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Door Off Track

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A garage door can come off of its track for several reasons, ranging from an immediate obstruction to a lack of maintenance over time. If your home’s garage door is off of its track, do not attempt to forcefully jam the door closed or try to repair the garage door by yourself.

Forcefully closing an off-track garage door may cause additional damage to your door, eliminating any chance of a repair. And because an off-track garage door is often coupled with an unbalanced cable system, DIY repairs could lead to very serious injuries.

If your garage door is off track, call one of your Houston, TX experts at Hero Garage Doors. Our team will be able to assist you and get your garage door back to its former function.

Why is My Garage Door Off Track?

Garage doors may get off of their tracks for several reasons, including obstruction, deteriorated rollers, broken springs, or lifting the garage by hand. 

Obstruction

Many Houston, TX homeowners find that their garage doors are off track due to obstruction. Obstruction happens any time a garage door closes down on an object. This sometimes happens when the sensors fail to automatically stop the garage door from closing. Common objects that cause obstruction include car bumpers, trashcans, bikes, toys, and yard tools.

Whenever an object obstructs a garage door, it causes the cables to come off of the drum, which makes the system’s spring unwind. Because of this, the garage door is released and then jammed into the track.  

Rollers Deteriorating

In some instances, garage doors come off of the track due to the deterioration of their rollers. Because garage doors are in close contact with the outdoors, rollers are exposed to dirt and debris on a daily basis. 

Rollers that are covered in debris or dirt cause friction once they are put to use. So each time you use your garage door opener, that debris and dirt slowly breaks down the roller and adds stress onto the cables. All of this friction and stress will eventually cause your garage door rollers to deteriorate, which can lead to an off-track door. 

Deteriorated rollers can be prevented with maintenance. At Hero Garage Doors, we recommend that you clean and lubricate your rollers regularly. It is also important to replace any broken and worn rollers to prevent an off-track garage door.

Spring Getting Ready to Break

An old spring may also cause your garage door to get off track. In a perfect spring system, the garage door will be supported equally by springs on each side of the garage door. Over time, the springs age, sometimes even at different rates.

Whenever one spring deteriorates, it becomes unable to support its side of the garage door. This causes the door to become unbalanced and puts the pressure of supporting the door onto the garage door opener. The increase in resistance will then cause your cable to slip off of the drum and lead to an off-track door. 

Oftentimes, you can notice that your springs are about to break before they actually do. This is possible by checking the cables. If one cable seems to be more taut than the other, your garage door could start malfunctioning soon. 

Using The Garage Door By Hand

Manual garage doors are often found in older Houston, TX homes, but they can also get off of their tracks. Manual garage doors get off track whenever an individual pushes the door too high up on the tracks.

This causes the cable to slip off of its drum and leads to an off-track door. Homeowners can prevent their manually-operated garage door from going off track by lifting the garage door and allowing it to sit where it naturally rests, not any higher.

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A common reason for garage door roller to come off track occurs when the garage door closes on an object (car bumper, trashcan, broom, bike, etc.). This can cause the cable to slip off of the drum on one side of the door. When the cable comes off the drum, the spring unwinds and releases the full weight of the door on one side, jamming the door into the track.

Garage door rollers are exposed to dirt and debris on a regular basis. As rollers move up and down the tracks, they pick up friction-causing debris that leads to roller break down. Any unnecessary friction increases stress on the cables and can cause them to slip or break. We recommend keeping your rollers clean and well lubricated and replace broken or worn down rollers. See our preventative maintenance page for more information.

When a spring nears the end of its life cycle, the garage door can start to drag on the left or right. This is especially common on one spring systems on a 2-car garage door. As a spring deteriorates, the weight of the door is no longer fully supported and the door starts to become unbalanced. The garage door opener takes on the weight that used to be supported by the springs and has to work harder to open the door. The increased resistance can cause the cable to slip off the drum. Another indicator of an unbalanced door with spring or drum issues is if one cable is more taut than the other. The door may still function correctly but will soon exhibit mechanical problems.

To prevent this repair on a manually-operated garage door, you should lift the door and let it sit where it rests. If you push the door too high up on the tracks you will cause the cable to slip off of the cable drum. If the door isn’t sitting where it rests or if slides back down the track without assistance, call our trained professionals to come take a look.