Garage Door Repair and Maintenance Tips

By HomeAdvisor

Updated May 15, 2020

Garage door

There are few keys to keeping your garage door in good working order. The first is to perform an annual inspection to head off problems before they start. These general maintenance steps can be done by most do-it-yourselfers, though by hiring an expert in garage door repair you’ll rest easier knowing that nothing is missed. Beyond the basic maintenance, however, you probably want to bring in a professional to perform more complicated repairs. It’s generally worth the money to hire someone you trust so you can be sure there’s nothing to worry about when your garage door repair is said and done.

Basic Garage Door Maintenance

There are a few basic maintenance tasks that you should hire out or do yourself on an annual basis. Performing these simple checks will go a long way in preventing the need for future garage door repair.

  • Check the tracks for dents or other damage. You should be able to pound out minor blemishes with a rubber hammer. If there is major damage, you’ll need to have the tracks replaced altogether.
  • Make sure the tracks are level and properly aligned. If they are not, loosen the mounting brackets and tap the tracks until they are plumb with each other and slanting slightly towards the back of the garage.
  • Wipe out the tracks. Clean and clear all debris from the tracks. Use a large paintbrush initially to remove dust and dirt, then use a household cleaner for a deeper clean.
  • Lubricate the rollers, tracks and pulleys. This can be done with special garage door lubricant sprays or powdered graphite for the tracks and pulleys, and household lubricating oil for the rollers.
  • Check all nuts, bolts and fasteners. Tighten anything loose that you come across in the process.

Professional Garage Door Repair

While these garage door maintenance steps are within the reach of most homeowners, there are several tasks that should always be done by a garage door repair service. If you have an automatic garage door opener and are experiencing any problems with the built in safety reversal features, call a repairman right away. Not addressing this problem can result in damage to your car, and even worse, personal injury. The other project that you should never attempt yourself is repairing or replacing the large central spring, if your garage door has one. These are high tension springs, and attempting to remove them yourself can cause serious injury to your person. On a similar note, simply returning your garage door to its original condition and operation may not be the best decision for your home. Why fix the tracks for your garage door, if for a little bit more money, you can install an automatic garage door opener? Even older automatic openers may be hopelessly outdated and create vulnerability in your home’s security. Would-be burglars have little trouble cracking older automatic systems that use common and fixed transmission signals.

Cost of Garage Door Repairs

In terms of planning financially for garage door maintenance, repair, or replacement, it’s all-too-often a crapshoot, but we can provide some guidelines. According to data collected from homeowners across the country, the average cost to repair a garage door is about $250, although we’ve seen projects as low as $50 and as high as $1,000. To replace a garage door opener, the average cost is $350, but obviously this figure depends on the model and complexity of your chosen opening system. You can also repair the garage door opener, which costs about $220. Finally, the average cost to replace a garage door altogether is $1,100, again with a wide range from low-end and high-end projects. Performing regular garage door maintenance is a must and will minimize the number of larger repairs you’ll face over the life of the door. If you do run into a major problem, however, talk to a qualified garage door repair specialist to get your job done right.

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Easy DIY Garage Door Fixes

A working garage door is important to the safety and aesthetics of your home. If you’re noticing problems with your door, use these DIY tips to diagnose the problem.

  1. Test your openers. If your car opener isn’t working, try your wall-mounted opener. If your indoor opener works, replace the batteries in your car opener. If neither work, look at replacing the garage door opener.
  2. Check for damage. It’s easy to bump or scrape your car against your garage door. Check for dents and damage that may have knocked your door out of alignment.
  3. Check the sensor. If you have an automatic door, check to make the sure the sensor is in place. Also, wipe away any dust that may have settled on the lens.
  4. Double-check your release cord. Check your cord to ensure it’s not disengaged. Pull the cord away from your garage’s opening to reengage the cord.
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  1. Luke Yancey, October 14:

    Your maintenance tips reminded me that I should really be taking a lot better care of my garage door. This is especially true for the tracks. I will make sure to check, clean, and align them properly tonight! Thanks.

  2. judy wilson, October 14:

    After replacing my garage door, I feel that I should do more to maintain it better than my old one. I think that one of the main problems I had with my old door is that the tracks weren’t properly aligned for a long time. It seems really easy to loosen the mounting brackets and tap the tracks to get them to slant enough to become even, so I’ll try that the next time I notice that my door isn’t aligned.

  3. Cindy Tesler, December 19:

    I agree that you should check your garage door tracks for minor damage that can be easily fixed. You also said that if the damage to the tracks are too great you will most likely need to totally replace them. I think it’s a good idea to choose a garage motor that is quiet so that it does not bother you and your neighbors when it’s opening and closing.

  4. Sandra Hexner, July 13:

    Thank you for all this great information about garage door maintenance and repair! I really like your point that I can try to do the simple stuff, but having a professional garage door repairman work on it will be able to do the big and small tasks that a garage door repair needs. We just moved and the garage won’t open or close because one of the springs are out, so I really like that you specifically mentioned that it should never be attempted without a professional.

  5. Sarah Lancaster, October 4:

    I really liked how you included minor repairs you could probably repair yourself. I know the tracks usually are the easiest things to bump into place if they are not too damaged. I used to have an attic in my garage, sort of close to the tracks. One day I was grabbing boxes from the attic and accidentally dropped a heavy box and lost my balance on the ladder and grabbed onto the tracks for protection! Luckily I was able to fix them! Thanks for this great information! I’ll be sure to use this if I ever find it necessary!

  6. Kobe, July 7:

    Do you need a liscence to fix a garage door? and if you dont, what are the concenquences?

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