You’re in the garage one day and suddenly, your garage door makes a funny sound. As time passes, there’s another creak and maybe a bang. You’re not too worried, as long as it operates normally. However, you know that eventually the racket is the result of some sort of problem that needs to be fixed. You know that you might be on your way to work one morning and your car could be stuck in the garage if you don’t get it taken care of.
How do you go about diagnosing these strange and various noises a garage door makes? How do you explain it to a repairman? Are they really that serious?
Thump & Clunk!
If you hear a thumping sound or a clunk when your garage door opens and closes, there’s a good chance that your electric garage door opener is having some issues when lifting and lowering your door. This problem is often related to the torsion springs. They are installed over the door and one could be broken or needs replaced. Both torsion springs breaking on a 16 foot (4.9 meter) door is very rare.
On single doors, approximately 9 feet or 2.7 meters wide, your door opener may be able to lift the door in an emergency, but it’s a risky situation. To confirm that it’s a torsion spring issue, look over the door when it is closed and check if the torsion spring is broken in two places. If it is, you will need to contact your local garage door specialist to replace the broken spring and get your garage door working properly again.
A clinking garage door will make the sound over and over as the door goes up and down. There are a few different causes of this sound, but it’s usually due to the coils in the springs rubbing on each other. In garages that are cool and humid, rust tends to form on the springs, then when the weather gets hot and dry, they rub on each other and make a clinking noise. Another cause of this sound is when the rollers are defective and about to fall off. Either way, you’ll need to get the issue checked out before the springs rust through and break or a roller falls off.
With this one, you hear a sharp sound that is continuous as the door rises and closes. This is typically a lubrication issue on the exterior frame weather stripping or the weather stripping between the garage door sections. Because these parts are PVC, they dry out over time and stick together, which produces a squeaking sound.
This is another consistent sound when the door goes up and down. This medium‑level noise is often due to a chain or belt issue on the electric door opener. Typically, the chain or belt is loose and needs adjusted.
How Do You Know If It’s Serious?
Some of these sounds are the result of serious issues, like a broken spring. Broken springs need fixed as soon as possible for multiple reasons – safety and the fact that you need to be able to open your garage door! Squeaking from weather stripping is usually not that serious, but still needs correction at some point.
Regardless of the issue, garage door repair is something that is not a DIY project and you need to specialist to fix the issue. This is particularly true due to how the lifting mechanism works and the amount of tension it’s under.
For those noises that aren’t the result of broken parts, you can eliminate many of these noises with lubrication. A petroleum based oil can be applied to rollers, hinges and springs if those parts are metal. For PVC parts, you will need to use a silicone based lubricant. This can be applied to weather stripping, between the garage door sections and around the exterior frame.
Garage door specialists sell these lubricants. If it’s been awhile since your garage door has been adjusted or inspected, it’s always a good idea to have a technician look it over.
Do Garage Doors Need Tune Ups?
Yes! Every garage door should have an adjustment and tune up if it’s over 5 years old. It’s recommended to have it checked every 18 months. If you need a well‑established garage door specialist in your area, call us at 508-875-3508. Our work is guaranteed and residential maintenance includes a 26‑point checklist, lubrication and adjustments of all major components. If you’d like, we can even email quotations.