Do Your Garage Door Tracks Need to Be Level?

Do Your Garage Door Tracks Need to Be Level?

Your garage door is one of the most used contraptions on your home’s exterior, opening and closing multiple times a day. Because it is so often used, it is important to ensure your garage door performs well and operates safely. 

One of the operational aspects of your garage door you should be looking out for is the opening tracks. These can get misaligned for multiple reasons, and fixing this issue can solve any future mishaps.

Should Garage Door Tracks Be Level?

While garage doors do not have to be precisely even to the millimeter, you should try to get the tracks as level as possible. A level garage door will open much smoother and prevent complications.

Additionally, when installing a garage door opener rail, be sure it is at a 90-degree angle for proper operation. This rail should slope downward from the header bracket to the motor unit.

Why They Might Be Uneven

Just a small shift in your garage door can cause problems, even if the door is still functional. You’ll notice your garage door is uneven, slanting or sagging. The door may even make loud sounds as it opens and closes. 

There can be a few reasons why your garage door tracks become uneven, including:

  • Wear and tear: Over time, the structural integrity of your tracks and other operational parts can wear down from daily use.
  • Collision damage: While garage door tracks are sturdy, a vehicle, lawnmower, golf cart or another heavy object can easily damage the tracks if it hits them.
  • Rusted tracks: Rain, snow, dirt and other outdoor elements can build up and cause tracks to rust, which eventually shifts the tracks due to extra friction.

How Do You Fix a Misaligned Garage Door Track?

Fixing a misaligned garage door track can be challenging on your own, and an online tutorial video might not do the trick. Because of the potential dangers and damage, fixing tracks should be left to the experts. 

The TF Draper team is here to assist you with any of your garage door track repairs. Our skill set is not limited to tracks — we can also fix issues like broken springs, cables and panels.

Receive Garage Door Repair From TF Draper

We understand the frustrations of a malfunctioning garage door and can be there when you need us. Contact us today for commercial or residential garage door repair in Portland, Oregon.


Does My Garage Door Need Maintenance? Common Signs of Issues

You rely on your garage door to provide security to your home, as well as insulation and convenient access for your vehicles.

The door will likely cycle thousands of times in its lifespan, and it will rely on a series of moving parts to do so. Without frequent or appropriate maintenance, you’ll notice that many of those components can succumb to disrepair. Sudden breaks can happen, as well, and you’ll need to be prepared to identify any problems that arise and conduct some garage door troubleshooting, or else you’ll risk further damage and possibly accidents.

In general, there are two types of problems you should always be on the lookout for.

  1. Problems With the Door Itself

Depending on the material that forms your door, you’ll need to look out for specific symptoms. Wooden doors, while full of character, struggle with long-term exposure to the elements. Scrutinize it for major chips, warping, cracks and rotting, as those issues will compromise your door’s insulation and overall stability. Repeated cycles will wear on the door’s edges, too.

If your door consists of some metal, like aluminum or steel, you’ll need to look for dents now and then. Major dents, which might facilitate a panel replacement, can affect opening and negatively impact your curb appeal, so it’s best to handle that quickly. Minor dents don’t look great, but you can fix them most of smaller one using a variety of different DIY techniques.

You’ll also want to check the bottom liner of all your doors, an easy fix which helps with insulation and deters water from entering the space. When you’re finished looking over the liner, move your eyes up toward the window panes if your door has any.

Cracked or broken panels look ugly and might embolden home invaders who think they’ll have an easier route into your home. Generally, you’ll need a repair service to handle these kinds of replacements.

  1. Problems With the Opening System

Once you finish with the door, move inside and examine the opening system, which usually experiences the most issues. You’ll want to begin by simply opening and closing the door once or twice.

Pay close attention to anything that might seem out of the ordinary, mainly focusing on noises and delays. If you notice your door drops quickly, you’ll want to immediately look upward toward the cables and tension springs, which might be loose or broken.

This development is a significant issue that can pose risks to your family and property, and you should not attempt to correct it yourself unless you have extensive experience. These springs and cables hold a tremendous amount of tension, and mishandling them can land you in the hospital.

Conversely, doors that open slowly should also warrant your attention. A misaligned track might be the cause, which is when the door’s rollers do not align properly with it. If your track is misaligned, a close look will likely unveil that there are gaps present between the rail and rollers. The rails might also be bent. These types of problems will likely require professional help.

Another potential problem might sit within the door opener, which could have a dying motor or compromised belt/chain system.

With loud noises, the most frequent cause is dirt and debris that has accumulated in the tracks. You can clean them out and apply a lubricant to get rid of screeching and other noises.

Contact TF Draper for Garage Door Repair and Maintenance

If you’d like a professional assessment of your garage door’s condition, TF Draper offers the most comprehensive garage door maintenance in the Greater Portland area.

Our technicians will go through a detailed inspection and provide an honest diagnosis of your problems. Once you decide the course of action, we’ll schedule a convenient time for you that addresses the issues and tests functionality to ensure the repairs are successful. We also sell a variety of parts if you want to go with a DIY approach.

How Often Should Garage Doors Be Replaced?

Is your plain garage door beginning to make your home feel dated or detracting from the curb appeal of your home? While many garage doors are designed to smoothly function for up to 15 years with proper care and maintenance, over time and with wear and constant exposure, your garage door may start to look drab and unattractive.

Even if your door is still opening and closing as instructed, local homeowners should consider updating their garage door to a newer model if the door is nearing the end of its expected lifespan. Some of the many reasons many Portland-area homeowners choose to replace their home’s garage doors include:

  • Better durability and security
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Smoother operations
  • Advanced features for convenience and safety
  • Increased overall home value and curb appeal

Signs You Need a New Garage Door

Besides their obvious aesthetic improvements and more modern manufacturing materials for better strength and performance, homeowners should consider installing a new garage door if your current door is near the end of its lifespan or isn’t operating as smoothly as it once did.

You likely use your garage door daily as the main entrance to your home, so you want a fixture that’s both dependable and efficient as well as functional. If you’re hesitant to replace your home’s garage door, consider the following signs that it’s time for a new garage door:

  • Slow Movement: If you notice signs of hesitation or slower movement than when the opener was initially installed, then you would likely benefit from a new garage door system.
  • Noisy Operations: A properly working garage door will be somewhat noisy while opening and closing, but if you notice excessive sounds like grating, rattling or squeaking, then you probably need repairs and even hardware replacements.
  • Poor Appearance: A modern garage door can greatly accentuate the existing architecture of your home and even increase its value if you plan on selling in the near future. Meanwhile, dated, discolored and dented garage doors can detract from the appearance of your home.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you’re performing frequent, costly repairs for your garage door, then it may be time to update your system. Consider whether the garage door repairs are exceeding the value of your current door.
  • Dated Features: Many modern garage doors and openers feature the latest advancements and safety features to improve functionality. One important safety feature homeowners shouldn’t ignore is if your garage door opener was manufactured before 1993 and lacks photo eye sensors that prevent the door from closing on a person or object. You may also benefit from updated equipment that features Wi-Fi connectivity, rolling door codes and battery backup.

Spruce Up Your Home With a New Garage Door From The TF Draper Company

A new garage door can elevate the look and performance of your home. At The TF Draper Company, we have the largest selection of quality Clopay® garage doors available throughout the Portland area. We invite all local homeowners to visit our expansive showroom, conveniently located in Forest Grove.

We offer a range of modern and traditional designs available in high-quality wood, steel, fiberglass and aluminum. Once you’ve selected an attractive and dependable new garage door, our team of skilled professionals will perform an efficient and effective installation. Most of our residential installations take about three to four hours, and we’ll even help you dispose of your old garage door.

Request a garage door installation estimate today by completing our online contact form or by calling us at 503-357-1103 to schedule an appointment.

What to Do If Your Garage Door Won’t Open

Leaving for work this morning, you click the remote to open your garage door and nothing happens. Then you try one more time, but the door still refuses to operate. Most of the time, when your garage door won’t open, the solution is a simple hardware adjustment or part replacement. When your garage door is stuck, note any unusual sounds or odd garage door behavior and inspect the possible causes to prevent any additional damage to your system or potential safety hazards.

How to Fix Garage Doors That Won’t Open

Most garage doors are used multiple times every day as a convenient entry to our homes, so it’s common to experience garage door malfunctions or minor wear and tear. The following are common garage door problems and how you can fix them:

  • Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener Remote: When you press the remote or wall-mounted door control and nothing happens, there’s likely a problem with the power or the remote battery — check that there’s no power outage in your neighborhood, that your opener is plugged in, and that the remote battery is fresh. If these issues aren’t the cause, try reprogramming your remote to the opener and check that the machine’s antenna hasn’t been damaged. Otherwise, the garage door opener motor may be damaged and the unit may need replacement.
  • Garage Door Not Opening All the Way: If the garage door stops short of opening entirely, then the up-limit switch may need to be adjusted or the rollers are corroded and damaged and need replacement. The up-limit switch is a repair that typically occurs immediately after a new opener has been installed. If the limit isn’t set correctly, it will prompt the door to stop opening too early.
  • Opener Motor Runs but Door Stays Closed: If you click your opener remote and the machine runs but the door stays closed, then either your red emergency disconnect switch was enabled — detaching the door from the opener — or the garage door was accidentally locked with the manual locking switch.
  • Garage Door Is Stuck or Won’t Open: Garage doors that suddenly won’t open likely have a broken spring. If you’re at home when the torsion or extension spring breaks, you’ll hear a loud “bang” like a firework. With a broken garage door spring system, your opener won’t be able to lift the door and you’ll need to call a professional to inspect the door and perform a spring replacement.

Is Your Garage Door Stuck? Contact The TF Draper Company Today

When your garage door won’t open, contact the skilled and experienced technicians at The TF Draper Company to help you troubleshoot your garage door and quickly identify the issue. We’re a family-owned company with over 40 years of experience working with homeowners throughout the Greater Portland area, specializing in comprehensive garage door repairs and personalized solutions to ensure your garage door operates smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Schedule garage door repair services today by calling 503-357-1103 to speak to a team member or complete our online contact form to request a free service estimate.

What to Do If Your Garage Door Won’t Close

After a long day at work and sitting in rush hour traffic, you finally get home — and as you’re waiting for the garage door to close so you can get inside, it suddenly reverses back to its open position. While this is inconvenient and it’s tempting to just leave the door open and address the issue the next day, you should identify the reason the door won’t close to avoid safety and security issues.

Sometimes, simply replacing the batteries in your transmitter remote can help the door close completely. In other instances, your garage door refusing to close could indicate a more severe repair issue. Several part inspections can easily be performed by homeowners, but if you’re not an experienced handyman, then intricate repairs should be completed by a professional garage door repair company.

What to Do If Your Garage Door Won’t Close

When your garage door is stuck open and won’t close completely, inspect the following to identify the potential problem:

  • Misaligned Photo Eye Sensors: If the garage door won’t close completely, the photo eye sensors at the bottom of your garage door may have become misaligned. Inspect the bottom of the door to make sure there’s nothing blocking the path of the door and that both sensors are properly aligned.
  • Opener Limits Set Too High: The opener limits tell the machine how far the door travels downward before meeting the ground. If the setting is programmed too high, the opener senses an obstruction in the path of the closing door and reverses its motion. Reprogramming this setting is easy — consult your owner’s manual to understand how to properly readjust the opener limit.
  • Damaged or Dirty Garage Door Tracks: If the door still won’t close, check the condition of your garage door’s tracks and rollers. Clean and lubricate the metal rollers and remove any built-up debris from inside the tracks. After cleaning the rollers, if the door still won’t close, consult with a professional repair company to identify the issue with your system.

Signs You Need a New Garage Door Opener

Sometimes, if your garage door won’t close or open smoothly and reliably, then you may need to replace your garage door opener with a more modern and efficient machine. Note the following signs to easily determine whether you could benefit from a new garage door opener:

  • The opener is approximately 10 years old or older
  • Loud noises from the machine while operating
  • Slow-moving door while raising or lowering
  • Random and inconsistent garage door opening and closing
  • Vibration while the garage door moves

Schedule Garage Door Repair With The TF Draper Company

At The TF Draper Company, we offer the most responsive and reliable garage door repair services for homeowners throughout the Portland, OR, area and beyond. If your garage door won’t properly close, you can reach out to our team to perform prompt 24-hour emergency repairs. Our fully equipped team will arrive at your home quickly to identify why your garage door is stuck and begin making repairs using the best parts and tools available for lasting performance.

To schedule emergency repair services, call us today at 503-357-1103 or fill out our online contact form.

When and What Garage Door Parts to Lubricate

lubricate garage door parts

TF Draper is dedicated to helping people get the most out of their garage doors in and around Portland, the state of Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Our customers frequently ask us two questions:

  • How often do I need garage door part lubrication in Portland?
  • What parts of the garage door — rollers, hinges and tracks — should be lubricated on Portland garage door systems?



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