How do I fix a broken garage door track?

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Your garage door’s tracks are vital to the entire system’s operation. These horizontal rails guide the rollers attached to the door panels as they move up and down. Any damage or misalignment in the tracks can cause the door to get stuck or come off the rails entirely, leaving you unable to open or close it properly.

While a broken garage door track requires immediate attention, it’s a simple fix if you have some DIY skills and the right tools. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to inspect, repair, or replace a damaged garage door track yourself. However, it’s always best to call in professional garage door repair services for more complex issues or for clarification on your abilities.

Identifying Track Damage

The first step is to identify the type of damage your garage door track has sustained. Here are some common signs to look out for:

  1. Bends or dents in the track
  2. Gaps or separations between track sections
  3. Debris or obstructions stuck in the track.
  4. Loose track mounting brackets
  5. Uneven or sagging tracks

Once you pinpoint the issue, you can determine the appropriate action.

Garage Door Repair Service

Tools and Materials Needed

Before attempting any repairs, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Wrenches (adjustable and socket set)
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers (flat-head and Phillips)
  • Hacksaw or angle grinder (for cutting metal tracks)
  • Replacement track sections or complete track kit
  • Track mounting hardware (brackets, bolts, nuts)
  • Lubricant (garage door rail lubricant or silicone spray)
  • Ladder or step stool
  • Gloves and safety glasses

Preparing for the Repair

Safety should be your top priority when working on a garage door system. Follow these precautions:

  1. Unplug the garage door opener to turn off the automatic opening mechanism.
  2. Use vice grips or locking pliers to clamp the door in place and prevent it from moving unexpectedly.
  3. Clear the area around the door of any obstructions or debris.

Minor Track Repairs

For minor damages, such as small dents or debris obstructions, you can repair the existing track without replacing it entirely.

  1. Clearing Debris: Use a putty knife or stiff brush to remove any dirt, rocks, or other objects stuck in the track. Vacuum out any remaining debris.
  2. Straightening Dents: Try gently tapping the area with a rubber mallet or hammerhead to straighten it out for dents or bends in the track. Be careful not to damage the track further.
  3. Lubricating the Track: Apply a garage door rail lubricant or silicone spray along the length of the track to reduce friction and ensure smooth operation.

Efficient Garage Door service

Major Track Repairs

If the track is severely bent, cracked, or separated at the joints, it will likely need to be replaced. Here’s how to do it:

Detaching the Old Track:

    • Disconnect the garage door opener’s arm from the door.
    • Loosen and remove the track mounting brackets that hold the track to the garage framing.
    • Carefully lift the entire track section of the door.

Installing a New Track:

    • Measure and cut the replacement track to the correct length, if needed.
    • Align the new track sections and join them together using the appropriate hardware (brackets, splices, etc.).
    • Reattach the track mounting brackets to the garage framing, ensuring the track is level and properly aligned.
    • Lift the door and reattach the roller hinges to the new track.
    • Reconnect the garage door opener’s arm to the door.

Realigning the Tracks:

    • If the tracks are misaligned or sagging, you may need to adjust the mounting brackets or add additional support braces.
    • Use a level to ensure the tracks are perfectly horizontal and parallel.
    • Tighten all mounting hardware securely.

Testing and Adjustments:

    • Reconnect the garage door opener and test the operation of the door.
    • Make any necessary adjustments to the opener’s force settings or track alignment.
    • Apply lubricant to the new tracks for smooth operation.

When to Call a Professional

While many track repairs can be done as a DIY project, there are situations where it’s better to call in a professional garage door repair service:

  • You need help handling the heavy garage door components safely.
  • The tracks are severely damaged or bent beyond simple repairs.
  • The issue involves the garage door opener or other complex mechanisms.
  • You’re uncomfortable working at heights or on ladders.

Attempting complex repairs without the proper knowledge or tools can lead to further damage or even injuries. In these cases, it’s best to leave the job to experienced professionals with the expertise and equipment to handle it correctly.

Reliable and Efficient Garage Door Track Repair Services

For reliable and efficient garage door track repair services in Calgary, trust the experts at Gulliver Garage Doors. Our team of highly skilled technicians has the knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix any track-related issues, ensuring your garage door operates smoothly and safely. 

We use only high-quality replacement parts and follow industry best practices for all our repairs and installations. Contact us today for a free quote or to schedule a service appointment.

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