When you left for work this morning, the unthinkable happened — your garage door became dislodged from its track and can no longer effectively and safely operate.
Depending on the cause and extent of the door damage, having a broken garage door track can be easily repaired by a professional. If the damage to your garage door is widespread and extensive, then you may need to replace the entire door. Regardless of what caused your garage door to get off its track, though — whether it’s broken hardware or a sudden vehicle impact — you shouldn’t attempt to move or operate the door or perform any major repairs yourself.
Causes of Broken Garage Door Tracks
To best avoid a dangerous, unexpected and inconvenient broken garage door tracks, it’s best to understand what can cause the track to become damaged:
- Poor lubrication of rollers can lead to hardware displacement and bent tracks.
- Broken cables can put uneven pressure on the garage door, causing it to bend the track and hang sideways.
- Metal fatigue on the track’s horizontal component can cause warping as it struggles to support the weight of the door.
- Footing and jamb brackets at the base of the door that hold the tracks may become worn and eventually bend.
- On older properties, shifting foundations over time can put slight pressure on the garage door and tracks, and they’ll become damaged.
Dangers of a Garage Door off Track
In severe cases of broken garage tracks, the door can become completely removed from the track — but how, exactly, does this event happen?
- Heavy impact: When you think of a door being detached from its track, you likely first think of the door being struck by a vehicle. If you back up before the door is fully open, for instance, the impact from your car could be strong enough to displace the garage door from the track.
- Broken springs: Springs are a crucial component of your garage door’s counterbalance system. However, by being under constant weight and tension, they can break unexpectedly, especially when at the end of their lifespan. On garage doors that have springs supporting the door on either side — versus a torsion spring at the top of the door — one spring can break or become damaged, causing the door to become off track on one side. When this happens, be cautious as the second spring is likely to break as well.
- Door obstruction: While this is a less likely cause, if your door was installed before 1993, then it may not be equipped with safety photo eye sensors. Without these sensors, or if your photo eyes are misaligned, an object can obstruct the pathway of your closing garage door and the force of hitting that item can cause the garage door to become off track.
What to Do When Your Garage Door Is off Track
While it may be tempting for many homeowners to try realigning their garage door or moving the door after it’s become off track, attempting to operate or fix the door can cause damage to the door or nearby property or personal injury. Take these steps to safely handle and assess the situation:
- Evaluate the damage: Before attempting to move anything, determine what was damaged in the event — is the door stable and just not wanting to open or close because of a dented track, or is it completely removed from the track? If the damage to the garage door isn’t too extensive, you can attempt closing the garage door to prevent security concerns.
- Possibly make repairs: If the garage door is off track because of slightly damaged metal, then you can attempt to straighten the track using a rubber mallet.
- Call a professional: When in doubt about the extent of the damage, call your local garage door repair specialists to help determine the issue and recommend repairs.
Contact Liberty Door and Awning for Your Garage Door Track Repair
Having your garage door dislodged from its tracks can be startling, dangerous and unexpected, but when you call Liberty Door and Awning after your track becomes damaged, you can expect fast, high-quality repairs. We happily serve New Jersey homeowners throughout Middlesex, Monmouth and Atlantic Counties with all of their garage door installation, maintenance and repair needs.
Schedule garage door repair or maintenance services today by completing our online contact form or calling (732) 286-3667 to speak to a team member, or feel free to request a free service estimate.