Hiring someone for your garage door repair needs can lead to all kinds of headaches. Relatively speaking, garage door repairmen do not charge nearly as much as other types of home repairmen since they typically charge somewhere between $80.00 and $150.00 for the average repair job. However, with that being said though, why pay someone else to do the job for you, when you can do it yourself?
The vast majority of overhead garage door problems revolve around two items, the door itself and the door opener. This little fact is rather unsurprising since these are the two main components for most garage doors. There are a few things that you can do to make your own repairs, and in the process save yourself possibly several hundred dollars, and who knows how much time.
- Diagnose. Just like when a person gets sick, when something doesn't work you need to figure out what the problem is. This is called diagnosing, and when diagnosing a problematic garage door, you really only need to look at a few things, the door itself, the tracks (which some would say are part of the door) and the opener. Is the garage door itself damaged? How about the tracks, are they properly aligned (i.e. at the same height, leveled properly for horizontal openers, and angled properly for the vertical openers)? Is there an obstruction in the tracks? Are the tracks dented or damaged? How about the opener, does it turn on when it should? Does the drive belt or chain move? Finally, check the springs. Since the vast majority of overhead garage doors operate with the help of spring tension, you should check those springs to makes sure that there is nothing wrong with them.
- Door Damage. When damage occurs to the doors themselves there are a couple of options that you have at your disposal. The first is if your doors are made out of metal then use a rubber mallet to gently tap out the dents. If the doors are made of wood, you can try sanding and repainting. As a last resort, you can also always replace the entire door itself. In this case, simply make sure that you have all the correct measurements. Doing so is going to help you in selecting the properly sized doors. After you have purchased your new doors, simply follow the installation instructions that come with them.
- Track Damage. As you are looking at your tracks, make sure that you don't see any dents, dings or warps. If you do, then chances are this is the problem and all that you are going to need to do is use a rubber mallet to gently tap out the damaged sections. Don't pound too hard, or you might end up causing more damage. While you are inspecting, see if there is any obstructions in the way, and if there are remove them.
- Inoperative Opener. In the event that the opener itself is simply not working, the first thing that should be checked is whether or not the unit is receiving any power at all. It might sound silly, but check to make sure it is plugged in. If that is not the case, you can then always remove the unit and take it to a repair shop to see if they can identify the problem. Unfortunately, this is often more expensive than simply purchasing a new one. My suggestion would be to simply purchase a new garage door opener, and then install it.
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