How to Save Money on Garage Door Repairs

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How to Save Money on Garage Door Repairs

If you have a busted garage door, then garage door repairs is a must! After all, garage doors are often the main entrance of your home and inevitably the largest. Although the importance of the garage door is underrated, it is necessary to ensure it functions properly. Garage door repairs are necessary as a dysfunctional door eventually leads to personal injury and great frustration.

In order to save money on garage door repairs, you first need to know the type of garage door you are working with. There are several types that can be found in homes today, some traditional and others more modern.

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We even have garage doors made out of glass now although it is probably not a wise option if you have really expensive cars, you wouldn’t want thieves constantly tempted to break into your garage to steal that Ferrari. Nonetheless, here are some of the most common garage door types:

Most Common Garage Door Types

Swing-up garage door

This garage door type basically tilts up in one piece. It is lifted up all at once when opened and this mechanism often works with a garage door opener that uses a motor to get the door to open automatically. Any repairs made to this type of door is likely to involve the spring or the lifting cables.

Roll-up garage door

A roll-up garage door, as the name implies, rolls up the tracks on the sides of the door. At the top of the garage door opening, there is a barrel around which the door bends as it rolls up. This type of door is more traditional than modern although there are some newer versions. The modern types often work with sensors to detect when there is someone or something directly under the door to prevent injury or accidents. Repairing a roll-up garage door may involve any one of the pulleys, lifting cables or tracks.

Slide-to-the-side garage door

This door type can be likened to a sliding glass door. Although they are not so common today, they are useful if your garage does not have much ceiling room and cannot accommodate vertically-running doors such as the roll-up garage door. The slide-to-the-side door runs parallel to the garage wall. The common problems usually associated with this type of door involves the door tracks and rollers. The rollers may not run smoothly which indicates a need for lubrication, or if the tracks are totally damaged, a replacement.

Sectional garage door

Some garage doors are divided into sections that semi-fold as the door is lifted up. When the garage door is opened, each section first moves vertically and then bends and moves parallel to the ceiling. This is made possible by the hinges which join each section, hence, the most likely issue that may occur if you use a sectional garage door is broken or rusted hinges. Although such issues can be as a result of wear and tear, the garage door can also be spoilt by misusage or a broken spring as well, making the door even heavier to lift and placing a greater strain on the lifting mechanism.

Swing-out garage door

Much like a barn door, this garage door type is a double door that swings open either inward or outward. It is a more traditional door with hinges on the sides which attach them to the wall. Similar to the sectional type, the most likely issue will be with the hinges.


Things to Remember

When getting garage door repairs, you need to ensure you are repairing the right components to prevent further repairs. For instance, if your garage door is misbehaving, perhaps making loud whining noises or is unusually heavy and the motor has to work extra hard to lift it, then it is likely that the spring is broken or there is an issue with the lifting cables.

Of course, when you think of saving money on garage door repairs, the first option that comes to mind is repairing it yourself. Although this is all good and fair, this option depends on how serious the issue is. If you happen to be at home and you hear a loud sound coming from the garage door, it is likely that the spring just broke. Now, when dealing with a broken spring, it is advisable to stay away and call on a professional. 

Do not try to repair the spring as it may still have some tension that could knock you off unexpectedly. This is best left for someone with experience. You may only proceed to touch the door after the spring has been repaired and perhaps work on any other issues that occurred as a result of the broken spring.

For one, when the spring breaks, any of the lifting cables may also snap since the door will be much heavier. Springs are the reason a garage door can easily be lifted manually, even with one hand. This is why, if you find that your garage door is extremely heavy to lift or the motor has to work extra hard to open the door, then a quick guess is that the garage door spring is broken.

When this happens, the lifting cables will have greater strain placed on them when lifting the door which can cause them to snap as well. These are safer to repair yourself once you know how to. However, don’t be deceived by all DIY videos, it is not everything you can fix yourself. Some hardware components require special attention while others just need a quick tweaking or simple replacement. With these, you can save costs by repairing them yourself.

For more complex issues, the best way to save money on repairs is to compare different repair services and determine the most cost-effective (without compromising on quality). To select the best repair service that will get the job done well and not leave you needing further repairs, you should enquire about their quoted prices.

Ask if this price covers parts, labour, and the duration.  The repair service should also offer a warranty on labour. Also, you need to educate yourself on the average costs of repairs based on the type of repair service required. This is so you don’t end up spending more than you actually need due to a lack of proper research. Reading this article means you’re on the right track and will not be deceived by extremely low costs or extremely high costs of repairs.


Actual costs of garage door repairs

A number of different issues may occur with garage doors. This is because they are used often with little or no maintenance. These issues may be related to the spring, cables, locks, sensors, tracks or even the garage door opener. Before heading out to choose a repair service, keep in mind that the average cost to repair a garage door varies, and there may be additional costs depending on the type of repair needed. Here is a breakdown of the actual costs of repairs based on the components affected.

1. Garage Door Spring Repairs

This is the most common garage door repairs fix needed as springs have a limited lifespan and will need replacement sooner or later. Springs generally have a lifespan of 10,000 cycles so if there about 6 cycles per day, the spring will last for 5 years. Depending on the type of spring and the type of door itself, you will be spending between $50 and $290 on repairs. For a damaged torsion spring, you will need $200 to $290 to repair or if necessary, to replace it. On the other hand, extension springs are less costly ranging from $50 to $95 to replace.

Further, to repair a spring in a roll-up door, you will need about $200 to $250 while for a tilt-up door, repairs cost $150 to $200.

2. Garage Door Opener repairs

Garage door openers secure entry to the house and on average, repairing one will cost about $150. It can also be as low as $100 and as high as $200. However, if the opener cannot be repaired, you will need between $300 to $500 to replace it.

Related article: How To Repair A Broken Garage Door Opener

3. Cables or Chains Repairs

Cables and chains lift and lower the garage door and if one of these cables breaks, the door could fall down and injure someone. This can be prevented by installing safety cables. To get a professional to repair damaged cables or chains, keep aside a small budget for both parts and professional labour. Nothing more than a thousand dollars.

4. Garage Door Sensors Repairs

It is of great importance that the sensors are properly functioning. Not only to prevent accidents or injury but to ensure the door closes all the way and does not stop midway for no good reason. Damaged sensors cost about $85 to $100 to repair.

5. Garage Door Panel Repairs

The garage door panel is one of the most expensive to repair as it will likely involve replacement. For newer garage door types, it may cost anything between $250 to $800 to replace a damaged panel.

Related article: How much does garage door repair cost in Toronto?


Garage door maintenance

In essence, another important factor to consider in your quest to save money on repairs is to properly maintain your garage door. Garage doors tend to be neglected because they are associated with that part of the house that barely requires much maintenance since it is just a place for cars to be kept or old belongings to be dumped. 

Not only will keeping a regular maintenance schedule prevent you from spending on several door repairs, but it will also prevent accidents that will bring harm to you or your loved ones. The same way you carry out other home maintenance is how you should ensure your garage door is well taken care of.

For one, if your garage door rollers are chipped or worn, be sure to replace them as they can never be effective if they are at all damaged. However, by yourself, you can only replace rollers that are not attached to cables. The bottom rollers are often connected to cables so these should be replaced by a professional as the cables have high tension. 

Generally, garage door rollers should be replaced every 5-7 years so regardless of little or no damages, you should endeavour to replace them so they operate at their best. Also, the tracks may cause the rollers not to run smoothly. Keep the tracks clean and free of debris or dust. The tracks may start to rust if they have been used for too long without proper maintenance. You can use a brake cleaner or a carburetor spray to clean the tracks; these can be purchased for $6 and $5 respectively.

Pay close attention to the way your garage door sounds. A noisy or screechy door should be a cause for concern so do not disregard any noises each time you open or close the door. Often, they are the greatest indicators that something in the door needs to be repaired or replaced. Try not to be oblivious to warning signs. 

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Furthermore, with regular usage, the screws and hinges of the door are likely to loosen or rust. For loose screws, you can easily tighten them so they don’t come off completely. This will only take a few minutes – a stitch in time saves nine.

Regularly checking for loose screws and tightening them will prevent further repairs in the future. Do not neglect hinges either, you can lubricate them using WD-40 which you can purchase for just about $5.

Nowadays, garage doors have sensors which serve to ensure the door does not close with someone or something directly under it. A simple way to check if the sensor is working properly is to place an object directly under the open door (inanimate of course, not your neighbour’s cat) and close it.

Watch to see if the door automatically reverses when it touches the object or stops before reaching the object. Properly aligned sensors will have their lights on and if you find that your sensors are not working, you can get a replacement for about $40.

Finally, you will need to conduct a visual inspection of the entire garage door. Check that the paint is not peeling and if it is, you should repaint it but prepare the surface beforehand based on the type of material the door is made of. Any rust found should be removed by sanding and ensure the door is kept clean.

Related article: How To Fix A Broken Garage Door

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