What Happens if Your Garage Door Came Off Track

garage door came off track

Every morning, the sound of straining metal winched through strain and heat expanded metal echoes down the street. The garage doors of a dozen residential homes opening and closing as neighbors embark on their daily duties.

Those sounds? All fixable with some tune-ups and care. Those sounds? All warning signs that inevitably lead to the yell of “the garage door came off track!” 

Off-track doors can be a simple fix or a complete disaster as panels bend and systems snap. Avoiding the $500 to $800 in average replacement costs for a door makes listening to warning sounds prudent.

For those dealing with a garage door wheel off track but not yet broken, this guide is here to help.

Garage Door Came Off Track?

First things first, you want to diagnose the severity of the damage.  Assuming it’s only a small problem, and not one that strongly suggests getting professional repairs underway, there are some DIY options.

Causes

Four major factors contribute or outright force a garage door off track. Most of these factors come from wear but can also happen from a sudden force.

Dents

A sudden whack to the tracks from a car or a flying object can dent the structure. These dents pull on the wheels or leave gaps for them to slip out. 

Alignment

The garage door is designed to work with multiple systems in a fluid motion. Tracks that aren’t parallel with themselves or the ground create torsion forces. 

Grime

One of the key reasons to choose nylon over steel for door rollers is corrosion resistance. Over time, grease and dirt from the garage build up in the track. Rust from the oxidation of the rail can also occur in climates with frequent snow and melt cycles. 

Loose Tracks

Loose tracks pull away from the wall and mess up the alignment. This can happen from the strain of misalignment or simply coming loose from rattling. 

Fixes

The general rule in how to put a garage door back on track is to work slowly with the door’s weight held in multiple places. Always use a stable object to hold the door, people and wobbly things are both prone to sudden failure.

Run through this checklist to prep for a repair.

  • Detach automatic opener – there’s a string attached for that
  • Open and secure door – in adherence with the above rule
  • Pry open track – enough to slip rollers in
  • Insert wheels one at a time
  • Close the track – with a rubber mallet and wooden block
  • Test the door – by opening and closing a few times
  • Reattach door opener

The actual process is obviously a bit harder to complete. If you have trouble opening the track or closing it, remember to work slowly to avoid tearing the track.

Set your track opening at a comfortable height. You don’t want to work too low or too high that it causes strain on you. Avoiding frustration is a key part of a successful repair.

Don’t Go it Alone

Now you understand the dangers and fixes for garage door came off track situation. Diagnosing and addressing the underlying cause is always as important as fixing the issue.

Contact us with questions and concerns. We’ll give you an estimate on repairs and get your garage door whisper quiet and well-tuned.

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