7 Do’s & Don’ts Of DIY Garage Door Repair

A can-do attitude is great for several common garage door repairs. But, there are parts and pieces of every door that should be left to a trained professional. The American Garage Doors team shares three do’s and four don’ts when it comes to your garage door.

3 Ways To Improve Your Garage Door

1. Reduce Opening & Closing Noise

You can reduce the sound of a loud garage door on your own, but the trick may be finding the cause. 

  • Update the rollers from steel to nylon: The friction of steel rollers on steel tracks is a common source of the noise.
  • Lubricate every part if you hear squeaking sounds: Unlubricated springs, pulleys, rollers, and cables can all add extra noise when the door opens and closes. For best results use only quality lubricants, specifically for garage doors, such as Blaster or 3-In-One.
  • Tighten any nuts and bolts that might be rattling: These pieces sometimes work loose over time with the movement and vibration from the door.
  • Replace rusty hinges and/or other moving parts: This is a common cause of a noisy garage door.

Of course, a garage door won’t be perfectly silent, you can reduce the noise using these tricks.

2. Open a Closed Door

If your garage door won’t open, there’s a good chance you can fix it yourself. First, check the door’s power supply. If the door opener isn’t plugged in or otherwise connected to power, it may be the issue.

Next, check the safety eyes. These are placed one- to two-feet from the bottom of the door on either side of it, and look like cameras. The safety eyes face each other, so they can detect something blocking the door and prevent it from closing.

When the safety eyes aren’t working, the door might not open or close. Wipe off their lenses – it’s possible dirt buildup is preventing them from working. 

Also, the sensors need to be lined up to properly work. If a sensor was bumped or kicked, may not be aligned with the other. When the sensors are in line, their lights should come on.

Of course, if these tricks don’t work, you may need to call a professional. In the meantime, you’ll have to manually open and close your door. It’s important not to operate the garage door motor if the photo eyes aren’t working as they’re a safety mechanism.

3. Paint and Stain

When your garage door needs a fresh coat of paint or stain, you can easily do it yourself. In fact, a wooden door should be painted and stained yearly to help prevent rot and damage.

4 Garage Door DIY Don’ts

These are the garage door issues that you shouldn’t attempt to fix on your own. If you have a problem on this list, contact a professional garage door repair company.

1. Fix A Broken Spring

Every garage door runs on springs, and occasionally a spring breaks. Yet, you should never attempt to fix one or both on your own as they hold a surprising amount of tension. If one hits you with the tension force, it can cause serious injury. Even if the spring appears to have lost all tension after breaking, it could still be holding some back.

If one spring on the door breaks, you’ll need to replace both of them. The springs need to work in tandem for the door to run properly. If one pulls more than the other, you’ll have a wobbly door, or one that doesn’t move.

2. Fix Bent or Broken Rollers

Your garage door has rollers to help open and close smoothly. If a roller bends, pops out, or otherwise breaks, you may no longer be able to open the door easily— or at all. However, this isn’t a problem you should fix yourself. If repaired incorrectly, the rollers may allow the door to fall on the ground, or worse, on you. Call in professional help for this issue.

3. Straighten a Bent Track

The track keeps your garage door traveling along the correct path for opening and closing. If the track becomes bent, the door can no longer open as it should. Many things can bend a garage door track, such as a door malfunction, a vehicle striking the door, or something else. This is another fix you can’t DIY – a professional has the knowledge and tools needed to correctly fix it.

4. Repair Broken or Frayed Cables

Cables, like springs, hold a lot of tension for the door to work. Fixing a broken or frayed cable on your own can result in serious injury, or death, if a cable hits you with full force. Professionals know how to safely repair garage door cables and avoid injury.

What To Do When You Can’t Do-It-Yourself

Many garage door fixes can be safely and easily handled on your own. But, the things you shouldn’t do alone can be extremely dangerous. Never try one of these don’ts at home – there are plenty of qualified professionals who can help you.

If you do not know of a qualified professional, please contact us and we will refer you to a professional in your area. (800) 277-8107