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Ran Into Your Garage Door? Here’s How to Fix It

Ran Into Your Garage Door? Here’s How to Fix It

Ran Into Your Garage Door? Here's How to Fix It

As a homeowner, you have much to think about and often little time to get through everything. It can be easy to get caught up in your to-do lists, phone calls and planning, so much so that you reverse out of your home and accidentally back into your garage door while it’s still opening. 

Now you’re either at a standstill or panicking, processing what happened and what to do next. While this situation can be overwhelming, the good thing is you can resolve it quickly and safely, get your door back in working condition and your life back on track. 

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What to Do if You Hit Your Garage Door With Your Car

There’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve backed your car into your garage door. It can be a hazardous and frightening situation for you and your passengers. While panicking can be a normal response, you must remain calm and handle the situation as best as possible. To help, here are eight steps to follow if you accidentally run into your garage door with a car:

1. Check on Your Passengers

Whether you have a minor or significant impact on your door, you and your passengers can sustain injuries. Calmly check yourself and your passengers to see if everyone is safe.

2. Put Your Vehicle in Park 

Put your car in park and turn it off before exiting. This step is essential, as many people in a panic forget to put their vehicles in park, leading to further accidents. 

3. Assess the Damage

Once you safely turn your car off, exit and asses your vehicle and garage door surface for damages. If you run into your garage door from the inside, move it forward to get a better indication of the damage. If the accident occured outside, enter the garage from an alternative door or room to check for dents or markings and avoid potential safety hazards. 

4. Avoid Opening Your Garage Door Remotely 

Knowing the extent of your door damage can be challenging, and it’s best to avoid opening your garage remotely. This can lead to further system damage. 

5. Test the Door’s Manual Operation

If you notice minor dents and scratches on your door, try to operate or open it manually. However, if your garage door is misaligned and off the tracks, avoid moving or operating it manually, as it could collapse. 

6. List the Damages 

Make a list of visible damages and track misalignment, broken panels and dents to report to your repair company before they give you an estimate. You can also measure the dents and list the material damage to give technicians a better idea of the extent. If your garage door is off the tracks, keep an 8-foot distance until you get someone to repair the damage. 

7. Call Your Garage Repair Company 

Call Your Garage Repair Company

Whether you have minor or significant garage door damage, call your repair company and explain all the faults listed. They’ll inspect your door and ensure it is safe for use and do repairs and replacements if needed. Avoid trying to fix your door on your own before getting a second opinion from a qualified technician. A garage door that is off its tracks can require complex repairs, and attempting to fix it can lead to injury. 

8. Decide on Repairs and Replacements 

After a professional inspection, you can decide if you need repairs and replacements. If it has minor dents and scratches, get a quote from your repair company to determine what you can afford to fix. Significant damage, like a door replacement, can be more costly and require filing a claim on your homeowners insurance policy. Remember to contact your car insurance company and find out if you are covered for any vehicle damage.

Common Issues Caused by Backing Into a Garage Door

Knowing what to look for if you back your car into your garage door can help determine the severity of the damage. Some common issues caused by running your car into your garage door can include: 

  • Scratches: You might notice paint and material scratches on the surface of your garage door. These can be minor damages you can remove or touch up with rubbing alcohol, a paint coat or a stain, depending on your garage door material
  • Broken panels: Your bottom door panels might be dented or broken and require repairs depending on the extent of the damage. A replacement might be the best solution if you have two or more damaged panels. 
  • Misaligned rollers: Excessive impact can cause your garage door to come off track. In this case, you might need to replace your garage door hinges and rollers. 
  • Misaligned or broken track: If your garage door track is damaged, it requires extensive repairs and replacements, including bending it back into shape or replacing it. 

FAQS About Fixing a Damaged Garage Door

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about garage door damage: 

  1. Can I repair my garage door myself? While some damage can be minor, fixing a garage door can be complex and dangerous, requiring specialized tools and skills. 
  2. How do I tell if I backed into my garage door? Signs you backed into your garage door can include damages like scratches and dents on your car and garage door surface. 
  3. Can you fix a bent garage door? Depending on the extent of the damage, a professional garage door company can repair bent panels and adjust them back into place. 
  4. Will I be covered if I hit a garage door with my car? While insurance companies can cover garage door damage, your coverage can depend on your insurance provider and policy. 
  5. How do you know if your garage door needs a repair? Your local garage door company can inspect the damage and determine if you require repairs or replacements. They can suggest a complete replacement if the impact on your garage door is severe. 
  6. How long does it take to repair a garage door? Garage door repair time can depend on the extent of your damage and the availability of parts required to fix the issues. 

Trust AAA Garage Doors for Quality Repairs and Replacements

While backing into your garage door can be overwhelming, with quality garage door services, the repairs and replacements can be quick and convenient. At AAA Garage Door, we have over 25 years of experience helping homeowners like you fix minor and significant garage damage doors efficiently. 

We offer quality workmanship and provide honest and reliable garage door repair and replacement solutions. Our qualified technicians pay attention to detail and provide exceptional customer service, helping accurately and quickly get your garage door back in working and safe condition. If you ran into the garage door with your car and need efficient and quality repairs, request an estimate today. 

Trust AAA Garage Doors for Quality Repairs and Replacements

Troubleshooting a Noisy Garage Door

If you ask yourself your garage is so loud, then chances are, it’s not normal. Loud and unusual garage door noises typically indicate an underlying issue. Problems with the door or opener cause these strange noises. That’s why it’s crucial to investigate a noisy garage door to determine the cause before it becomes a bigger problem.

Before You Get Started

When troubleshooting a loud garage door, take the necessary safety precautions. One is to disconnect the power to the opener, so no one can open or close the door while you work on it. You’ll also want to contact a garage door professional to repair serious issues that could put you at risk of injury.

Noises That Indicate a Problem

As an overhead door ages, it’s more likely to make noises. Older garage doors make noises because their worn parts must work harder. You can extend your garage door’s life span by maintaining and inspecting it at least twice a year. If you notice any of these noises, you’ll want to investigate and find the source: 

  • Squealing: Squealing sounds often indicate poorly lubricated parts.
  • Squeaking: A simple way to fix a squeaky garage door is to inspect the weather stripping. If the weather strip is dry, it can cause the door to squeak when you open or close it. It can also indicate a problem with the rollers. 
  • Grinding: Poorly lubricated or worn-out rollers, hinges and door opener’s chain or belt can all produce a grinding noise. 
  • Rattling: Rattling noises can signify loose nuts, bolts or a chain, poor lubrication and misalignment. 
  • Vibrating: Loose nuts and bolts or poorly lubricated rollers cause vibrating. 
  • Slapping: Slapping sounds occur when a loose chain hits your opener.

On the other hand, if your garage door makes any of these noises, contact a professional right away and do not try to fix the issue yourself: 

  • Popping: Popping can signify a broken torsion spring.
  • Banging: When you hear a banging noise, it means a professional needs to replace or realign your door.
  • Clinking: Springs and coils that rub together or a defective roller can cause clinking sounds.
  • Clunking: Thumping or clunking can indicate a malfunction with the opener or a broken torsion spring.
  • Straining: If your door strains upon opening and closing, your garage may need more power. The other cause of straining is a faulty motor.
  • Rumbling: Coil tension or a loosened spring often causes rumbling.
  • Rubbing: Tight or bent tracks can produce a rubbing sound.
  • Scraping: The door could be rubbing against your home because its placement is misaligned.

Common Causes of Garage Door Noises

When your garage door makes loud noises, one of your primary questions is why. Here are some of the common reasons garage doors make noises: 

  • Age: An older door makes more noise. Usually, these noises result from old rollers.
  • Misalignment: A misaligned door makes a noise when you open or close it.
  • Opener: When the belt or chain of your opener is loose, it can create a rattling noise.
  • Rollers: Metal garage openers rust as they age.
  • Loose nuts and bolts: Screeching sounds indicate loose nuts and bolts.
  • Poor lubrication: If your rollers and hinges need lubrication, your door may squeal, grind, rattle or vibrate.

How to Fix Garage Door Noises

Some garage door noises stem from minor issues that you can address yourself. Here are some maintenance tips that may stop the noises:

Tighten the Nuts and Bolts

Loose or missing nuts and bolts on the door or track supports could cause your door to rattle. You can use a wrench and socket set to tighten these nuts and bolts, but be careful you don’t overtighten them.

Lubricate the Moving Parts

Lubricating the moving parts could solve the problem if they are dry. These moving parts include the chain or belt drive, springs, lift cables, rollers or hinges. As long as these parts are in good condition, they may only require some lubrication. However, you must contact a repair professional if they are in poor condition. Only lubricate the metal parts, not the nylon or plastic ones.

Create Buffers With Rubber Pieces

You can use rubber buffers on your door and opener to reduce the noise. To install the rubber pieces you: 

  1. Unplug the motor to your door opener.
  2. Rest your door on a ladder.
  3. Remove the bolts that hold your tracks to your garage door.
  4. Slide a rubber piece between the bolts and the door.
  5. Replace and tighten the bolts.

The rubber will help absorb vibrations that can cause the support frame to shake. Test your opener and garage door when done to confirm they work correctly.

Readjust the Locks

Inspect your locking bars to ensure they’re properly aligned. If your lock bar makes noises, doesn’t catch or hits the track, it’s misaligned. You can try to realign the lock bar by: 

  1. Finding the leader brackets or the L-shaped plates with screws. 
  2. Removing the screws and tap your guide up or down.
  3. Tightening the screws.
  4. Repeating on the other side.

Replace the Weather Strip

The insulation strip under your door could be damaged, missing or worn out. If the weather strip is the problem, your garage’s air will be humid and cold, and the door may bang when it closes. You can hire a professional to replace your weather strip and save time, or you can purchase a weather strip from a garage dealer and replace it yourself.

Hire a Professional to Repair the Springs

If your overhead door hits the floor too hard, it causes noise. Your door can hit the floor too hard if your springs need maintenance. Since working on the springs is complicated and dangerous, contact a professional to repair or replace them. 

Hire a Professional to Repair the Opener

Sometimes, the noise can come from your opener. A noise close to your garage’s roof or from the opener requires professional repair services. Addressing issues with your opener is crucial so your door continues to open and close safely and correctly.

Schedule Maintenance With AAA Garage Door

Routine maintenance inspections are the best way to address minor issues before they become problems. It also ensures your overhead door lasts as long as possible. For over 25 years, AAA Garage Door’s professionals have provided high-quality, prompt and reliable garage door repair and maintenance services in the greater Omaha area.

Our caring, highly-skilled professionals perform all of our garage door repair and maintenance services. We offer fair pricing models and easy scheduling. When you choose AAA Garage Door — the most reliable and trustworthy garage door repair specialists in Omaha — you receive quality services performed with extreme care and precision to ensure your garage door’s long-term safety, reliability and performance.

A Guide To Broken Garage Door Springs

garage door springs

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Is your garage door spring broken? Whether you have a torsion spring or extension springs, your garage door spring plays a vital role in the operation of your garage door. Opening and closing your garage door with a broken torsion spring is not possible and could be hazardous. Attempting to open it could damage to your garage door or cause personal injury. Garage door springs require professional attention, as springs are under high tension and require specialized tools for repair or replacement. If you’re experiencing a broken spring on your garage door, contact AAA garage door for prompt service and repairs.

If you have a broken torsion or extension spring on your garage door, this helpful guide will point you in the right direction.   

How Do I Know if My Garage Door Has a Broken Spring? 

Your garage door spring is a vital part of a fully functioning garage door. Your garage door spring is also called a coil or torsion spring, and it is the part that bears the weight of your garage door when it is opening and closing. There are a few tell-tale signs that your garage door spring has broken.

Here’s what happens when a garage door spring breaks:

  • The door will not open
  • You hear a loud snap, like a firecracker
  • Your garage door slams shut when you close it
  • The door is misaligned on the rails
  • After opening a few inches, your garage door’s safety mechanism stops it
  • The door opens very slowly
  • The top of your garage door is bent
  • You notice a gap between the rings on your torsion or extension spring
  • The door is extremely heavy when you try to open it manually

These are just a few of the warning signs that your garage door spring is either broken or about to go out. Many times, your garage door spring will break when you try to open it. While it can happen quite suddenly, sometimes you can tell your spring is wearing out.

You might hear a loud squeaking sound when the door is opening or closing, or the door could seem slightly misaligned. When this happens, you’ll want to stop using your garage door, park your cars outside and call a licensed garage door repair professional immediately.    

Can I Use My Opener Remote to Open My Garage Door? 

If your garage door spring is broken, then your automatic garage door opener will not work. You will not be able to use your opener remote to open your garage door. For safety, you’ll need to disengage your automatic garage door opener by pulling the string with the red handle located at the top of your garage door system.

To disengage the opener, pull the red handle attached to your opener motor. Next, cut the power to the motor by unplugging it. This way, if you do happen to press the button on your opener remote, the automatic garage door opener will not activate. This measure ensures your own safety and protects your door from further damage.

broken garage door springs are a safety hazard

Is It Safe to Open a Garage Door With a Broken Spring? 

A broken garage spring is a potential safety hazard for your family. The springs on your garage door balance the weight of the door while it is opening and closing. When your garage door’s torsion or extension spring breaks, the door becomes extremely difficult to lift. Because of this, a garage door will not always open with a broken spring. And we do not recommend homeowners attempt to open the door themselves.

Garage doors can weigh several hundred pounds, and lifting that much weight over your head can be strenuous and potentially hazardous. The spring itself may also snap if you attempt to lift or close the door. Use extreme caution around a garage door with a broken spring, and if at all possible, call a garage door specialist right away so you can get your door back in operation in the safest way possible.

How to Open a Garage Door With a Broken Torsion Spring

If your garage has a large spring that’s centered just above the door, you have a torsion spring. When your garage door’s torsion spring breaks, your door will not open and you will have to manually lift your door to open it. If at all possible, you’ll want to contact a professional garage door repair company to properly diagnose your issue before you try to open it on your own. Of course, that’s not always possible and you may not have a choice but to try opening your broken garage door manually. 

If your garage door’s torsion spring breaks as you’re trying to leave for work or school and you absolutely must get it open, follow these steps:

  1. Find another person to help you: It will take two people at least to lift the weight of your garage door.
  2. Inspect your door and surroundings: If your door is bent or off the rails, then you should not try to open it. Be sure to look around for any other potential hazards, wear solid sole non-slip shoes and inspect the rails before you try to open your garage door manually. 
  3. Disengage the door from the automatic opener: As we discussed earlier, you’ll want to disengage the automatic garage door opener by pulling the red handle hanging from the opener’s box on the ceiling of your garage.
  4. Lift the door: Working alongside your partner, carefully attempt to lift your garage door. If your door is too heavy, then stop immediately and call a professional repair company. Do not risk hurting yourself or someone else, and contact a professional as soon as you realize your garage door is too heavy. 

It’s best to leave the garage door untouched until you can get it repaired. But if your torsion spring breaks when the door is open, you might need to know how to close a garage door with a broken spring to keep your home and belongings secure. Be sure to grab your partner and disconnect the opener, then carefully pull your garage door down, ensuring it doesn’t slam or fall shut.

How to Open a Garage Door With a Broken Extension Spring

Garage doors with extension springs feature one spring on either side of the door. If you have a broken extension spring, then your door may come off its track while opening, causing an imbalance. 

The safest way to get the door open is to call in a professional repair company right away. If you must open your garage door with a broken extension spring, then you can follow a similar procedure as opening a door with a broken extension spring. You’ll also want to work with a partner, inspect your surroundings and disconnect the automatic opener before you begin. Then, you can: 

  1. Use tools to start lifting the door up: You can slide two crowbars under your garage door to wedge it open and start lifting it up. Instead of trying to lift your heavy door off the ground with only your fingers, using something to pry the door open will give you a little leverage.
  2. Start lifting: Slowly and carefully lift your garage door up evenly along the horizontal rails. If your door is too heavy to lift, stop and contact a professional repair company right away. 
  3. Place clamps on the rails: Once you have the door lifted high enough, prop the door open using two pairs of heavy-duty vice clamps on both sides of your garage door. Attach the vice clamps to the rails under your door to hold it open. 
  4. Slide ladders under the door to hold the door open: The pairs of heavy-duty vice clamps should temporarily hold the door open long enough for you to prop up the door for a longer period using ladders. You can use two six-foot ladders placed under either side of your garage door’s opening to help hold your door up until a technician arrives for repairs.

two professionals fixing a broken garage door spring

Contact AAA Garage Door to Repair Your Broken Garage Door Spring

If your garage door coil is broken, contact the professionals at AAA Garage Door for all of your garage door repair and maintenance needs. Manually opening your garage door with a broken spring is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted. A professional can come quickly, get your garage door working again and ensure the safety of everyone in your household.

With over 25 years of experience serving the homes and businesses of Omaha and eastern Nebraska, AAA Garage Door is your go-to company for emergency service and repair. At AAA Garage Door, we’re committed to providing quality products and services to meet all your garage door needs. 

Call AAA Garage Door at 402-707-0789 to learn more about our services or schedule your garage door repair online today! 

More Garage Door Repair Resources

Should You Repair or Replace Your Broken Garage Door Panel?

No matter what materials you use or how much maintenance you carry out, accidents happen, and you have to find a way to solve the problem. If you’re in need of a garage door panel replacement you’ll want to get it fixed as soon as possible. Deciding whether to replace or repair the garage depends on a lot of factors but the easiest way to tell is by how badly the door is damaged.

If only a couple of panels have been damaged it will probably be more cost-effective to just replace the garage door panels. Here are a couple of other things to consider when deciding between the two options.

a broken garage door panel being repaired in Omaha Nebraska

What To Consider When Deciding Whether to Repair or Replace a Garage Door Panel?

Typically, when a garage door panel breaks, you have two options; to repair it or to replace it. Which option you decide to pursue will depend on several factors you have to consider. Our garage repair experts at AAA Garage Doors explore some of the things that homeowners need to consider when faced with the choice to replace or repair their broken Omaha garage door panel.

1. How Old Is The Door?

One of the first things that you need to consider is how old the door is. If your garage door is more than twenty years old, it has probably given you its best years by now and the best option is a garage door replacement. At this stage of a garage door’s life, you will find yourself making garage door service calls to our repair experts at AAA Garage Doors increasingly frequently as the various parts in your door start to wear out from use. Learn how to make your garage door last longer.

On the other hand, if your door is relatively new, ten years or less, then you should consider a garage door panel replacement. However, you may find it challenging to locate a single panel to match your door. The other option is to paint the new panel or repaint the entire door. Speak with our team at AAA Garage Doors for the best approach to take.

2. Extent Of The Damage

How much damage has actually been caused to the door, will be another major consideration in deciding whether you need a garage door replacement or repair. For a small level of damage from a light impact or from minor debris, a little filler and some paint might be all you need.

However, if you backed your car into the garage or there was a big storm that did severe damage, the damage will probably extend beyond a small dent. In this case, you will need to investigate further for underlying problems also. While you may be able to repair the damaged panels, the opening and closing mechanisms of the door may have become compromised from the impact. Consult our team at AAA Garage Doors, if you think that there might be more serious issues at play.

 Garage Door Panel Repair Services

Replacing Garage Doors 

Can I Replace Just One Panel of My Garage Door?

Yes, it’s possible to replace only one panel of a garage door. You’ll want to make sure the rest of the garage door is in good condition. If the door has not been maintained well then it might make sense to replace the entire garage door.

Can I Replace Multiple Damaged Panels on My Garage Door?

Yes, if the rest of your garage door is in good condition then you can replace multiple garage door panels. However, in most situations, if there are multiple panels damaged it makes more sense to have the entire garage door replaced.

How Much Does Replacing Garage Door Panels Cost?

A single garage door panel replacement can range from $200-$700 depending on the model. Like everything in life, the cost of replacing versus repairing a damaged panel is going to be a significant consideration. Repairing the panel is almost always the more affordable option, and with the help of our team at AAA Garage Doors, your repaired panel can often look as good as new. On the other hand, if your garage door is past its prime and the panels are damaged, then it might just make more financial sense to replace the entire garage door. 

Although in the long run, getting your garage door panels replaced might save you money because you won’t be paying maintenance costs as often. With a new Omaha garage door, you will have to call our repair technicians at AAA Garage Doors less often, your home will be kept more secure, and you can enjoy some of the mod-cons that many newer garage doors now come with, such as energy efficiency options, smart technology, and sensors. 

Repairing Garage Doors 

How Much Does Repairing a Garage Door Panel Cost?

It costs around $100-$200 to repair a garage door panel. You’ll want to confirm the severity of the damage first and make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced, but assuming the garage door panel is able to be repaired it might only take some paint and filler.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Rusted or Dented Garage Door Panel?

When your garage door panel is rotted, dented, has holes, or is rusting it can be repaired without having to replace the whole garage door. This service will vary depending on the door material. The average repair cost for a steel door panel is $130, fiberglass door panels are $160, aluminum door panels are $150 and wood garage door panels are $200. 

How to Match Your Garage Door Panel When Replacing/Repairing

  • The first thing you’ll want to do is tell your garage door repair company who the manufacturer of the garage door is and they’ll be able to contact them to see if they have any spare parts. It might be possible to get a matching piece to your garage door.
  • You could re-paint the garage door panel that doesn’t match the rest of your garage. There are paints specifically made for exterior doors. Make sure to ask your garage door technician which type of paint is best for your garage door material.

Can You Replace or Repair Your Garage Door Panel Yourself?

Garage door experts all around the industry advise against repairing your garage door by yourself. Garage door panels are under a lot of tension from the garage door spring and can seriously injure someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. If you think you’re still up for the challenge then we suggest using this guide but remember to use extreme caution. If replacing your garage door by yourself is out of your scope and you live around Omaha Nebraska then we advise you to call AAA Garage Door to help you through the process.

Learn the signs of needing a garage door repair!

Schedule A Repair or Replacement

Talk To The Garage Door Experts At AAA Garage Doors

Here at AAA Garage Doors, we understand that every situation is different. When an Omaha garage door panel is damaged, the circumstances, the extent of the damage, the type of door, the age of the door and a bunch of other elements can influence what the best course of action is going to be.

Before you decide whether to repair or replace your damaged external door panel, get in touch with our team at AAA Garage Doors. With years of experience in the garage door industry, we will be able to give you the advice that you need to make the best decision for your garage door.

8 Tips to Make Your Garage Door Last Longer

how to make your garage door last longer

You might open and close your garage door every day, but how often do you think about maintaining it? Like any part of your house, your garage door requires regular maintenance to work correctly and last as long as possible. 

As a general rule, plan to inspect and maintain your garage door at least twice a year. This upkeep schedule allows you to tackle minor repairs and maintenance tasks before they escalate into more significant issues. If you’re having problems with your garage door that you can’t solve in a few simple steps, it might be time to call the pros for help or consider a replacement. 

In this post, we’ll share tips for maintaining your garage door to help you extend its life and prevent malfunctioning. We’ll also show you when it’s time to finally replace an old garage door.

How Long Do Garage Doors Last?

Garage doors typically last 15 to 30 years, but this can vary depending on the following factors.

  • Maintenance: If you treat your garage door with care and practice regular maintenance, you can lengthen its lifespan and avoid costly repairs.
  • Quality: A quality garage door made from durable materials can withstand regular wear and tear better than a lower quality door. A well-constructed garage door can also stand up to the elements better. 
  • Usage: How often do you use your garage door? Garage doors with a standard torsion spring last around 10,000 cycles. So, the more you open and close your garage door, the sooner you’ll need to replace the spring. For example, if you use your garage door two times a day, the torsion spring will last about 13 years. By contrast, if you use the door six times a day, you’ll need a new spring in about five years. Learn more about garage door springs here.
  • Environment: Where you live can affect your door’s condition. For example, Nebraska homeowners must prepare for severe weather events like hailstorms and strong winds. Any destructive weather can shorten a garage door’s lifespan.

When Should I Replace My Garage Door?

If your garage door shows damage or isn’t opening and closing correctly, you might be wondering if you need to replace it. In some cases, you’ll only need to replace a component of the garage door system to make it work like new. Other times, you’ll need a total replacement.

Here are signs it’s time to consider a new garage door.

  • The door is visibly damaged: If your garage door is cracked, bent or noticeably damaged in other ways, you may need a replacement. Otherwise, your garage door might not open and shut correctly or keep out rain and wind as it should. 
  • You want to enhance your home’s curb appeal: Even if your garage door’s in excellent shape, you might want to replace it if it’s old or doesn’t complement your home’s style. Upgrading to a new, more attractive garage door can boost your home’s curb appeal and increase your property’s value. Seventy percent of Realtors agree that a new garage door can also help a house sell faster.
  • You want better climate control: You might want to replace your garage door with a more insulated option. An insulated door can keep your garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It can improve year-round comfort and potentially help you save on energy costs. 

maintaining a garage door by tightening it's screws

How to Make your garage door last longer

Garage door maintenance is relatively easy and doesn’t require special tools or a week’s worth of time. Set aside a Saturday afternoon to give each component some attention, and you’ll help the whole system operate more efficiently. Make sure you’re careful if performing DIY garage repairs.

If you discover your garage door needs a major repair, you’ll want to contact a professional. Some tasks, like replacing a torsion spring, can lead to severe injuries and require handling by a qualified technician.

8 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR GARAGE DOOR LAST LONGER

Maximizing your garage door’s lifespan is worth the effort. Here are 8 garage door use and maintenance tips you can begin implementing today: 

1. USE OLD DOORS SPARINGLY

An easy way to keep your garage door from aging too fast is to use it less. This is especially important for older garage doors. The more you open and close your door, the more likely your door will experience wear and tear. While you should continue operating your door as needed, try only to use your garage door when necessary, and don’t allow young children to play with the remote.

2. EXAMINE SAFETY FEATURES

Your garage door has safety features such as an emergency release rope, photocell motion sensors and reverses functionality to avoid injury or property damage. You can test your sensors by placing a wooden block in the door’s path before closing or quickly putting the block in the way during a cycle. The door should reverse when it detects something in the way. For the emergency cord, pull the cord, ensure that you can move the door along the track manually and then plug it back into place.

3. INSPECT THE HARDWARE

Your garage door has various screws, pulleys, cables, springs, nuts and bolts holding it together. These components can loosen or wear over time. It’s smart to check and tighten your hardware every few months so that every component is secure. About twice a year, check for any cracked, warped, worn or frayed parts. If pulleys, springs or cables show signs of damage, contact a professional for help.

4. TEST THE DOOR’S BALANCE

Testing a garage door’s balance involves detaching it from its opener and manually moving it along its tracks. To do this, pull the opener’s release handle and manually open the door halfway. If the door’s correctly balanced, it will stay in place after you let go. If the door falls, it’s imbalanced, and you’ll need to call a technician. You can test your door’s balance on your own, but fixing it will require professional assistance. 

5. AUDIT THE WEATHER STRIPPING

Your garage door features rubber lining around its outer edges to prevent bugs, wind, water and debris from getting through or damaging the panel. These strips can rip or crack over time, so occasionally inspect them to catch issues before they worsen. Scheduling stripping replacement as soon as you notice the problem can save you a lot of money down the line. 

6. CLEAN AND LUBRICATE MOVING PARTS

By keeping parts lubricated, you’ll place less stress on the garage door opener and help it last longer. You’ll want to lubricate moving parts, such as the rollers and hinges, at least twice a year.

You can lubricate the rollers with engine oil by putting a drop of oil onto each one. The rolling action will pull the oil into the bearings, doing most of the work for you. It’s best to avoid using grease on the rollers, as this will attract dirt and clog the tracks.

You’ll also want to lubricate the hinges that hold the door panels together. You can apply a spray lubricant, like white lithium grease, to the hinges and remove excess with a clean cloth.

Lastly, lubricating the opener’s chain or screw with spray-on white lithium grease will help your opener operate more smoothly.

Before you lubricate your garage door’s parts, be sure to check the manufacturer’s manual. The manufacturer might recommend a specific lubricant or tell you that you don’t need to oil some parts.

7. WASH YOUR PANEL

Keeping your garage door panel clean is another way to maximize its lifespan. A dirty garage door can corrode and lose its pristine look. Washing your door with an all-purpose cleaner will ensure your home’s most prominent feature looks beautiful and prevents rust.

You can wash your garage door with a simple mixture of mild detergent and water. Be sure to use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe it down and avoid abrasive materials. As you clean the door, check for signs of insect damage and consider if it needs repainting. Finally, rinse it with clean water and let it dry.

8. MONITOR THE CABLES

A garage door’s cables connect to the opener to lift the door when you click your button. These cables must be strong to lift the door without breaking, so inspect for signs of damage. If a cable breaks, the door could fall, potentially injuring someone or damaging property. 

SCHEDULE REGULAR MAINTENANCE WITH AAA GARAGE DOOR

While you can follow the above tips to take control over your garage door’s longevity, scheduling annual maintenance from a trustworthy professional crew is the best way to maximize its lifespan. 

AAA Garage Door offers preventive maintenance services in Nebraska to spot problems before they escalate and extend your door’s life. Our crew will pay attention to the fine details so you can trust that your door is in good health until your next appointment. If we see a problem, we’ll fix your garage door on the spot or schedule a time to return with the necessary equipment. 

For more on our garage door maintenance services, contact AAA Garage Door today! 

house with two garage doors

8 Signs Your Garage Door is in Need of Repair

8 signs your garage door needs a repair

Many things can cause overhead garage doors not to operate correctly, and when that happens, it causes inconvenience and headaches. As a homeowner, you and the members of your household rely on your home’s garage door to store vehicles and tools, and for many of us, it is also the primary way we access our homes. For commercial garage operators, a broken garage door can put a halt to daily productivity.  

We’ve identified eight specific issues that point to a need for immediate attention or garage door systems repair. Damage that affects a garage door’s operation can be a potentially dangerous problem and is not something you should attempt to repair yourself. 

Look for these eight signs as you diagnose your garage door and decide whether it’s time for a repair.

1. Overhead Garage Door Will Not Open or Close

While it sounds simple on the surface, a stuck garage door can be more complicated when it comes to finding the root cause. It’s possible to diagnose and solve some overhead garage door problems on your own, while others signal a more severe issue that requires expertise and the proper tools to resolve. When you go down the list of the problems that can cause a door not to open or close, you’ll see many variables and potential issues:

  • The power source is not active or functioning
  • Something is blocking the door sensor eye
  • The extension springs or torsion springs are broken
  • The overhead garage door is off its track
  • Your garage door opener remote needs a new battery
  • Something has blocked the door’s operation
  • The door’s reverser sensitivity needs adjustment
  • Cables are loose or have snapped
  • Critical settings, such as the limit settings, are not correct
  • The door is “locked”

While some issues that stop your door from opening or closing may be a quick fix, others are more severe. If the door stops working and you cannot figure out why, it’s probably time for a repair.

2. Garage Door Stalls or Provides Delayed Response When Opening

Garage doors operate on a system of springs, sensors, pulleys and tracks. Any of these mechanisms can be at fault when the door opens very slowly or stalls in the up or down position. Sometimes, simple lubrication and adjustment of speed settings can solve the problem. Often, the issue is more severe and requires professional repair. Broken hinges, a door that is misaligned or off track, snapped cables or tension springs can also cause stalling or delays. In those cases, repairs are usually too complicated to handle yourself.

3. You Cannot Manually Lift the Garage Door When the Release Is Disengaged

If your door is already having an issue, you might try disengaging the opener to open the door manually. If the door still won’t open, it can be a particularly annoying problem, especially if your vehicle is in the garage. Most garage door openers today have a bypass switch for when the power goes out, the overhead lift motor stops working or you need to operate your door manually. 

Typically, the manual release is a rope with a handle on the end that, when pulled, disengages the automated trolley to allow manual lifting. The door should open without much effort if the moving metal parts of your door are working correctly. If you’ve disengaged the emergency release and cannot lift the door manually, there is something wrong, such as broken springs or cables.

4. Garage Door Won’t Close Completely

When your garage door won’t close all the way, it can be just as frustrating as when it won’t open. Depending on how far down it goes, it can leave your garage unsecured. When it leaves even the slightest crack, the weatherstripping cannot seal tightly against the floor, allowing conditioned air to escape and extreme temperatures and moisture to seep indoors.

You can sometimes resolve this issue on your own. For example, your garage door opener’s distance setting could be off. If its setting is too high, the garage door will stop short of hitting the floor. Misaligned photo eye safety sensors near the bottom of your door can cause it to reverse directions while closing or stop short of the ground. If you exhaust these quick fixes and the issue doesn’t resolve, it can be a sign you need to call a professional. Damage to the springs, tracks or cables can all be the culprit.

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5. Garage Door Is Off Its Track

garage door that has come off its track can be very dangerous. Risk of severe injury to you or your family can result if the door should suddenly fall or become dislodged from the garage door tracks or framework designed to hold it in place. A door can come off its track if the overall alignment is not correct, if a cable has broken or if the rollers are damaged. Should you hit the garage door with your vehicle or another moving object, this can also cause an overhead door to come off its track. It’s time to call in the garage door services experts to resolve the problem safely.

6. Automatic Opener Won’t Raise or Lower the Door

Automatic garage door openers are convenient inventions, until, for some reason, they stop working. You can resolve the issue quickly if a power outage or exhausted batteries are at the root of this problem. If it’s not a dead battery, often, it is a worn-out gear or the motor in the opener unit itself that has finally given out, and it is time for a full replacement. We recommend hiring a garage door services professional to complete the installation because of the dangers involved and the specialized tools required to do this properly. Also, most opener manufacturers will not honor warranties for DIY installations.

7. Garage Door Panels Are Broken or Damaged

Broken overhead garage doors and door panels are unsightly, and can also pose security concerns. They allow heating and cooling to escape, leading to increased costs for businesses and homeowners. Once a door becomes torn, dented or broken, the damage can get worse. The functionality of the door will become compromised if you don’t address the problem. Deciding between a repair or replacement can be tough. Either way, having a broken panel repaired is a must if you want your garage door to function correctly. 

8. Garage Door Torsion or Extension Springs Are Broken

One of the most severe issues a garage door can have is a problem with the springs. All garage doors open and close using either torsion or extension springs. A torsion spring will sit centered above the garage door, and extension springs are on either side of the door, along the tracks. Both are under a high level of tension when the door is closed, which creates the strength needed to lift the door. If the coils are worn or the spring snaps, it can leave you unable to open the door.

Springs are a crucial component of the door’s mechanical movement, and you should have them repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Any problems can cause the door to come crashing down at the wrong moment. Fixing springs is also no DIY project. Garage door springs, especially torsion springs, are tightly wound, and if one snaps during installation, it can cause serious injury. Call the pros at AAA Garage Door, Inc., to assist you.

Learn more about broken garage door springs.

Talk To An Expert

Call a Garage Door Expert for Assistance

These are eight telltale signs that your garage door needs attention. Omaha area residents who experience any of these typical garage door problems should call a garage door repair company like AAA Garage Door at 402-727-0789. We’ll handle it so you can get back to having a safe, reliable overhead door when you need it. Learn how to make your garage door last longer.

5 Common Garage Door Problems

Most of us have an overhead garage door in our lives. We rely on it to open and close on command and operate much like a utility. When the opener remote button is pressed, we expect the door to respond by opening or closing. Much like a light switch or water faucet, the overhead garage door typically does just what is asked of it time and again.

Like anything with moving parts, garage doors can and do fail without proper maintenance and attention. When it happens to you, it can be costly and inconvenient. That’s why AAA Garage Door, Inc. recommends regular garage door services, maintenance, and inspection to avoid some of the most common problems that can affect the operation of a residential garage door:

1. Remote Control Doesn’t Cause the Door to Open/Close When Pressed

This is one of the most common issues that can occur with garage doors, and it can be attributed to a number of issues. Sometimes it’s as simple as replacing the remote control battery, while other times a bad power connection or more serious mechanical issues with the door itself are at fault.

2. Door Starts to Close, Then Reverses and Opens Again

This can be caused by a door sensor eye that is out of alignment or something might be blocking the motion sensor itself. It can also be caused by broken cables, a bent track or a worn extension spring cable pulley. These issues are best resolved by an Omaha garage door services professional who is able to diagnose and repair the problem safely and effectively.

3. The Door Randomly Opens and Closes by Itself

While you may be tempted to blame the spooks living in your crawl space, it is more likely a problem with the circuit board on the overhead garage door unit. Aging batteries in the remote control units or radio interference can also be at the root of this annoying problem.

4. The Door Operates Very Loudly, Making Squeaking or Grinding Sounds

These are classic indicators of worn and aging garage door parts that need to be replaced. Rollers, bearings, frayed cables, torsion springs, and other culprits are signs that it is only a matter of time before a more serious failure takes place.

5. The Garage Door Opens, But Very Slowly

This is annoying, but also a sign that something is awry in the operating of the garage door parts. It could be something as simple as a need for added lubrication, or it may be a warped door track or broken spring that needs attention.

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Reach Out For Help

From a door that just won’t open to issues with remotes and mounted garage door openers, to problems with rollers, cables or springs – there are so many things that can keep an Omaha garage door from working properly.

Rather than trying to pinpoint common problems on your own, it is always best to contact an experienced technician who can quickly diagnose and safely repair common overhead residential garage door systems.

Home and business owners can contact AAA Garage Door, Inc at (402) 727-0789 to discuss professional garage door services in Omaha, NE.

The Dangers of DIY Garage Door Repair

The convenience of YouTube and online tutorials has made each of us more willing to attempt simple do-it-yourself repairs on our own. While it is one thing to attempt a home repair like replacing a doorbell, it is quite another to take a DIY approach to overhead garage door services and repairs.

6 Reasons Why DIY Door Repair Is Dangerous

On the surface, repairing or replacing a garage door seems pretty straightforward, but without the proper experience and tools, this seemingly simple home repair can turn into a dangerous proposition. Here are a few reasons to keep in mind before you attempt any overhead door repair or replacement on your own:

1. The Door Might Fall

A garage door that isn’t working correctly can be unpredictable. A broken tension spring can cause the door to fall abruptly; or, a spring or cable under thousands of pounds of pressure can suddenly give way injuring anyone in its path.

2. Specific Tools May Be Needed

You need the proper tools to repair a garage door and if you don’t have the exact specifications for your door it might be more expensive to buy them than to get a professionals’ help.

3. Garage Doors Are Heavy

Garage doors are very heavy and if you don’t have at least 3 people helping to lift it you will struggle.

4. Some Repairs Require Expertise

To maintain a tight seal, the various components of your garage door must move up and down. Calibrating the system to work together seamlessly is challenging and can cause a door to fail if not properly reset.

5. Certain Parts Can Be Hard to Find

Need parts? If you aren’t a licensed professional in overhead garage door services and repair, it can be hard to locate replacement parts, especially for older doors.

6. You Might Lose Your Warranty

Installing or repairing a garage door without complications or injury requires specialized tools to align all systems properly. And, if you are putting in a brand new door, most manufacturers will refuse to honor the warranty if it isn’t installed by a professional.

When you consider the time it will take to accomplish DIY garage door repair or replacement and the cost of the specialized tools you’ll need to get the job done (if you can find them), it is always a better choice to call in the experts.

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More Garage Door Maintenance Resources

Professional Garage Door Repair in Omaha Nebraska

There are no online videos that can ensure your safety while you install a garage door on your own. The risks of injury and death from the high-tension springs and many working components are just too significant.

Located in Omaha, Fremont, or the surrounding area? Call AAA Garage Door, Inc. today at (402) 727-0789 for professional garage door repair. Our technicians have years of experience troubleshooting and repairing residential or commercial garage doors. Don’t put yourself in danger and call the professionals for a quick and painless repair! Read more about our certified garage technicians here.

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