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Garage Door Repair Looking at it from the top

Updated on February 2, 2013

Garages are one of the best investments homeowners make in their property. A home will appraise better with a garage than with a new custom horse barn. The upkeep on a home, garage, and out buildings is vital to receiving the best possible appraisal when time comes. Houses of course are not just an investment; they are the place that we call home. From raising our kids, to planting the landscaping, to our own private retreat, the home represents the refuge from the world. So when thing such as garage door repair end up on the top of the list for Saturday morning, sometimes we don’t mind quite as much.

Garage doors have evolved over the years. From the simple side hinges ones that we see in old movies, to the retractable doors of today, they all have one thing in common- if they sag or drag they end up nagging the owner. Though typically only seen on outbuildings or fancy homes, the side hinged doors may need the hinges tightened or replaced. Having all of the weight swinging on the same hinges can make them drag. Sometimes the door will need taken down; the bottom trimmed off of it, and then re-hung on the hinges.

Track mounted doors or retractable doors are the most popular. A friend of mine really felt he had arrived when he built a new home and put an attached two car garage complete with garage door openers. I had to smile, no matter how nice it was outside, his car was always parked inside and the door down.

Garage Door Repair- cleaning


Ok, so far we have checked the track for dents and levelness. If the door is still not operating properly the next thing to look for is dirt or grim in the wheels and hardware. Grim builds up, as most garages are not the cleanest places in the world. The oil and lubricants attract dust. On a windy day the dirt may blow right in on the rollers. Dirt and grim can be removed with regular house hold cleaners. I have used 409 or Mr. Clean on our track over the years and it worked well. Also lubricating all of the animated parts is a wise investment of time.

Garage doors

Before garage door repair
Before garage door repair

Garage Door Repair - tracking


When a retractable door is not traveling up or down properly the problem will most likely be found in the track itself. If someone or something bumps into the tracking and bend it or dents it, then the door cannot travel uninterrupted. To fix this open the door all the way and then take a hammer and tap the part of the track that is not in line.


If the door tracking is free of dents and the door is still not cooperating, look next to the position of the track. Over time bolts and screws can become loose. This may allow the track to shift to one side or the other. A five or seven foot long level is perfect for checking the track for straightness. A crooked track will keep the door from traveling freely. If the track is in fact out of plumb loosen the screws, straighten it, and then screw it back in. A DeWalt cordless screw gun is perfect for this type of work. Equipped with a Philips or torch bit, the job becomes a whole lot easier.


Garage Door Repair Needed

Garage Door Repair Needed
Garage Door Repair Needed

Garage door springs and locks



If one side of the garage door does not open at the same rate as the other side, then the problem may lie in the springs themselves. Springs are high tension so a professional is the best choice. As soon as a spring is released it may hit you on the head and leave you dazed. Not a good position to be in when you are perched on a ladder.


Another common problem with garage doors is that they will not lock. The garage door handle turns to force the two bars outward to slide into the slots in the track, thus locking the door. If the track has become loosened or the handle itself is not sliding properly the latch will not lodge where it belongs when engaged. The best thing to do is loosen the bolts and use the level once again to get the bar straight.

Log Home Garage Doors

Garage Door Parts

If all of these have failed, or if you just can’t bring yourself to give up a Saturday morning to the garage door repair effort, a professional is the best choice. Look around, talk to some neighbors, or consult your local phone book for a repair man. A handy man service might serve you well, but the people who install the doors everyday of the week for a living are the ones we have received the best service from. They should have a selection of garage doors parts on hand to aid in completing the repair. Things do wear over time and new tracking, new springs, or even a door panel is not beyond the realm of reasonable repairs and maintenance.

If you have a name brand door such as a Clopay garage door parts should be purchased from an authorized dealer. Mixing parts from other companies may damage the door or make it operate even worse.

Garage door opener parts

Garage door opener parts should also be part of the repertoire of the repair man. Some simple parts for the openers may be able to be ordered directly from the company online. Belts things along that line are not too hard to replace.

Garage door repair is worth the effort to attempt on your own, but be careful not to unscrew too many bolts and take too much of the door apart. If you end up calling a repair man then he will end up spending even more time putting more things back together. Of course it seems like when the whole door is torn apart some helpful set of little children hands come along and walk away with a bolt, or the tray gets knocked over and the small parts take a trip through the air. Whatever repair means you choose, it is well worth the effort to keep your garage door repaired and working well.

Cowboy Log Homes

Garage Door Repair Video


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I susoppe that sounds and smells just about right.

    • Jessica Horn profile image

      Jessica Horn 

      9 years ago

      This is one of those things that I never worry about until my garage door opener breaks & then I have to spend $300 to $500 on a repair or replacement.

      Thanks for the tips! I'm sure that with a little maintenance, I could save myself from those costly repair bills!

      Thumbs up on the article!


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