Like a lot of appliances and tools, garage doors are not something you give much thought to until they stop working. When they break down, you may be at a loss for the best course of action for getting it fixed. Many parts are simple to replace, while others will require a bit more time, knowledge, and effort. Being able to repair your garage yourself could save you a lot of money. For any given garage door repair, there are three essentials: the appropriate tools, instructions on how to do the repair, and the right garage parts.
Which garage parts you should replace on your own and which ones you should leave to a professional will depend on your level of comfort with that particular project. The information below will give you an idea of the most common garage door parts that can break down and a description of what a replacement entails.
Replacing Garage Parts
It is a good idea for you to understand how your garage door works. It will help you identify potential problems before they happen and the ability to assess the cause of malfunctions. Garage door maintenance alone can stave off major repairs and keep your door running smoothly. It can also save you a lot of money in repair costs down the road. Garage doors have a lot of moving parts. Tasks like replacing missing garage door screws or old hinges should be simple and straightforward for you to tackle on your own. Others, like the ones described below, are more complex.
Before tackling any of these repairs, find details instructional videos to help you understand the precise processes you should take. Also, look for DIY garage door parts online to find the best price. Also, a lot of home improvement stores may not carry the parts you need for your specific garage door. Finding a reputable online retailer can go a long way to accessing the parts you need to keep your garage door running.
One of the most likely garage door parts to go out are the tension springs. That’s because they do the bulk of the heavy lifting. They build tension when the door is closing, then use that energy to open the door. In general, you can expect tension springs to last between 10,000 and 20,000 cycles before you need to replace them.
You can replace these spring on your own, but you will want to know the proper steps to take. When wound, these parts can become dangerous projectiles. Also, if not installed correctly, your door will not open or close as it should, which can cause damage to other parts or your home’s infrastructure.
There are many different types of tension springs, so you will want to make sure you buy the correct type and size for your door. Depending on the size and design of your door, it could have more than one tension spring. When replacing garage door tension springs, be sure to check the condition of the rod that mounts the springs as well as the brackets that secure it. These can wear out over time and are inexpensive to replace. It may be worth swapping these out while you’re replacing the tension spring.
Garage Door Opener
Motors that operate the automatic garage door opener tend to last for a long time, but occasionally they need to be replaced. Doing so could be a lot easier than you think, especially if you are only swapping out the motor. Like many other garage parts, one of the most important things is to make sure you select the right size motor to operate your door. Most come in either ½, ¾, and 1+ horsepower engines. The amount of power you need will depend on the size and material of your door (for instance, wood is much heavier than vinyl or aluminum).
If you do not have to replace the mounting brackets, trolly, or drive chain for your opener, then it is a matter of switching out the motors and reconnecting the parts. But if you are installing these new components, be sure they are all compatible with one another. Also, keep in mind that if you are installing an automatic opener for the first time, this requires running electrical wiring through the ceiling of your garage.
Automatic Reverse Sensors
All automatic garage doors sold in the United States are required to have reverse sensors. These mount to either side of the door near the ground. They indicate if anything is obstructing the door as it is being lowered and, if so, tells the motor to reverse the door. While the mounts and sensors themselves are pretty straightforward to install, you need to ensure that they are properly lined up and are functioning. Also, if you are replacing the wiring for the sensors, this will entail some electrical know-how.
While less common, other garage door parts, like the tracks, rollers, cables, or the door itself may need replacing. Garage doors can weigh several hundred pounds. When switching out any parts that help suspend the door, be sure you are taking all precautions to ensure it does not fall. It’s always a good idea to secure your door with clamps and supports to ensure it doesn’t fall. In most circumstances, you will want to make sure you lower the garage door so there is a lower risk of it toppling.
Get Your Garage Door Running
Now that you have an idea of what garage parts you are likely to have to replace, you can decide if you are comfortable tackling the task on your own. There are lots of great online options for obtaining the correct parts as well as for instructions on how to install them.
If you are in doubt though, don’t take the risk. Hire a professional to ensure that the parts are replaced correctly so that you have peace of mind that your door is functioning as intended.
We hope this information was helpful to you. Be sure to check out some of our other posts on DIY home improvement projects. We have everything from appliance repair to woodworking and roofing.