

If you attempt to replace a spring without the know-how, you could get injured and make that much-dreaded trip to the ER. And you know what that means – bills and more bills! So, your initial plan to save some dough could mean incurring more than you had in mind.

Instead, why not involve someone who’s well-versed in the inner workings of garage doors? Is a DIY repair worth the trouble? Ok, we’re sure you get the drift so let’s not keep harping on the subject.

  1. Higher Utility Bills

If you’ve been noticing a sudden spike in your energy bills, it could be due to an inefficient garage door. If not properly insulated, a garage door can let heat escape, making your home less comfortable and increasing your utility bills.

In that case, consider having your door replaced with a more energy-efficient model. But before you do, check to ensure no other issue is causing the anomaly. If there is, fixing it should help lower your energy costs. For instance, some of the seals on your door may need replacement.

  1. Failure to Close Completely

This could be a safety hazard, leaving your home vulnerable to burglars and pests. If your garage door doesn’t close all the way, have it repaired right away.

Sometimes, this happens due to an obstruction preventing the door from closing completely. In that case, simply removing the obstruction should do the trick. Similarly, your opener’s setting could be to blame. If it’s not set correctly, the door may fail to close all the way.

But if you find neither of these potential solutions resolves your issue, the photo-eye sensor could be the culprit. This safety feature keeps the door from closing if there’s something in its path. So, if it’s not working correctly, the door won’t close. And if your attempts to fix the issue don’t bear fruit, consider seeking professional assistance.

Ultimately, garage doors don’t simply go kaput overnight. Mostly, you’ll notice signs that something’s not quite right before it completely breaks down. By heeding these early warning signs, you can avoid more serious damage and the additional expense of replacing your door entirely.

But if you’re unsure about which repairs to make or don’t have the expertise, the next best alternative is to involve a repair technician. They can also conduct regular maintenance checks to prevent costly repairs or further damage down the line.

By Manali