Off-Track Garage Door

Does Your Garage Door Seem a Little “Off?”

Garage doors are often a family’s main point of entry to their homes. Daily use can cause the components to wear down over time, leading to a problem we come across often: off-track garage doors.

While there are several causes for off-track doors, understanding how it happens allows you to be proactive in preventing any potential problems and keeping your family safe.

Let’s look at some possible causes of off-track garage doors and what you can do to prevent them.

Precision Garage Door technician repairing a garage door center bearing

Signs Your Garage Door is Off-Track

There are all types of garage door problems, so how do you know if an off-track door is what’s really going on? Our professionally trained technicians have years of experience diagnosing garage door problems, and some of the signs we typically see include:

  • Loud noises. If you hear any loud squeaking noises, it could simply mean that your garage door needs to be lubricated (especially the rollers). However, if proper lubrication doesn’t seem to help, you may have a bigger issue with the garage door track.
  • Visible gaps between the roller and track. In most cases, you shouldn’t be able to see any space between your garage door rollers and the track.
  • Slow movement. If your garage door seems to slow down when opening or closing – especially if it only happens at a certain point – an off-track door may be to blame.

While these are the common signs of an off-track door, the problem may show up in different ways. If you’re concerned about your door’s health, it’s better to be safe than sorry – call Precision for an inspection so we can accurately diagnose the problem.

Technician inspecting a garage door

Why Does it Happen?

An off-track garage door is usually a symptom of another problem as they’ll rarely ever go off-track by themselves.

Aside from normal wear and tear on the components, there are several reasons your garage door could go off the rails.

Common Reasons Garage Doors Go Off-Track

Faulty Rollers

Despite their small size, garage door rollers are an important component. Rollers allow the door to travel up and down smoothly but can become shaky and stuck, worn out, or even fall off completely over time. Since they help keep your garage door moving safely up and down the track, any issues with them can derail your garage door.

Broken Tracks

Tracks that are bent or misshapen may be one cause of your off-track garage door. Garage door weight can be considerable, and if other components aren’t working properly, it can put extra strain on the tracks and cause them to bend and warp. It’s important to find the root cause of broken garage door tracks in order to prevent the problem in the future.

Broken Springs

Garage door springs allow stable movement when your door opens and closes, so if they’re working properly, your garage door won’t slam shut or fly open. If they’re not working properly, the garage door may move with enough force to knock it off the track. Broken springs are dangerous and should only be serviced by a professional technician.

Vehicle Damage

It happens to the best of us. Maybe you were in a hurry to leave and clipped the bottom of your garage door on the way out, or a new driver accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes when pulling into the driveway – in any case, even a seemingly minor accident can cause structural damage to your garage door and make it go off track. If it starts acting funny, have it inspected by a professional.

Frayed Cables

Your garage door cables hold a lot of tension, and they regularly rub against other components when in use. Over time, the friction can cause even the strongest garage door cables to fray and weaken. Frayed cables prevent the door from opening and closing smoothly, which strains the other components and makes your garage door become unbalanced and off track.

How to Prevent Off-Track Garage Doors

Accidents happen, but there are a few ways to help prevent your garage door from getting derailed. Treating your door to these regular maintenance practices is the best way to keep it on track and working smoothly!

Keep Your Door Lubricated

It’s important to make sure your track components are appropriately lubricated with a lithium or silicone-based lubricant so they can operate without any unneeded strain. Keep in mind that you should never apply WD-40 to your garage door parts as it won’t properly grease them and can actually cause harm.

Keep the Tracks Clean

Loose hardware pieces and other debris can get caught in garage door tracks, causing them to bend over time. Keep the tracks clean to help them work smoothly.

Precision Garage Door technician helping customer with garage door repairs

Replace Your Old Components

Modern garage door components are typically made of long-lasting materials like nylon and steel, but they won’t last forever. If you notice that your other garage door parts have been struggling to operate properly, it may be time to replace them before they can cause further strain on your garage door track.

Get Regular Tune-Ups

Even if you’re meticulous about garage door maintenance, we still recommend an annual Tune-Up. A professional will inspect your garage door’s parts to determine the source of any current issues (as well as any issues that may arise in the future), lubricate its moving parts, and ensure that it’s safe and working properly.

When in Doubt, Call the Pros

Don’t hesitate to call the professionals if you suspect that your garage door may be off-track. While certain preventative maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners, other services – like replacing springs – should be left to our trained technicians who know how to service your garage door safely.

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Let’s Get Your Garage Door Back On Track

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