Your Garage Door DIY Guide: Garage Door Speed, Balance, and More

Your Garage Door DIY Guide: Garage Door Speed, Balance, and More
  • Opening Intro -

    A new garage door may boast an ROI of 94.5%, but it's still an expensive investment.

    So, unless you're planning to sell your home soon, it's best to keep your garage door in good order for as long as you can.

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The most cost-effective way to do this is by learning the basics of garage door DIY. Keep reading for some sound advice on how to deal with easy fixes like garage door lubrication, speed issues, and restoring balance to your door.

Improving Your Garage Door Speed

Is your garage door so slow you’d rather park outside, or does it slam shut so fast you’re terrified to enter? There are several reasons why a garage door’s speed goes awry.

Most garage door openers have various speed settings so you can adjust how fast your door opens and closes. This is the first place to check for troubles since it’s usually set at the lowest speed when you get it.

Grab a stepladder and remove the access panel from the opener’s housing. Most panels have two tabs on either side which you press and then tip the housing up or down.

Once you’ve opened the panel, you’ll find a screw inside. Use a flat-head screwdriver to turn the screw and adjust the speed of your door.

It’s best to check your door owner’s manual before tinkering with these parts of your garage door.

Most garage doors open faster than they close. That’s because as the door closes, it must travel slower to allow the sensors to activate in time to stop the door if there’s an obstruction in the way.

Garage doors that close too quickly are dangerous, so you need to act fast if you notice this quirk. It’s usually a problem with your garage springs or cables that cause this issue.

The torsion springs on your garage control how fast your door closes by counterbalancing the forces of gravity. The cables balance and support the weight of the door while it’s in operation.

Although the best garage door torsion springs will last for up to nine years, springs and cables weaken over time. They can even fray or snap.

Check your cables and springs before you try ducking under a garage door that’s closing too quickly.

The Low-Down on Garage Door Lubrication

Keeping the working parts of your garage door well lubricated is essential for smooth operation. If you neglect this aspect of garage door maintenance, you’ll soon experience problems opening and closing your door.

Improper lubrication’s another one of the reasons your door might open and close slowly. Over time, grime builds up on your garage door’s roller brackets, tracks, and hinges. This causes the lubrication to wear off.

garage door hardwaregarage door opener

      some garage door items to consider      

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest garage door fixes around. Here’s how to properly lubricate your garage door.

  • Close the door and work from the inside of your garage
  • Remove any grease and grime from the hinges, tracks, and brackets
  • Spray garage door lubricant or apply a few drops of penetrating oil to these parts
  • Open the door a few times to spread the lubricant around evenly

You’ll need a stepladder to reach the upper parts of your garage door safely and you should wear a dust mask and goggles if you’re using a spray lubricant.

Garage Door Guide to Good Balance

An unbalanced door means your opener must work extra hard to operate the door and will wear out much sooner.

It’s easy to check if your door’s balanced. Simply pull the release handle on your door opener to disconnect it. Then open or lower the door to halfway.

If it’s well balanced, it will stay in place by itself. If it starts to fall or ride up, you’ll need to check the tension on your garage door spring. For doors that drop when you disconnect the door opener, you’ll need to tighten the springs. If your door moves upward, the springs are too tight.

To adjust your springs, you need to release the tension on them first. You do this by locking your door in the open position using a C-clamp or two locking pliers.

Each garage door spring attaches to a track hanger with a large hook. When you’ve released the tension on the spring, unhook it and remove the nut on the back of the bracket with an adjustable wrench.

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To increase the tension on your spring, move it to a higher slot on the track hanger, to decrease tension, move it lower down. Tighten the hook back in place.

Test your door and if it’s still not balanced, adjust the spring by another hole in the desired direction. If your door’s hanging unevenly, you should make sure that the springs on either side of your door are set at the same distance down each track.

It’s worth noting that if you’re not confident in your handyman skills, it’s always safer to ask a garage door technician to assist you with this task. If your garage door falls it could seriously injure you.

other related articles of interest:

Not Sure About Your DIY Skills?

Are you uncomfortable with attempting anything more complicated than garage door lubrication? Rather get an expert to help you fix or maintain your garage door.

If you want to save on material costs, you could always buy your garage door parts in advance and offer to pay them for labor only.

Would you like some practical home maintenance or renovation tips? Explore our website for more good advice and hacks that any aspirant DIYer can use.

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Image credit: garage door DIY guide by twenty20.com

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