Garage doors work constantly, and most times they’re only noticed when there’s something wrong! One glaring problem is a garage door off track situation. It’s when the doors are either halfway down, or unevenly closed – when one side is completely closed while there’s still a slight crevice exposed on the other side. You may have experienced this issue with your doors, or seen it somewhere around the neighborhood.
While everyone would agree that the garage door off track looks terrible, the appearance is only part of the issue. Safety is a much bigger concern! That opening could make your garage susceptible to outside elements like dirt, pests, rain, and cold draft. It’s going to affect your interiors, your power usage, and just the safety in general!
What to Do When Garage Door’s Off Track
Most homeowners would want to know what to do when this sort of thing happens. Some may even venture into fixing the door themselves! We suggest that in this case, it’s best to call a garage door repair professional. They’re experienced on how to fix garage door off track, and they’ll be able to secure your heavy doors and make sure it’s fixed safely. Going at it on your own leaves you without heavy-duty tools like clamps and other devices that might cause the doors to crash down.
First Things First: Disconnect Your Garage Door
The first step you want to do with any repairs is to disconnect the garage door opener. Check the center of the track for a red dangling rope. That’s where the trolley connects the opener to the garage doors. Pull on the rope to disengage the opener. This allows you to operate the doors manually, and avoid anything happening to your opener.
Once the garage doors are in manual mode, then it’s time to check these likely reasons for why the doors are off track:
This is one of the most obvious reasons garage doors go off track. Any part that’s bent could affect the movement of the doors. You can check with a level if all the tracks are aligned.
Ideally, the horizontal tracks should be angled ever so slightly towards the back of the garage. Meanwhile, the roll-up tracks should be perfectly leveled. A garage door technician could check and adjust if the tracks or the rollers are misaligned.
The tracks guide the movement of the doors, and so any loose or misaligned part could affect the entire motion of the doors. Check if the tracks are anchored securely onto the walls. If you notice any bent part, loose fastener, or if the tracks separates from the wall, that means the bracket needs to be tightened back on the wall. A few adjustments with a wrench or ratchet handle can solve the issue. But again, it’s best to call a technician to be on the safe side.
In some cases, tracks become loose right away because the installation wasn’t done properly. When tracks are not securely fastened to the garage wall, all the movement could cause noise or misdirect the rollers. This is why keeping the tracks aligned and firmly fastened to the walls is extremely important.
Dirt or Wear on Rollers
Garage door rollers could easily build up dirt on them, as the frequent movement attracts dust and grime. And if you use your garage as a workshop, much of the mess could get caught easily between the rollers.
A straightforward solution is to clean your rollers every so often. Doing this every few months prevents any thick buildup that affects how they move. Remember that something as mundane as dirty rollers could affect your entire garage door! Just use any household cleaning solution for them, and check if the garage door off track movement is solved afterward.
With rollers that have been used for years, they will be too rigid, too wobbly, or even fall off if they’re too old. Rollers could also be too worn out and need replacement. Regular maintenance enables your garage door technician to spot which rollers need replacing at the right time.
Too Much Friction
Another likely culprit for garage door off track issues is a lack of lubrication. When the rollers aren’t lubricated, they will grind against the doors constantly and make the rollers’ direction off track. Check with a garage door service technician which lubricant to use; usually, a silicone spray available at any hardware store could alleviate the friction. Make sure to use silicone spray or silicone oil in place of other options like WD-40 for garage door lubrication.
We Can Fix Garage Door Off Track Issues
In an ideal scenario, you’d only need to clean the rollers or apply lubrication on the hardware, and the garage doors will return to even movements. But if these steps do not solve the problem, you should call a garage door repair team right away. Getting professionals to look at the doors will enable you to spot the problem before it becomes much more serious. Indeed, a garage door off track could point to a structural issue that needs significant repairs. If you find yourself needing a garage door maintenance team, call us. We specialize in maintaining and fixing residential and commercial garage doors. We’ll know how to fix your off-track garage door!