Has your garage door been giving you trouble lately? Then you should consider that the garage being unbalanced is the reason why it is malfunctioning. When a garage door is out of balance, it’s a problem you want to fix immediately. It can put a strain on other parts, which may require a replacement.
Also, it can put you and your loved ones at risk of being injured each time you try to close the garage door. The moment you try to open the door, it will go back down, causing damage to your vehicle due to an unbalanced garage door.
So what exactly does it mean to balance a garage door? What is the best option on how to check garage door balance, and how much does it cost? Find out as we discuss all these questions.
Before we move on to how to balance a garage door, let’s discuss what it means when the door is unbalanced. First, let’s consider what garage door balance entails. A garage door relies on tension springs to evenly distribute its weight. This makes the openers work easier as the door opens and closes.
So if the tension springs are damaged for any reason, the door will become unbalanced as there is no equal weight distribution. The result is excessive strain placed on the opener, which will reduce its lifespan. Also, if a door is not balanced immediately, it will cause further damage and even lead to the springs snapping when you least expect it.
So how often should you have your garage door balance checked? Doing it regularly once or twice a year should be sufficient. This gives you time to prevent further damage. It is also a cost-effective measure. So make sure to include this as part of your garage door maintenance.
If you are wondering how to check the balance of your garage door, it is best to call up a professional. The risk of springs snapping or injuring yourself means it is better to leave the troubleshooting to someone with experience. STI Garage Doors can quickly check garage door balance. Other aspects to pay attention to:
Before you can check the balance, you should know which direction it is unbalanced. Start by switching off the opener. This allows you to see just how well the door can hang without the opener.
Now try to run the door several times to see how it moves along the tracks. If it doesn’t move easily, then you can suspect it is unbalanced. Running it at least three to four times is a great way to make sure you notice even the slightest unbalance.
Now move the door and let go as it moves halfway along the tracks. Notice if the door moves up, down, or just hangs on its own. If the door slides upwards or downwards, then it is unbalanced. Any sort of movement is an indication that the door needs to be balanced. Should the door fall completely, then the springs may be permanently damaged.
In some cases, the door may be overbalanced. If that’s the case, you can readjust the tension springs. For overbalanced doors, all you have to do is to turn the springs in the opposite direction so that you can loosen them a bit.
Here is an easy guide on how to balance your garage door by yourself. Let’s check out each following point.
The first step on how to balance a garage door is to switch off the power. This will help you avoid any risk of being electrocuted while balancing. Pull the emergency lever to manually open and close the door.
Open the door manually to detect the level of unbalance. If it is unbalanced, close it again. Climb on a ladder to access the torsion rod. Use the adjuster to control tension.
Attach pliers to the torsion rod. The pliers should rest against the wall to keep the bar in place. Place a winding bar in the lowest hole of the adjuster to loosen the screws. Put another winding bar in the next hole. Hold both bars in place so that a 45° angle is created between them.
Put some pressure on the first winding bar so that the second one rests against the wall. Tighten the screws again then you can remove the winding bars.
Open and close the door manually. You should do this slowly and as many times as possible. If the door closes on its own, you will have to repeat the entire process.
If you decide to balance your garage door by yourself, you will need a ladder, pliers, and winding bars. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can do it. Always remember that it is best to call a professional as you risk injuring yourself.
Because there are different types of garage door springs, adjusting may be different. Here is how to balance a garage door with a torsion spring.
Torsion spring doors are easier to fix. However, it is very easy to injure yourself when you are not careful. Keep the door closed when making adjustments.
To avoid injuries, place some clamps on the tracks while working. This keeps the door in place and from moving upwards while you make adjustments. Use the ladder to reach the adjustment collar. Use winding bars to adjust the screws. Put a winding bar into one of the holes in the adjustment collar. It should make a snapping sound when it is in place.
The winding bar in place allows you to keep the springs from moving as you attempt to remove the screws. Use a wrench to remove the screws.
If you can’t keep the door open, use a winding bar and keep it at the right angle. Now place another bar in the hole facing the ground. This will make it easier for you to work as it holds the door in place while turning screws. Fix the screws in place and remove winding bars. Do the same on other springs before releasing the c-clamps. Test the door several times to make sure the garage door spring balance is successful.
For doors with extension springs, make sure that all the tension is removed before balancing the garage door. Simply open the door entirely and use a ladder to keep it in place. Avoid hitting the opener. You can now place a clamp on the tracks so that the door stays in place.
Now you can remove the springs. Before doing that, make sure you remove the safety cables first. If the safety cables are worn out, you have to replace them. If the springs are still in good condition, you can shift the springs to the next hole in the garage door hanger. Repeat it on both sides. Then recheck.
You can now remove the clamps so that it rests on the ladder. Check as it moves up and down. See if the springs will need additional adjustment. You can make the cables tighter to provide more tension.
The cost to balance a garage door will depend on several factors, such as the extent of damage to the tension springs and how much it weighs. That is why we recommend you check the balance earlier on before you have extensive damage.
Delaying will put lead to both the springs and opener being damaged. In this case, the cost of balancing will be more. Usually, springs have to be replaced. It can cost from $100 to $300. Even if one spring is damaged, all have to be replaced to prevent injuries.
An unbalanced garage door is not something that you want to deal with. Make sure you check garage door balance at least once a year. This could save you and your loved ones from getting injured. Detecting the problem early on will also save you a lot of money. The cost of garage door spring balance varies on the extent of the damage. If you are unsure of how to level a garage door, it is best to call up a professional.
Contact STI Garage Doors for any garage door problems. We will be there to balance your door in no time!