Garage Door Dilemmas

Most garage door maladies are easy to diagnose and repair. Here's how to remedy the most common problems.

Why do garage doors malfunction? Though not the sole culprit, moisture plays a large part. It warps doors, rusts hardware, and causes framing members to rot away. While you're looking for problems, check to make sure that water is not building up around or dripping onto the door. If it is, find the source of the water and make the needed repairs at once.

Sagging Swing-Up With swing-up garage doors, sagging is the biggest problem. The reason: The lifting mechanisms usually aren't adequate to support the weight. If this is the problem, replace -- don't repair -- the mechanisms with extra-heavy-duty ones. Position them so the screws will be driven into new, solid wood.

Illustration 1: Cable slack.

Cable Slack Cable slack causes pulley-type doors to malfunction. Tighten the cable without stretching the spring; see Illustration 1.

Illustration 2: Tension spring.

Loose Tension On doors with tension springs, tighten the spring by hooking it into the next adjustment hole in the door framing or track; see Illustration 2.

Illustration 3: Torsion spring.

Note: Never try to repair or replace torsion springs (see Illustration 3). These springs are under tremendous tension and can cause severe injury if not handled properly. Call in a garage door contractor to repair or replace these.

Illustration 1: Bar lock adjustment.

Locking Trouble Bar locks won't lock if the assembly is out of alignment. Adjust either the lockset or the bar guide, as shown in Illustration 1.

Illustration 2: Track adjustment.

On the Right Track Tracks must be parallel or the door will bind. Measure between them in several places and make adjustments; see Illustration 2.

Illustration 3: Door adjustment.

Out of Alignment If the door rubs against the trim, move the molding back or adjust or shim out the track brackets; see Illustration 3.

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