Troubleshooting Problems With Your Garage Door Rails

A garage door may seem simple enough, but it is still a complicated machine. Every component must work within certain specifications, or your door can get jammed or wear out sooner than it should. Some garage door repairs you can fix on your own; for instance, you should be able to handle most problems with your garage door rails and wheels. 

Bent Rails

You can easily bend your garage door rails. If one of your children gets a little wobbly on their bike and crashes into your rail, the force can be enough to bend the rail. Since your wheel should just fit in the rail anyway, even a little bend is enough to create a pinch point, which can cause a jam.

To correct the problem, examine your rail for signs of a bend. To correct the problem, all you have to do is place a block of wood against the rail and strike the wood with a hammer. This is key because the wood will distribute the force of the hammer over a greater area, which will prevent the hammer from deforming the rail. Continue hammering at the wood until your rail is straightened.

Lubricating Wheels and Hinges

If your door squeaks, you might think that the noise is just a nuisance. However, a squeaky door means that your joints and wheels are out of lubrication, which in turn means the moving parts of your joints and hinges are rubbing metal on metal. Your wheels and hinges are grinding themselves enough to cause premature wear. 

As soon as your wheels or hinges start squeaking, you need to apply a good lubricating oil. Such an oil will be able to work down into the inner workings. If, on the other hand, you can see flat surfaces on your wheels, or you see metal shavings around your hinges, then you need to replace the wheel or hinges. The only wheels you should never change are the bottom wheels. These are connected directly to your springs, and because they are under pressure, removing them can cause the wheels to fly off and injure people or damage objects in your garage. Leave these wheels up to the professionals. Replacing the other wheels and hinges simply involves doing one at a time, removing the screws that hold one part in place, then placing the new part, and replacing the screws. 

Working on the rails and wheels of a garage door does not require specialized training in most cases. On the other hand, if you have a problem with the bottom wheels, or you have expended your own best efforts and come up short, it is time to call a repair professional for reinforcements. 


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