Garage Door Repair or Replacement—How to Choose
Sometimes garage door repair is more of a hassle than simply replacing the whole system. However, there are several minor problems that most homeowners can fix on their own to save some money.
If you can determine that the source of the problem is in the electric motor, garage door repair is probably a better and more budget-friendly option. When fixing electronics, the most difficult part is usually the diagnosis and not the actual garage door repairs. As with any electronic device, repetitive use strains the parts, dust and debris can become caught in the gears, and fuses short out. The first quick fixes that even the mechanically hopeless can manage are changing the batteries in the opener and flushing the motor clean with a compressed air can, which can be purchased for a few dollars at any electronics store.
If that doesn't work, and you aren't too intimidated, carefully open the motor case and examine it. Look for loose or dislodged parts. If it can run at all, watch the movements and try to identify anything that isn't working properly. If you can spot the problem, you can try to contact the manufacturer to get the part needed or check online for fix-it kits. Even if you are unable to source the materials, when you do call a professional you'll save time and money on an inspection.
Damage to the interior or exterior of the material (most commonly rot and mold in wood) will likely require replacement. If it is made of wooden panels, than garage door repair may be an option depending on the extent of the damage. Check the entire area for splintering sections, visible mold growths, and crumbling areas. It is common in older doors to see problems developing around the frame where the bottom meets the floor. Moisture can accumulate here and the wood expands which can then drag and fragment with impact, or leave a significant gap. The bottom can be cut out (if the rest of the area is still strong enough) and then rubber or metal can be used as a buffer, extending the lifespan for another few years. If you do decide to replace, then consider choosing metal or aluminum.
Regular replacement of the torsion springs is highly recommended for safety reasons as well as overall function. There's no need to completely remove the façade unless there is another problem such as rot. While you can save money by replacing them on your own, each spring has a tremendous amount of force behind it. That means a slip-up can cause a serious injury. It is best to leave the job to the pros, and remember to always replace both springs at the same time to ensure proper balancing.
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