How To Diagnose A Garage Door That Struggles To Open And Close

Posted on: 21 December 2021


A garage door that looks and sounds like it's having a difficult time moving open and closed could be damaged in a way that impedes or weakens its movement. Damage to the door changes its shape and the way it moves. It can also create or exacerbate problems that prevent your door from moving and pose potentially serious safety risks.

Doors Broken, Warped, or Misshapen

Physical damage to the door of any kind will often prevent it from moving properly, as a door that is somehow misshapen will no longer be able to smoothly move within its tracks. Some common types of physical damage are doors that have been dented or pushed out of place by something like a collision or severe weather. If your door is made of wood, it may also warp or bow if it is suffering moisture damage. If you have a segmented door, damaged segments can cause the same problem even if the rest of the door is undamaged.

Inspect your door and look for any signs of curvature or bending. When it is all the way closed, check to see if it is touching the ground evenly at all points along the bottom or if it looks to have closed at an angle. A damaged door can often be repaired, even if it has experienced warping. However, it will need to be repaired immediately, as prolonged use of damaged doors can damage the entire opening system.

Springs Failing or Broken

Springs move most of the weight of your door, so if your door's spring is not working correctly, your door will have a hard time opening and closing as the opener will be moving much more weight than it should.

Importantly, springs that aren't working properly can damage your door in a few different ways. Doors that open and close under great strain due to broken springs may lose alignment over time, and a spring that breaks can sometimes cause immediate damage to your door; springs are under immense amounts of tension, and they can sometimes cause serious damage if they break.

Once your springs are taken care of, make sure your door is inspected as well, as any damage caused to your door by the springs can still require your door to be repaired before it can be safely used.

Failing Garage Door Opener

In some cases, the opener itself may be the primary cause of the problem, especially if it uses a chain-drive system. As the gear that moves the chain gets older, the "teeth" of the gear can start to lose their grip on the chain, causing it to slip. This can result in doors that seem to move erratically and make rattling and banging sounds as they move, which can also pose a safety risk.

While the issue with the opener will need to be addressed to make your door functional again, this problem, like failing springs, can also indirectly damage your door. Doors that move erratically like this can be bumped out of alignment and dented, hinges can come loose, and the door tracks themselves can also be bent. When this damage is minor it can usually be repaired, but it will often get worse with time if not taken care of quickly.

Contact a company like Love Garage Doors LLC for more information.