No matter where you're headed, the last thing you want stopping you is a stuck garage door. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for this normally-reliable piece of equipment to malfunction suddenly. The following shows how you can get out of a jam by diagnosing and taking care of your garage door jam.
Is It the Opener or the Door Itself?
The typical garage door can get stuck for two reasons: the garage door opener has malfunctioned or there's a problem that's causing the garage door to become stuck. To figure out which problem you're facing, locate and pull the emergency release cord to disengage the opener from the door. Afterwards, see if you can lift the garage door open by hand. If the door opens smoothly, check the garage door opener for any malfunctions. If the door opens partially, read on.
What to Check First…
Carefully check the garage door's rollers, tracks and hinges for any signs of damage or excessive wear. For instance, worn out rollers can easily cause the garage door to hang up as a point of wear. Also, make sure these areas are free of any debris that could cause jams.
It's also good idea to watch the garage door as you attempt to open it. The door could be hanging up on a warped panel or damaged support beam.
A Little Lubricant Can Go a Long Way
Another common problem that often contributes to stuck garage doors is a lack of proper lubrication. The rollers, hinges and various other parts must be lubricated properly in order to function properly and prevent rust from forming.
First, make sure the tracks are free of debris. Lubricate the metal rollers by placing one to two drops of ordinary engine oil on each roller. Move the rollers a bit so the rolling action draws the oil into the bearings. If your garage door uses nylon rollers, you'll want to stick with silicone spray lubricant. Petroleum and mineral oil-based lubricants can break down plastics over time, resulting in accelerated wear and tear.
Next, lubricate all of the hinges and other metal moving parts on the garage door with a light coating of engine oil or silicone spray lubricant. It's a good idea to perform this task every 6 months to prevent door jams, premature rusting and other problems.
Checking Springs and Pulleys
Aging garage door springs and pulleys can also cause jamming issues. In many cases, a misaligned or stuck pulley cable can cause the garage door to stick. Broken springs caused by age and fatigue can also make it very difficult or even nearly impossible to open the garage door.
You can visually inspect the garage door springs and pulley cables on your own, but it's usually a good idea to have a professional make the actual repairs. These components can be very dangerous to work on, with serious injuries resulting from improper procedures or failure to follow recommended safety precautions.
For more information, contact Crawford Door Company or a similar organization.