An uneven garage door can be a nuisance and a safety hazard. It may make it difficult to open and close the door, and it can also cause damage to the door and the opener over time. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to fix an uneven or sagging garage door.
In this article, we will discuss the various causes of an uneven garage door and provide detailed instructions on how to fix it. We will cover topics such as adjusting the hinges, adjusting the spring within the track hanger, checking the alignment of the tracks, and making finer adjustments to the alignment.
Whether you're a professional or a DIY enthusiast, this guide will help you fix an uneven garage door and get it running smoothly again.
How to Check if Your Garage Door is Uneven
To check if your garage door is uneven, you can take the following steps:
1. Open the garage door and visually inspect it to see if there are any gaps or uneven areas.
2. Measure the height of the garage door at its highest and lowest points . Subtract the lowest height from the highest height to determine how much the door needs to be adjusted.
3. Check the cables to ensure they are correctly positioned on the pulleys at the end of your springs and that there is no fraying or tearing.
4. Inspect the torsion spring, located above the garage door, to see if it is broken or if the coils appear to be sticking up.
5. Turn off the power to the garage door opener and measure the drums on either side of the door and the gap at the top and bottom.
6. From the drum opposite the gap, turn the set screw to adjust and raise that side of the door. Move to the side with the gap to mark the shaft and the drum.
If any of these steps are difficult for you or if you find any issues, it is best to contact a professional.
5 Common Causes of Uneven Garage Doors
1. Misaligned or loose hinges: Over time, hinges can become loose or misaligned, causing the door to become uneven. This can be caused by normal wear and tear, or by impact damage to the door.
2. Misaligned tracks: The tracks that guide the door up and down can become misaligned, causing the door to become uneven. This can be caused by loose or misaligned brackets, or by damage to the tracks themselves.
3. Uneven tension on the spring: Over time, the tension on the spring that helps lift the door can become uneven, causing the door to become uneven. This can be caused by normal wear and tear, or by damage to the spring.
4. Uneven garage floor: If the floor of the garage is uneven, it can cause the door to become uneven. This can be caused by the settling or shifting of the concrete, or by the poor initial installation of the garage floor.
5. Lack of maintenance: Regular maintenance can help to prevent an uneven garage door. It is important to keep the hinges, tracks, and springs in good condition, and to check for any signs of damage or wear.
While these are the most common causes of an uneven garage door, there may be other underlying issues as well. Therefore, it's always a good idea to consult a professional if you are unsure about how to proceed or if you are unsure of the cause of the problem.
7 Easy Steps to Fix an Uneven or Sagging Garage Door
Step 1: Adjusting the Hinges
Adjusting the hinges can be a simple solution to fix an uneven garage door. The 1st step is to open the garage door and check if the hinges are loose.
If they are, tighten them using a drill or a manual screwdriver.
It is also important to check that the hinges are aligned and not bent or damaged. If they are bent or damaged, they will need to be replaced.
Once the hinges are tightened and aligned, close the garage door and check if it is now level. If it is still uneven, additional steps may be necessary such as adjusting the spring tension or aligning the tracks.
Step 2: Aligning the Tracks
Aligning the tracks is an important step in fixing an uneven garage door. Here is a simple and easy-to-understand guide on how to align the tracks:
1. Close the garage door and use a level tool to make sure that both sides of the garage door are touching the ground evenly.
2. Locate the bolts that hold the tracks in place.
3. Loosen the bolts with a wrench or a socket.
4. Use a hammer to gently tap the tracks until they are level.
5. Retighten the bolts and check to make sure that the door is now opening and closing evenly.
If the tracks are severely damaged, it's best to replace them rather than try to align them. Also, if you are unsure about how to proceed, it's best to contact a professional to ensure that the job is done properly.
Step 3: Adjusting the Spring Tension
Adjusting the spring tension is another step that can be taken to fix an uneven garage door. The spring tension is what allows the door to open and close smoothly, so if the door is uneven, it could be a sign that the spring tension needs to be adjusted.
Start by locating the torsion spring, which is located above the garage door. Do not confuse the spring with the cables, which work with the springs to counterbalance the weight. The torsion spring is a large spring that runs along the length of the garage door, providing the tension to raise and lower the door.
Next, you will need to adjust the tension on the spring by turning the adjustment knob or tightening the tension cable. This increases the pressure on the spring, which will cause the door to lift more efficiently and close more smoothly.
It's important to note that adjusting the spring tension is a delicate process. It is very dangerous if not done properly. It is recommended to seek professional assistance.
Step 4: Re-leveling the Floor
Check the floor for any cracks or settling issues. Re-level the floor by pouring more concrete or using a product like PolyLEVEL to raise the existing concrete.
Step 5: Pushing the Door Back into Position
Begin by closing the garage door and ensuring that it is securely locked.
Locate the vertical track along the side of the door. This track is responsible for guiding the door up and down as it opens and closes. Check to see if the track is aligned properly. If it appears to be slightly off-center or out of alignment, you will need to adjust it.
Use your hands to gently push the door back into position. Make sure that the door is centered on the track and that it is not leaning to one side or the other.
Check the alignment of the track again to ensure that it is now straight. If it is still not straight, use a hammer to gently tap the track back into alignment.
Once the track is aligned properly, check the operation of the door. It should open and close smoothly without any issues. Repeat these steps as needed until the door is properly aligned and operating smoothly.
Step 6: Disconnecting from the opener
Disconnecting from the garage door opener is a simple process that involves disconnecting the opener arm from the garage door.
This is typically done by releasing the tension on the opener arm and then pulling it away from the door.
Some openers may have a release handle or button that allows you to disconnect the opener arm easily, while others may require you to manually release the tension. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific opener when disconnecting from the opener to ensure that it is done safely and correctly.
Step 7: Fine adjustments to the alignment
Fine adjustments to the alignment can be made by lifting the cable and not the spring. This method allows for more precise adjustments to the alignment of the garage door, ensuring that it opens and closes evenly.
It is important to note that this step may require some basic knowledge of carpentry and garage door mechanics, and it is recommended to consult a professional if you are unsure of how to proceed.
Additionally, make sure to disconnect the door from the opener before making these adjustments for safety.
You Can Check It Out to Fix the Uneven Concrete Garage Floor.
FAQs About Uneven Garage Doors
Why is One Side of My Garage Door Higher Than the Other?
One side of a garage door higher than the other can be caused by a problem with the tracks.
The tracks are what the door rolls on when it opens and closes, so if they're not level, the door won't be either. Possible reasons for this include the tracks being bent or the seal on the bottom of the door being deteriorated on side, which can cause water to accumulate at that side of the door. It can also be caused by wear and tear on the system's springs over time.
Can the Garage Door Be Adjusted?
Yes, a garage door can be adjusted. One way to adjust a garage door is to remove tension from the door by resting it on a ladder and then inspecting the springs. If the springs are loose, they can be removed and replaced with new ones. It is important to be cautious when adjusting the torsion spring as it contains a lot of stored energy. It is recommended to use winding bars that fit the door's winding cone and to stand to the side of the winding bar when adjusting the spring. Additionally, there are also tutorials and videos available online that can help with adjusting a garage door.
Why is My Garage Door Not Centered?
A garage door may not be centered for a variety of reasons, including an impact, hardware loosening over time, and the photo eye (the invisible beam on either side of the garage opening) becoming unaligned. Bent tracks can also cause the wheels to pop out, resulting in a misaligned door. These issues can be fixed by pushing the door back into position, aligning the tracks, and straightening any bent parts. It is important to ensure that the tracks are completely aligned for the garage door to open and close properly.
Sometimes a simple task, sometimes a task best left to experts
Fixing an uneven garage door can be a simple task if the problem is caused by misaligned tracks or loose hinges . If the tension spring is causing the problem, you should not risk your life over it and leave the repair to specialists.
However, if the issue is caused by a settling foundation or a cracked slab, it may require more extensive repairs such as re-leveling the floor or filling in gaps with concrete or leveling products. It is important first to identify the cause of the unevenness and then take the appropriate steps to correct it.
Remember to always take safety precautions when working on your garage door, and if you are unsure about any aspect of the repair, it is best to consult with a professional. They have the right tools and knowledge, so you can have your garage door operating smoothly and evenly in no time.