A garage is a wonderful place to store tools, a lawn mower, and of course – a car. However, a garage is only as good as its door. If your garage door does not lock, open or close properly, the items stored within in will be either trapped and unusable, or exposed and vulnerable. What’s more, if you have a garage attached to your home with a stuck door and you live in a cold city like Newark, New Jersey, your utility bills will go up. And last but not least, a malfunctioning garage door is dangerous for those walking nearby or beneath it. For all these reasons, if your garage door is not functioning properly, it’s important to contact a garage door repairman. While it may cost you between $100 and $400, it’s not something you should attempt to deal with on your own.
Identifying the Problem
Possible issues that could cause malfunctioning include a broken spring, cable or motor. Aside from the garage door itself, there may be an electrical problem preventing the garage door’s motor from receiving electricity, in which case an electrician may need to be called in.
Before contacting an expert, however, there is some troubleshooting you should perform on your own. First, make sure the batteries in your garage door remote control are working. Next, go up on a stool or ladder and see if there is anything stuck on the garage door’s tracks, but be careful not to stick your head anywhere dangerous or touch anything. Lastly, inspect the electric eyes and make sure they are not out of place or damaged.
In most garages the door is connected to powerful springs that bear the weight and help lift up and lower the door. The spring mechanism can consist of either torsion or extension springs. Torsion springs wind up and unwind to raise or lower the door, and extension springs contract or extend to raise or lower the door. The springs are only built to last 5 – 10 years, so sooner or later you’ll need to replace them, depending on how often you open and close your garage, and how much the door weighs. Repairing a spring can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on the labor involved and the type of spring required.
Electric garage doors are powered by motors that pull a chain connected to the door. The garage door motor is positioned on the ceiling so that the chain and other hardware are as close to dead center as possible. Occasionally the motor is installed off of dead center because of obstacles, but this should be avoided because it can lead to problems over time.
There are parts within the motor that regulate how far the door should close or open. If any of these parts gets knocked out of position or breaks, it could prevent the door from completely opening or closing. Motor repairs generally cost between $150 and $400, depending on the extent of the damage.
Once your garage door is repaired, it’s important to properly maintain your garage door by keeping the tracks clean and periodically applying oil to the hinges, bearings and springs. This will not only prevent future malfunctions and save you repair costs, but it will also add to the overall life of the door.