An estimated 6.93 million property crimes occurred in the US in 2019. Compared to 2018, this represents a decrease of 9.5% in burglaries and 4% in motor vehicle thefts. However, these crimes still led to losses amounting to an estimated $15.8 billion.
You can become part of those statistics if you keep delaying the need for garage door repair. The risk is especially high if your faulty garage door doesn’t lock or close completely.
To that end, we created this detailed guide on the “symptoms” exhibited by faulty garage doors. Read on to learn how to tell if you need prompt or emergency garage door repair services.
- You Can’t Get Your Manual Garage Door to Lock From Inside
Most burglaries involve “forcible entry,” such as using tools to force open a door or window. However, about a third of burglary cases occur through “unlawful entry,” too.
A criminal can unlawfully enter your home through a non-locking garage door. This problem is more common in older garage doors that rely on a manual locking mechanism.
Manual garage doors often come with a keyed cylinder lock that works like a typical doorknob. These locks have guided bars that line up with locking holes in the door track. In working locks, the bars slide into the holes, and a mechanism secures them in place.
So, if something blocks the holes, the bars won’t reach the mechanism, and you’ll end up with an unlocked door. Another way this can occur is if the lock bars don’t align with the locking holes. The guides that the locking bars ride on may also become misaligned over time.
If you can’t lock your manual garage door from the inside, check the door tracks and locking holes for debris. If it looks clean, you may need to adjust the door tracks to get the locking bars aligned right.
- The Garage Door Doesn’t Close All the Way
Misaligned tracks can make your garage door fail to close completely. This can happen if the garage door rollers pop out of their track. The rollers are the wheels that allow your garage door to slide along their metal tracks.
Both manual and automatic garage doors rely on rollers and tracks to open and close the door. As such, misaligned rollers or jammed tracks can lead to a garage door that won’t close all the way. You’d want to hire a garage door repair expert for these issues, as fixing them involves heavy lifting.
- Your Door Doesn’t Want to Move
The average homeowner closes and opens their garage door 1,500 times a year. Torsion springs wind and then unwind to guide the door while it runs along the tracks. The springs store tension, which they then release once you open the door.
This released tension, in turn, acts as a force or a source of energy to help raise the door. So, if not for the best torsion springs, garage door openers will have a hard time lifting the doors’ weight.
However, garage door springs have a limited number of closing and opening cycles. They lose their ability to store tension once they reach the maximum number of cycles. You need to replace these aged springs; otherwise, they can snap and ricochet.
Busted springs can render your garage door stuck in the same position it was in before the springs broke. So, if the problem occurred as the door was still opening, it can leave you with a partially-open door.
A garage door that doesn’t close all the way is a safety and security hazard. Aside from inviting criminals, a door stuck in an open position can collapse. This is one of the reasons behind 30,000 garage door-related injuries occurring in the US each year.
If you’re going to DIY the spring replacement, be sure to buy garage door repair parts with the same specs. For example, you need to replace a 20-coil, 25.4 cm spring with the same measurements. If you replace it with something smaller, your garage door may not open or close as it should.
- Garage Door Jerks or Wobbles
Broken springs may also cause your garage door to jerk or wobble as it opens or closes. Annoying screeching noises usually accompany these shaky motions.
Worn or misaligned tracks or rollers can also be to blame. The same goes for a jammed pulley or track or if the door’s rollers lack lubrication.
Like stuck doors, jerky or wobbly garage doors are also safety and security risks. As such, it’s best you get it inspected and repaired by a garage door repair specialist.
- Malfunctioning Reversing and Entrapment Protection System
Under federal law 16 CFR part 1211, all garage door openers must have a reversing system. This applies to all doors manufactured since January 1, 1991. Their reversing system must provide a two-second obstruction response mechanism.
That means your door should reverse within two seconds if there’s an obstruction. Your garage door comes with a sensor to carry out this task properly. Over time though, the sensor, especially its “eye,” can become “blind” due to scratches, wear, and tear.
If this happens, your garage door may “think” there’s an obstruction even if there’s none. As a result, it may open or close erratically. Worse, it may not be able to sense any obstruction and fail to reverse when it should.
Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to get the protection system replaced. Either way, it’s a problem that warrants emergency garage door repair services.
Don’t Put Your Safety at Risk by Delaying Garage Door Repair
Garage doors can last for 20 to 25 years, but a lack of maintenance can cut their life short. The same can happen if you keep putting off a necessary garage door repair. Worse, ignoring these problems can result in severe injuries and property damage.
So, as soon as you notice these signs of malfunctions, have your garage door fixed without delay.
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