Garage Door FAQ
Common Garage Door Questions
Basic Garage Door Questions
Q: How do I know what size garage door I need?
A: Most homes have typical sizes for their garage doors. A standard single car garage door would measure 9′x8′, and a standard double car garage door would measure 16′x8′. When you’re getting a new garage door installed the technician will take expert measurements to make sure you’re getting the right size. To get an idea for yourself, measure the finished opening width and then the height.
Q: Do garage doors require maintenance?
A: It’s usually a good idea to provide regular maintenance for your garage door and garage door opener. Salty breezes from the ocean, sunlight, heavier-than-normal use and extreme temperatures can cause your garage door parts to wear quickly, and regular check-ups and lubrication can prevent expensive repairs down the road. You can even extend the life of your garage door with routine maintenance.
Q: Is it possible to only replace sections of my overhead garage door?
A: Yes, it is possible. If your garage door has been hit by a car or other object and only one or two sections of your garage door are damaged, you can contact the manufacturer to see if those parts are available. However, many garage doors are sold as a single unit, making it difficult to find individual sections, and some older garage doors might not be manufactured anymore. Additionally, the cost of replacing one or two sections of a garage door might not be much less than replacing the whole thing with all new parts.
Q: What’s the difference between torsion springs and extension springs and how can I tell which ones I have on my garage door?
A: Torsion springs and extension springs both help to open and close your garage door, but torsion springs work when pushed and extension springs work when pulled. Most modern overhead garage doors use torsion springs, so the chances are that’s what you have. A certified technician will be able to tell which type you have and perform a replacement.
Garage Door Opener Troubleshooting
Q: Can I manually open my garage door?
A: Yes, there is a red release cord on every modern garage door opener that you can pull to disengage it from the motor and put the system on manual. This is useful if there is a problem with your garage door opener or the power is out. Take caution when doing this with a garage door in the open position as it could potentially slam down.
Q: There was a loud noise in the garage, and now the garage door won’t open. What’s the problem?
A: This is probably a broken garage door spring. Garage door springs make a loud noise when they snap, and it’s impossible to open your garage door with a broken spring. This will require a service call.
Q: Can I replace only the broken spring or do I have to replace both springs?
A: It’s always recommended that you replace both springs even if only one is broken. Garage door springs work equally, which means they wear down equally. Putting a new spring in with an old one will cause an uneven balance and could pull your garage door off its tracks or cause expensive damage. Some warranties are only valid if both springs are replaced at once.
Q: The light on the garage door opener turns on, but the door doesn’t open. What’s the problem?
A: There must be a problem in the mechanics of the garage door opener (the light indicates it’s getting electricity and should be working). If you have an old garage door opener, you might consider replacing it. Either way, this is something that must be attended to by a certified technician.
Q: The garage door won’t close all the way, or will close and then open again. What’s the problem?
A: This is the result of one or both of your safety sensors thinking there is further to go before the garage door is closed and usually needs a close limit switch adjustment. You should also check to make sure there aren’t any objects in the path of the garage door that could be tripping the sensor.
Garage Door Safety
Q: Can I do garage door repairs by myself if I have the right tools?
A: It’s never recommended that you attempt to perform a garage door repair by yourself unless you have the right training or are assisted by a professional. Garage door parts can be very dangerous and cause significant damage or injury, so play it safe and call a professional. You could also be voiding a warranty by performing your repairs.
Q: Can thieves get into my house by using my garage door opener codes?
A: Garage door openers communicate with remotes using codes, and some old garage door openers use a single code which can be duplicated by thieves. Newer garage door openers use rolling codes to make duplication impossible, keeping you safe. If you have concerns about your particular opener, contact the manufacturer to ask if it has this safety feature. If it doesn’t, you might consider upgrading to a newer model.
Q: Should I be worried about my garage door opener if it was manufactured before 1993?
A: Yes. Garage door openers manufactured or installed before 1993 do not have required standard safety features that are highly valuable in preventing accidental injuries and deaths in children and pets as well as preventing property damage. Current safety features, including automatic reversal and photo-electric sensors, are now mandated by law and a professional garage door repair company should refuse to perform repairs on an opener that old because it is so unsafe. If you have a garage door opener from 1993 or earlier, replace it as soon as possible.
Q: What safety features do garage door openers have to keep kids safe?
A: Modern garage door openers come with a variety of safety features designed to keep kids and pets safe, including automatic reversal, photoelectric sensors, and pressure-sensitive sensors. Should any of these sensors be tripped, your garage door will automatically reverse and not close until it detects that it’s safe.