Have you noticed that your garage door closes unevenly? Homeowners and business owners typically share this experience years after installing a new garage system, even without an uneven floor.
If your garage door is not level when closed, it’s important to take steps to fix it. An unbalanced garage door can cause damage to your driveway, garage floor, vehicles or those who use the door regularly. Rest assured that Olympic Garage Door can help repair and maintain your garage door if this instance occurs.
The most common cause of an unbalanced garage door is damage to the torsion spring. You can find these springs mounted inside the garage directly above the door. When they break, usually after years of service, the metal begins to wear down and the springs cannot properly open and close the garage door or only lowers one side. The cables may continue forcing the door to move, but the door will not be able to balance on the ground without the springs’ coiling and uncoiling functions.
- How To Tell If A Garage Door Is Balanced
- Conducting The Balance Test Step-By-Step
- What To Do If Your Garage Door Is Unbalanced
- Trust Olympic Garage Door To Fix Any Garage Door Issue
How to Tell if a Garage Door Is Balanced
While a balanced garage door’s status is more evident from its ability to function properly with every use, there are many cases where a working door system will begin showing signs of deteriorating over time. Regularly check your garage door for signs of damage or wear to prevent this.
A promising sign your garage door is properly balanced is checking if you can still open it manually and automatically. If it can move up and down, the torsion springs are still functioning. The best indicator of a balanced garage door is checking if the bottom of the door is level with the ground. In some instances, the door will move, but the garage door closes unevenly. One side typically touches the ground before the other or rises higher when stationary. This uneven garage door issue can also result from damaged torsion springs.
If you can confirm that the door is level, can move on command and can pass the balance test, your garage door is properly balanced. To ensure your garage door stays balanced, keep all door parts clean and free from obstruction. A damp cloth can wipe away any dirt or grime in the sensors, rails or hinges. A vacuum can help clean those hard-to-reach places above the door. For other maintenance services, we recommend contacting an expert to perform routine maintenance procedures to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Conducting the Balance Test Step-By-Step
Testing the balance of a garage door at least twice a year ensures its condition is in top shape. We recommend testing your garage door before and after the winter season to make sure it’s strong enough to withstand heavy snow without moisture damaging the springs or cables.
This simple movement test can let homeowners know if their garage door is appropriately balanced:
- Make sure the door is closed completely and remove any objects or people from the immediate area.
- Pull the red release rope hanging from the garage motor trolley. This rope will detach the garage door from the automatic opener. You can now open and close the door manually.
- Lift the door by the bottom or hinges halfway off the ground and step away from the door.
If there is minimal movement, your garage door is properly balanced. If the door shuts forcefully or opens the entire way, you may need to replace your torsion springs.
If you suspect your garage door is unbalanced, you will most likely notice it visually or audibly. If your garage door is crooked, it could be the first indicator of an imbalance. Another option is to listen to how the door responds to an automatic opener. If you press the garage door button from inside the garage or through a remote, an unbalanced door may creak loudly or sound heavy as it slowly opens. Audible signs like this may accompany what seems like a level door. However, these noises may indicate the torsion springs are weakening or already breaking.
Checking the springs can also tell you whether the garage door is unbalanced. The spring should stretch from the middle of the door to about halfway to the other side. Take notice of any withered metal within the spirals to tell if a spring broke. An obvious separation of the spring from the rest of the structure may prevent the door from moving properly.
What to Do if Your Garage Door Is Unbalanced
Once you have finished conducting the balance test, evaluate what precautions you can take to ensure you and anyone using the garage remain safe. Consider these steps:
- Keep the door stationary: If the springs cause the door to become stuck in an open or closed position, keep it in this stationary location. Forcing the garage door in a particular direction when the springs are not intact can permanently damage the door and any object around it.
- Prop the door open: If the door sits unevenly, place a heavy, solid object between it and the ground to ensure it doesn’t snap shut on something or someone passing underneath.
- Do not attempt to rebalance the door: Try not to move the door to balance the sides. This shift can cause the springs or cables to snap. If this happens, the door may open or close quickly, which can damage the door itself. Any movement or weight change on the door can cause the system to overload and stop working altogether. The best thing you can do is make sure the door is left alone with a solid object underneath until an expert can take a look.
If you find the corresponding torsion springs no longer support the door’s weight or structure, call a garage door expert immediately. Do not try to repair this issue without the help of an experienced professional, or you risk injury or damages that could leave you with costlier repairs.
Trust Olympic Garage Door to Fix Any Garage Door Issue
Rest assured that repairing your garage door is no longer a chore. At Olympic Garage Door, our expert maintenance team is qualified to ensure top-of-the-line repair services to fix any garage door problem. Your garage door repair needs are our top priority. We offer professional advice during each inspection to aid in selecting the best services for your personal situation. We operate on a schedule that works best for you, so you can relax while we work our magic.
Contact us today or visit our Port Angeles location for more quality care garage services.