Why Do Garage Doors Jerk When Closing? It is a question we get asked a lot, and there are a few common reasons your garage door might be jerking while it is opening or closing. Common causes for this are bent tracks, bad rollers, or even problems with your garage door opener. Don’t ignore these issues as they put a strain on the opener and if left to fester can burn out your garage door opener’s motor. Some repairs are quite simple and can be done by homeowners while others require more tools, training, and can be dangerous.
What Causes A Garage Door To Jerk?
The garage door has three primary parts. The garage door, the garage door opener, and the garage door springs. The garage door opener uses a lift motor that drives a chain or screws to lift and lower the garage door. The lift motor is responsible for working in unison with the springs to pull the door up, and lets it back down when it should close. The garage door runs on the track system that keeps it in place during opening and closing.
When the garage door is jerking or shaking during operation it can be caused by the track being dirty or damaged. The tracks need to be aligned correctly and inspected for debris or damage if the door is jerking and shaking.
If you inspect the track and discover damage it will usually be in the form of crimps or bends. Minor damage can be repaired with a hammer or mallet to straighten out the track. However if you are not confident you can do this correctly, or the damage is severe you should call for garage door repair. Removing the bends and crimps from tracks takes a trained hand to not cause new problems while removing the old ones. If there is dirt or debris in the track you should remove it with tools and wipe clean the track to prevent it from jerking while operating.
Check Rollers & Hardware
Rollers on your garage door that follow the track can wear out or be damaged. If they are making noises like squeaking or squealing while the door is opening or closing they might be the source of your jerking door. Replacing rollers means matching up new rollers to the old hardware. Ensuring this is done correctly will determine the operation and life of the door system, and should be left to professionals.
Hardware like screws and hinges that hold the panels together and the track system to the garage should also be checked. If you have loose hardware it can also cause the door to jerk during operation. This is because they cannot properly support the weight of the door. Ignoring a garage door that is jerking can lead to burning out your garage door opener motor. If this happens it will have to be replaced.
DIY or Professional Garage Door Repair
Some small repairs like adjusting the photo-eye alignment, or replacing batteries in a remote are well within the abilities of most homeowners. However, there are many elements of the garage door system that are potentially dangerous. There are hundreds of Americans injured during garage door repair, or by garage doors that are not repaired or maintained properly. Garage door springs, for example, are one of the most dangerous elements to garage door systems. They do the heavy lifting, not the opener, and are under very high tension. If they are not handled properly or if they break serious injuries are possible.
Do homeowners must choose which garage door repairs to handle themselves and which should be left to professionals.