As simple as your garage door might seem, these important barriers between the elements and your home often go neglected. A compromised garage door can leak heat, make your home’s exterior appearance shoddy and even be a safety hazard. Luckily it’s quite simple to work on your garage door on your own.
If you have a door that’s gotten a little out-of-sorts, a few small adjustments can usually return it to a normal, smooth-running operation. Particularly when you have small kids and pets around, a door that’s out of alignment is a safety hazard you’ll want to avoid. Take a look at the steps below to learn how to fix a tilted garage door.
It’s All About Balance
The first step in fixing your garage door is evaluating it. That means testing its balance to see if it’s adjusted too far to one side. You might not have to do this if things are visibly off, but if you’re not quite sure, lift the door off the ground and see if it will stay put between three and four feet off the ground. A door that’s out of adjustment will not. Now that you’ve got a clear picture of the door’s current balance, you can begin working on getting it straightened out again.
Change Your Spring Setting
With your door still lifted, block it using a ladder so that you won’t be fighting the door’s weight when adjusting your spring settings. You should be able to test whether there is still tension on the spring using your hand. If there is, lift the door higher. Once you can safely remove the spring with no tension, it’s time to make your adjustment. Move the spring to a higher hole if the door was closing too quickly. Move it lower if the door was opening quickly.
Level Your Garage Door
Cable drums located on either side of your garage door can lift or lower their specific corner of the door. Before you make your adjustments, disable the power to the door. You’ll need a ratchet and the proper socket size for the drums on your door. Use a calculator to learn exactly how much you need to turn the cable drums on either side of your door to achieve the proper setting.
You’ll need to loosen and tighten the set screws that connect your door’s cable drum to the shaft that runs across the top of the door. It can be a delicate process, and there’s a lot of load on your garage door’s hardware so work safely and take your time. When you are able to lower the door manually and see that it’s sitting flush, you can fully re-tighten the set screws and restore power to the door.
You can test the door once more with the power on, but if your adjustments were correct it should function the same way it did when off power. Nice job, you probably saved hundreds of dollars just by doing that job on your own and not calling a handyman!
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington