Garage doors lead pretty simple lives. Up, down, up, down, over and over until they suddenly don't work the way they should. Fortunately, that simple life usually makes for relatively simple repairs. Sometimes, though, even reliable old garage doors bite the dust.
If you are having trouble with your garage door, here are some tips on what to do.
Quick Garage Door Fixes
When your garage door starts acting up, more often than not it is telling you it's time to do a bit of maintenance.
So, before hitting the panic button, try these simple repairs. First, examine the rollers and tracks. If you can't remember the last time you cleaned them (and they look the part!), give them a good brushing and then add some lubricant. Next, perform these simple garage door maintenance tasks.
If none of this fixes your problems, or if you would rather just let someone else fuss with the problem, take a look at How To Find the Best Garage Door Installers and Repairmen.
Silencing a Noisy Garage Door
Noisy garage doors cause all kinds problems, especially for anyone who has to sleep above or next to the garage. Fortunately, most noisy garage door problems can be fixed with a combination of routine maintenance and the replacement of a few parts. For more information on the latter, see How To Quiet a Noisy Garage Door.
Frozen Garage Door?
It is precisely on those coldest days of the year when you most need and appreciate the convenience of opening and closing your garage door quickly.
Sadly, those also happen to be the kinds of days when cold and moisture combine to make this difficult. Garage doors can and do freeze to the garage floor. Sometimes it is a minor icy connection between the two that can be broken when you hit the opener button.
Other times, however, the door refuses to budge.
When this happens to you, stop hoping that if you hit that button enough times, a miracle will happen. About the only thing that is going to happen is that you cause a much bigger problem with the garage door opener (including, but not limited to, stripped gears, broken coils and burned out motor).
Instead, take a few moments that break the connection. Use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the ice. Standard de-icing products will also work. And, if you are careful not to damage the door or the seal on the bottom of the door, use a flat shovel or similar tool to chip away at the ice.
Once you get the door open, clear any water, ice or snow from the spot on the garage floor where the door rests when closed. That way, you should be able to plan on getting the door open next time you need it.
Replacing Broken Glass
I don't know about your record, but I have broken the glass on garage doors from both the inside and the outside. In the former case, I put the end of a 2x4 through a pane, and in the latter (and a much more common occurrence) an errant pass with a basketball (or perhaps it was a fit of anger after yet another missed shot) did the duty.
Regardless of the cause, this is one problem you want to fix as soon as possible. Broken glass is a safety issue, a security problem, and an invitation to every bird and hornet in the neighborhood to make your garage their next home.
It's not difficult to replace a pane of glass. Learn how with these instructions.
Keep It Safe
Garage doors are much safer these days than they used to be. That is especially true of garage doors equipped with garage door openers. Older garage door openers did not have the kinds of safety features that would stop them before closing on a child or pet wandering in or out of the garage while the door closed. That made for many tragic stories.
But the improvements in safety haven't eliminated safety concerns when it comes to garage doors. Everyone needs to understand how to stay safe in the garage. See 10 Garage Door Safety Tips for some suggestions.
Garage Door Opener Problems
Have you ever noticed just how much you use, and rely on, your garage door opener? Sure, we spend the big bucks for attractive front doors to our homes, but for many of us, the actual coming and going takes place through the garage. And that means we depend on the garage door opening and closing at the press of a button.
So, when the garage door opener decides to take a day off, it can leave you stuck outside, probably during a rain or snow storm. Though they may seem complicated, there really are several things most homeowners can do to diagnose and repair opener failures. A good place to start is with Troubleshooting the Most Common Garage Door Opener Problems.
Replacing a Garage Door
There are really only a couple of reasons why you would consider replacing your garage door. Either is has stopped working properly, or you are sick of the way it looks. Most often, it is some combination of those two factors.
Unfortunately, shopping for a new garage door isn't a particularly easy process. Most of us rarely perform this type of shopping, and there really aren't a lot of consumer publications offering solid information on the best choices.
It helps to break things down into bite-sized pieces. Your first thought might be along the lines of "What is a new garage door going to cost me?" A good place to look for answers to that question is with these frequently asked questions about the costs of a new garage door.
From there, you ought to consider the different materials that garage doors are constructed from (see Choosing the Best Garage Door Material. Once you understand something about materials, you then need to make sure you choose the style of garage door that best complements your house. For that, see Understanding Garage Door Styles.
Concerned about doing the right thing for the environment? Then take a look at Choosing a Green Garage Door.
Finally, once you've narrowed down the type of garage door you want to grace the front of your garage, you will want to Get the Best Deal on a Garage Door Replacement. And part of that process will probably require that you find a good garage door installer.