Many of you will at some point have had something go wrong with your garage door. As it is normally one of those everyday objects you take for granted and don’t pay much attention to, you may be unaware of how it works, or even how it operates.

In this short blog post we will run through some simple ways to keep your garage door(s) working and point out some ‘look out for’ areas that will cause the door to become hard to open or not work at all.

Fist you need to be familiar with how a garage door operates. Most doors will be a simple Canopy type garage door with a spring across the top, vertical tracks down the side and some roller wheel/spindles that travel along these tracks. You will also notice that the door has two wire cables that coil around cones at each end of the door.

Typical Canopy Garage Door

Cables – These are prone to becoming loose and getting tangled. This is due to the spring across the top of the door becoming un-tensioned. Try not to operate the door if you notice loose cables as they will jam up and you will find the door is unable to open or close. You may also experience lob-sidedness in the door when this happens.

Roller Wheels/Spindles. – The roller wheels are the parts here that wear down. If this happens, it’s just a case of getting them replaced for new ones. If they wear down so much, you may experience them coming out of the tracks and because of this, opening and closing the door will be very difficult.

Tracks – Keep these clean and free of Grease. Grease is a bad thing to put in tracks. It attracts dirt and all the nasties that wear away the roller wheels more quickly. The best thing to do is wipe away any grease with an old rag or kitchen towel, and use a silicone spray or WD40 (or similar). By doing this it keeps it lubricated, keeps it clean and doesn’t wear away the nylon material the roller wheels are made of.

If your door is not a canopy type, the other common type is a Retractable style door. This door is identified by the fact there are two tracks that commonly run from the top two corners of the garage door back into the garage space. There are no cables on a retractable garage door. The springs are also located at the bottom of the door down the sides of the door which connect directly to link arms. This type of door is almost certainly what you would have if you own a double door for example. Another benefit to retractable garage doors is that they are easily motorised with an electric motor.


Typical Retractable garage door.

Tracks – These are fairly easy parts to check. Make sure they are kept clean and occasionally sprayed with WD-40 or similar. Silicone spray works well too. This will help the rollers roll easily along the tracks, and keep it free of dirt so the nylon wheels don’t wear away.

Springs – The springs on retractable doors occasionally snap at the ‘hook’ on the end. There is no way of telling when the spring will snap, but if it ever does, call us with the following information. Spring length, diameter of the spring, the number of coils, and the colour. If it’s a cluster of springs, we may need to know the make and size of the door to get new springs. Springs can benefit from a light spray of oil and a wipe, every now and then, to stop them getting mucky.

Link Arms – These link arms attach to the spring and the door panel itself. They ultimately enable the door to go up and down. Over time the link arms may ‘play’ a little and the door may seem like it’s not as well balanced. It would be a good idea when this happens to call us out and adjust as necessary.


Neutechnic III electronic motor.

Electric Motor – (If you have one fitted). Motors are generally reliable and you don’t have problems with them. Occasionally it may stop working for whatever reason. A simple turn off and back on again solves some problems. Make sure the power is on at the mains, check fuses and main house circuit boards for trips before calling us. It can be expensive to call an engineer to flick the power back on. Sometimes the problem is with the remote control handsets. They may need new batteries or coding back to the operator if they have had dead battery for a while. Giving us a call with the make and model of the electric motor means we may be able to help sort a problem out over the phone. Failing this, we can always send an engineer out to you.

Please call us on 0800 526726 if you require any more assistance for your garage door.

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