Monday, April 18, 2016

Why Garage Doors Fall off Their Tracks

Is one side of your garage door out of horizontal alignment? If so, don't just shrug it off. One day you may find it lying flat on the garage floor or on top of your car. It's a serious situation, especially if your door is heavy. Even house inspectors are reluctant to get near them. The Internet is full of web pages about people whose garage doors fell and landed on top of their cars which were parked inside the garage.

The Internet is also full of advice such as clamping a door so that it's horizontally level and then adjusting the cables so that they have equal tension. Or if the door has partially popped out of its track, they'll tell you how to pop it back in again.

The problem with both of the above pieces of advice is that they fail to address the underlying cause of the problem. Without doing this, the problem will simply return and possibly hurt someone the next time around. Five of these underlying causes are explained below:

  • A broken garage door spring. A door left with a single good spring means that only one side is being held. Opening or closing a door that is cocked like this can cause the door to drop out of its track. This can also happen when one spring is significantly weaker than another. 
  • A damaged lift cable. Old lift cables can wear over time and start to break a few strands at a time. This causes the cable to stretch which then causes your door to become misaligned. This continues until the cable breaks while the door is moving. 
  • A buckled door panel. This can happen when backing your car out of the garage without first opening the garage door. This is a common mistake made by countless tired or distracted people. The buckled panel warps the door so that it fails to properly move in the tracks. 
  • A damaged or warped track. When one of the tracks is damaged or warped, the door hangs up on the side of the bad track. This cocks the door and may pop it off its track. 
  • Bad rollers. Rollers can wear out, drop out of the track, or seize up. Worn out or missing rollers mean that the door isn't attached to the track at those points. A seized roller can cause the door to hang up. 

Remember that a horizontally misaligned door won't stay that way forever when the door is in use. It will fail in some way. Hopefully the door will simply get stuck rather than drop off on top of your car or worse. Don't wait for that day to come. Contact Overhead Door Co of Lansing to schedule your garage door maintenance and avoid an emergency situation!

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